Sarah Tuccelli Gilbert
Professor Sarah Joan Tuccelli Gilbert was known for always reaching the unexpected. Having to earn her way through College, Sarah received her BA and Master’s degree from the University of Buffalo, New York, and her Doctorate from Indiana University.
Simultaneously, speaking fluent Italian, Sarah taught herself libretti and how to sing operatic roles years before she studied with Rudolf Doblin, famous conductor in Buffalo. Soloist of the University for three seasons, Sarah was presented in concert at Kleinhans Music Hall. Later, impressed by her lyrica spinto voice, world renowned Enrico Rosati in New York City accepted her for study.
In the summer of 1950, Sarah accepted an invitation to study in Milan with Gina Cigna, retired internationally famous La Scala soprano, and Dr. Carlo Piccinato of La Scala. However, to remain in Milan required money which Sarah did not have. Forced to return to the States, Sarah left behind an operatic career.
After marrying her husband, M. A. (Bud) Gilbert, in 1955, the couple took leave without pay for two years from their full time jobs to attend Indiana University at Bloomington. They were offered professorships upon completion of their Doctorates in 1961, but chose to return to New York.
Dr. Sarah Gilbert’s greatest professional achievement was counseling young women toward their professional careers so they could break the glass ceilings in their own lives. She worked equally hard to obtain scholarships so that students could fulfill their dreams.
Everyone who knew Sarah found her enchanting and felt that when she departed in 2001, indeed a bright light had gone out!
“There were no scholarships in my time… so don’t let the lack of money stop you in getting your education. Don’t be intimidated in your future academic endeavors, you have already shown what it takes – you are a Nassau graduate! Congratulations!