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Scholarships in Choral Music 

A word about UNM Endowed Choral Scholarships

In the Spring of 2004 we embarked on an ambitious plan to create 16 endowed scholarships in the choral area. Before that time, there had been no scholarships specifically earmarked for singing in choirs at UNM, but with your help, in the Fall of 2011 we began our 16th endowed scholarship!

When all of these scholarships are fully endowed, the 16 singers holding theses awards will comprise the UNM Chamber Singers, an ensemble that will be unique in the United States, in that it will be an entirely- scholarshipped group. The singers will also sing in many of the other UNM choirs, providing leadership to a broad spectrum of campus. These choral scholarships will attract the best of our young New Mexican singers to UNM, and will bring talented singers to New Mexico from across the country.

On this page is the status of each of the 16 scholarships. Please consider making a donation to the scholarship of your choice. The benefits will last in perpetuity and will keep singing a major emphasis at UNM long after we have all departed.

 Community-Based Scholarships already fully funded:
  • Lauridsen - Named for the distinguished composer Morten Lauridsen, who worked with our choirs in 2004.
  • Clark - Named for long-time UNM Director of Choral Activites, John Clark, who retired in 2005.
  • Ray - Named for the distinguished composer and pianist, Robert Ray, who worked with our choirs in 2006. Preference given to African American choral students.
  • Noble - Named for the distinguished conductor, Weston Noble, who conducted our choirs in 3006.
  • Choral Director's Scholarship - Given in honor of Bradley Ellingboe: current Director of Choral Activities at UNM; former Chairman of UNM Department of Music; UNM Professor of Music since 1985.

Scholarships Given by Individuals or Small Groups

  • The Irma Norelius Buffett Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Choral Programs - given by Linda Buffett in honor of her mother-in-law.
  • The Veola Ellingboe Endowed Choral Scholarship - given by Bradley and Karen Ellingboe in memory of Brad's mother.
  • The Joe S. & Claudia T. Keith Choral Endowed Scholarship - given by the owners of The Music Mart of Albuquerque in support of UNM choral music. Fully endowed.
  • The Iris Ciesielski Endowed Choral Scholarship - given by Jan Bowers in honor of her mother, Iris Ciesielski, long-time accompanist for the University Chorus.
  • The Gary and Elizabeth Dwyer Endowed Choral Scholarship - given by Elizabeth Dwyer in memory of her late husband Gary, former Superintendent of Schools for Bernalillo, New Mexico. Preference given to a student from Bernalillo.
  • The 2011 UNM University Chorus Advisory Council Endowed Choral Scholarship - given by members of the UNM University Chorus 2011 Advisory Council.
Community Scholarships yet to be completed

  • The Lynn Drob Memorial Endowed Choral Scholarship - named for the late Lynn Drob, long-time President of the University Chorus Advisory Council. ($8,500)
  • The René Clausen Endowed Choral Scholarship - named in honor of the distinguished conductor and composer René Clausen, whom we commissioned to write our centennial piece, his Requiem for chorus and orchestra which we premiered under his direction in April of 2011. ($1,500)
  • The Centennial Endowed Choral Scholarship - Named to honor 100 years of choral singing at UNM: 1910-1911 - 2010-2011. ($5,630)
  • The Eph Ehly Endowed Choral Scholarship - Named to honor Dr. Eph Ehly, Director of Choral Activities at UNM in the 1960s. ($4,500)
  • The University Chorus Endowed Choral Scholarship - Named in honor of the oldest and largest of the UNM's many choirs. ($1,500)


Our grateful thanks to all those whose generosity has made the endowed scholarships program possible!

There are several scholarships available for students interested in pursuing a career in choral music.  (Unfortunately, there are no choral scholarships for singers who, however talented they may be, are not majoring in one of the following three areas:  Choral Music Education, Vocal Performance or Masters degree in Choral Conducting.) 

While there are no scholarships per se for simply singing in a choral ensemble, there are many scholarships available for Choral Music Ed., Vocal Performance and Masters in Choral Conducting students, and all students majoring in one of these three degree programs must sing in a choir.  (The one exception is Masters students in Vocal Performance can fulfill their Major Ensemble requirement by participation in Opera Studio.)  For more information on Major Ensemble requirements please click here.

A brief description of each category follows below. 


Students pursuing this degree are eligible for a Music Education scholarship.  For further information please contact Professor Regina Carlow at rcarlow@unm.edu


As mentioned above, Masters students in Vocal Performance can fulfill their ensemble requirements by singing in Opera Studio.  However, ALL undergraduates in Vocal Performance need to sing in one of the major choral ensembles.  Typically freshman and sophomores are placed in either Dolce Suono or, if female, perhaps in Las Cantantes, the UNM Women’s Chorus.  Juniors, seniors and graduate students are most often in Concert Choir.  The University Chorus is counted as a major ensemble only at the discretion of the Director of Choral Activities. 

For more information about scholarships available to Vocal Performance majors, please contact Professor Leslie Umphrey at lulu@unm.edu


There are several endowed scholarships available to Masters students in Choral Conducting.  Some are in-progress and not yet generating enough income to be distributed.  

For more information on scholarships available to Masters in Conducting – Choral Emphasis, please contact Professor Bradley Ellingboe at brell@unm.edu