Nov. 21, 2005 Ingrid A. Bough was born in Frederiksted, St. Croix. Her mother, Violet, was an educator and an organist at the St. Paul's Anglican church. As she grew, Ingrid would merge these two passions and embark on a journey that would lead to her the nation's capital. She is presently employed at the Library of Congress as a copyright specialist in the performing arts section of the U.S. Copyright Office, a job she has held for the past 18 years.
As a teen growing up in Frederiksted, music was Bough's passion. The example was set by her mother who played at St. Pauls for 35 years. Bough sang in the choir and learned to read music. Never the conventionalist, she asked her mother to buy her an alto saxophone. Bough remembers her mother's response "Why don't you play something more ladylike, like the flute or the clarinet?" Her mother eventually gave in and purchased the instrument.
Under the tutelage of local musicians like Wesley Thomas and Rudy Schulterbrandt, Bough honed her musical skills in the community band. "We used to practice at the Dorsch Center and had summer music workshops in the [Athalie McFarlande] Petersen library," Bough said. "I had a fascinating childhood, it was surrounded by so much music and culture."
By the age of 15, Bough was living a teenager's dream. She was a vocalist with the Soul Busters, the most popular R&B band on the island. She played gigs with the band all around the island and traveled to St. Thomas frequently to perform at the Lionel Roberts stadium and other venues.
Bough received her early education at St. Dunstan's Episcopal school, but when it was time to go to high school she asked her mother if she could go to Central High School. "Central had a music component, St. Dunstan's did not," Bough said. Again, Bough's mother gave in and allowed her daughter to attend public school for the first time in her life.
At Central, Bough's music teacher was Jimmy Hamilton, who played piano for many years with the Duke Ellington Band. "I was fortunate to be in his class, he shaped my skills" Bough said. After graduation she told her mother she wanted to study music in college. Her mother recommended that she study music education, that way she would "have something to fall back on." Bough accepted her mother's advice and attained a bachelor of arts degree in music education from Howard University.
While at Howard, Bough auditioned and was selected by Mattiwilda Dobbs to be in her voice instruction class. Bough said her classmates were impressed that Dobbs selected her, but Bough had no idea who her teacher was. She later found out that Dobbs was a coloratura soprano who performed at famous opera houses including the Bolshoi, Vienna State, Glyndebourne, Paris and Stockholm Royal Opera house where, as a black woman, she often broke color barriers. "She told me I was a diamond in the rough," Bough said. "We built a wonderful relationship."
Bough returned to St. Croix and taught music for two years at John H. Woodson Junior High School. While there she took her class on a trip to the Territorial Court. "That was the beginning for me," Bough said. She decided to go back to school to study the legal aspect of the entertainment business.
Bough returned to the states and, within two years, earned a second bachelor of arts degree in paralegal studies at the University of Maryland. In 1988 she accepted a position at the Library of Congress as a Copyright Specialist. While employed full time, she attained a Juris Doctorate degree part-time with a concentration in Intellectual Property law in May of 2000 from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Bough brought her love and loyalty of the Virgin Islands to her job in Washington telling everyone about her homeland. "I promoted the Virgin Islands wherever I went," Bough said. "I am proud to be a Virgin Islander and spread the word about who we are."
Included in her many accomplishments at the library of Congress are:
–Selected for a year of distinguished service to the Library as one of ten Leadership Development Fellows sponsored by billionaire benefactor John W. Kluge.
–Created a forty-page Library of Congress Employee Ethics Guide for the Library's nearly 5000 employees, an Ethics Web site for the Office of the General Counsel (Intranet) and five web portals (Belize, British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Montserrat) which are currently on the Library of Congress' web site Global Gateway.
–Served as the Pavilion of the States, U.S. Territories coordinator at the annual National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library and hosted by First Lady, Laura Bush. In this capacity, Bough coordinates the participation of American Samoa, Guam the U.S. Virgin Islands and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
— Planned, executed and managed a wide variety of projects and programs such as the Federal Bar Association, Capitol Hill chapter's annual symposium on professional responsibility at the Library of Congress.
— Represented the U.S. Copyright Office as one of the invited leadership summit guest speakers at the 2004 U.S. Virgin Islands Leadership Summit: New Vision, New Voices at the U.S. Capitol. Bough gave an overview of Intellectual Property and spoke on the importance of copyright and copyright registration.
–One of her most notable works resulted in a second prize in the University of Baltimore School of Law in the ASCAP-sponsored Nathan Burkan National Memorial writing competition 2000, for a paper entitled "Internet Service Providers and Copyright Infringement Liability: A Cyberspace Dilemma."
Bough said she is a person who has always taken risks in life. The motto she has taken on as her own was given to her "a long time ago" by one of her instructors.
"Excellence can be attained if you . . . Care more than others think is wise . . . Risk more than others think is safe . . . Dream more than others think is practical . . . Expect more than others think is possible" [author unknown].
"I live by every word. I always tell people, 'This is who I am,'" Bough said with a smile.
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