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Past Honorees


Nancy MarriottDon and Dona Wheeler

Successful in business and blessed in life, Don and Dona Wheeler established the Wheeler Foundation in 1992 to support organizations in and outside the arts, in Utah and nationwide. Their five daughters, the foundation’s directors, now perpetuate their legacy of generosity.


UssachevskyNewell B. Weight

Music faculty Newell B. Weight established the high caliber of choral artistry that remains at the U today. A highly regarded teacher, conductor, and administrator, he founded the U’s A Cappella Choir and transformed the Utah Symphony Chorus into a nationally recognized ensemble.



Nancy MarriottJames R. and Nanette S. Michie

Music enthusiasts and supporters, James R. and Nanette S. Michie have expanded opportunities for U music students by establishing a graduate string quartet, an undergraduate vocal quartet and funding a custom-built practice pipe organ.


UssachevskyLowell M. Durham

Composer Lowell M. Durham dramatically shaped the Utah musical landscape in his 40-year career as music professor and Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the U, Salt Lake Tribune music critic, Utah Symphony program annotator, and KSL music director.



Nancy MarriottNancy Peery Marriott

Both singer and patron, Nancy Peery Marriott impacts the world as an artist and change agent. A lyric soprano, she has delighted audiences throughout the United States and abroad. Her generosity to artists, including creating a Fine Arts Fund at the U for scholarships, performance and production, changes lives forever.


UssachevskyVladimir Ussachevsky

One of the most significant pioneers in electronic music composition, Vladimir Ussachevsky’s experiments provided the foundation for the pervasive use of electronics in music today. He expanded the possibilities for the synthetic creation of sound, now ubiquitous in modern music making. He served on the U’s faculty for 16 years, after retiring from Columbia University.



Maurice AbravanelMaurice Abravanel

A gifted conductor and savvy leader, Maurice Abravanel transformed the Utah Symphony from a community orchestra to one of the nation’s most elite during in his 32-year tenure. His longstanding partnership with U President Ray Olpin and Music Department Chair Leroy Robertson enabled the success of both the symphony and music education at the U.


Obert & Grace TannerObert C. and Grace Tanner

Lifelong champions for the arts in Utah, Obert C. and Grace Tanner’s generosity and influence extended to the University, where Obert taught for 27 years. Their passion for music on campus supported a significant gift that paved the way for the renovation and expansion of Gardner Hall and increased music scholarships.


Janet MannJanet Mann

A nationally recognized researcher and educator, in Janet Mann’s 26 years at the University, she transformed its piano pedagogy program. She established its Preparatory Division to provide hands-on teaching experiences for piano students, which had grown to serve 500 students nationwide and become a national model.


Zions BankZions Bank

Since its founding 140 years ago, Zions Bank has provided visionary support for arts and culture, including at the U. Zions Bank was an inaugural sponsor of the School of Music’s Virtuoso Series, established in 2001, and more recently the bank underwrote a second annual opera production for its Lyric Opera Ensemble.


Roger MillerRoger L Miller

Engaged teaching and an unprecedented expansion of the school and its facilities marked musicology professor Roger Miller’s 25-year tenure at the University of Utah. He played a pivotal role in the construction of Libby Gardner Concert Hall, the renovation of David P. Garner Hall, and in assembling the McKay Music Library’s impressive collection.


S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney FoundationS.J. & Jessie E. Quinney

S.J. “Joe” Quinney and Jessie Eccles Quinney gave many gifts during their lifetime, and posthumously through their foundation, to the arts and education. Their generosity enabled the initial establishment of McKay Music Library’s collection and provided support for music scholarships.


Edgar ThompsonEdgar J. Thompson

During Ed Thompson’s 25-year career at the University, he conducted the A Capella Choir and served as department chair for 22 years. A beloved teacher and reluctant administrator, his crowning achievement was the construction of Libby Gardner Concert Hall and the renovation of David P. Gardner Hall.


Craig and Melissa BallardCraig and Melissa Ballard

Tireless volunteers of the School of Music, Craig and Melissa Ballard wholeheartedly have supported the School of Music’s success with their time, talents and resources since alumna Melissa graduated. Melissa served as its first advisory board chair and she and Craig chair the Century of Piano at the U campaign.


Ardean WattsArdean Watts

During his 31-year tenure as a professor, Ardean Watts taught virtually every class offered, instructing generations of students. A pianist by training, he is revered as an artist and great intellect. Outside of the University, he served as associate conductor for the Utah Symphony for 22 years and as an advocate for the arts in Salt Lake City for more than 50 years.


Robert L. and Joyce T. RiceRobert L. and Joyce T. Rice

Lifelong champions of the arts, under Robert and Joyce Rice’s leadership the School of Music Advisory Board matured into a well-respected voice for classical music in our community. Their deep appreciation for music led them to establish the Robert L. and Joyce Rice Scholarship Endowment in Vocal Performance and to name the Joyce T. Rice Green Room. 


Betty Jeanne ChipmanBetty Jeanne Chipman

For more than 50 years, Betty Jeanne Chipman shaped the voices of Utah singers, 30 of those as a member of the University vocal faculty. Her students have sung with the New York City Opera and with numerous European, as well as regional, opera companies.



Kem and Carolyn GardnerKem and Carolyn Gardner

Kem and Carolyn are life-along supporters of their alma mater, the University of Utah, especially in the arts. In 2007, they created the Ellen Neilson Barnes Presidential Endowed Chair for Choral Studies, only the second endowed chair in the College of Fine Arts. The gift honored Carolyn’s late mother, a talented musician and music educator, who taught at the U.


Lennox Larson DeemLennox Larson Deem

An accomplished musician, educator and arts supporter, Lennox Larson Deem spent decades improving the University’s piano program. During her 24 years on the University faculty, she developed a piano pedagogy degree and organized the piano preparatory program, which continues to serve the community today.


Leon and Karen F. PetersonLeon and Karen F. Peterson

Former chairs of the School of Music Advisory Board, Leon and Karen Peterson dedicated their efforts to increasing student scholarships, developing camaraderie among students and faculty, and creating public awareness of the school’s excellence. During their tenure, annual scholarships increased 16-fold.


Mikhail BoguslavskyMikhail Boguslavsky

Mikhail Boguslavsky taught viola and chamber music and coached the honors during quartet, after enjoying a distinguished performance career. He was the principal violist for the Moscow Radio Symphony and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, later helping to found the world famous Moscow Chamber Orchestra, with which he played for 20 years.


James L. and Beverley T. SorensonJames L. and Beverley T. Sorenson

Lifelong arts education supporters, in 2006 Utah philanthropists James and Beverley Sorenson established the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Presidential Endowed Chair for Elementary Music Education at the University of Utah as part of a $5.75 million state of gifts to Utah universities to promote public school arts education.


Marian Robertson WilsonMarian Robertson Wilson

An accomplished scholar, linguist, and musician, Dr. Marian Robertson Wilson was pivotal in establishing and developing the Leroy Robertson Foundation, which recognizes excellence in young composers and musicians. The foundation honors Dr. Robertson’s father, a renowned Utah composer and former chair of the Department of Music.


Skip DaynesSkip Daynes

A fourth generation owner of Daynes Music, Skip Daynes has aided young pianists throughout Utah for close to 50 years. With his help, the University acquired the prestigious All-Steinway School designation. Daynes Music has supported the school’s SummerArts Piano Competition for more than 25 years.


Jerold and JoAnn OttleyJerold and JoAnn Ottley

Together, former Mormon Tabernacle Choir director Jerold and wife JoAnn, acclaimed soloist and former voice coach, enriched the lives of millions of people through the Choir’s weekly radio and television broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word. Both served on the University faculty, imparting their deep appreciation for music to a generation of students.



George S. and Delores Doré Ecles FoundationGeorge S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation

Carrying on the tradition of its founders, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation provides support throughout Utah to enrich the lives of its citizens. The Foundation’s generosity to the School of Music has included an extraordinary gift of $6 million for the renovation of David Gardner Hall and the addition of Libby Gardner Concert Hall.


Gladys Gladstone RosenbergGladys Gladstone Rosenberg

For nearly 50 years, Gladys Gladstone Rosenberg enriched the artistic life of Utah as a performer and educator. Legendary Utah Symphony conductor Maurice Abravanel once heralded her impact on piano history in Utah as b.g. and a.g.: “Before Gladys” and “After Gladys.” She served on the University faculty for 45 years and as piano chair for 23.



Robert CundickRobert Cundick

Robert Cundick received all of his degrees from the University of Utah, including the first music Ph.D in music granted. A talented organist and composer, who studied under Leroy Robertson, he served as principle organist at the Tabernacle at Temple Square for 26 years. His efforts were instrumental in establishing the school’s organ performance program.


Helen B. FollandHelen B. Folland

A brilliant teacher, pianist, organist and composer, Helen Folland taught theory at the University of Utah for 30 years, providing a successful foundation for students in every area of musical study. She was the first woman to receive a doctorate in music from Columbia University.



Sally Burbidge CassitySally Burbidge Cassity

For over twenty years, Sally Burbidge Cassity was beloved as the Fairy Godmother of the University of Utah Marching Band. During that time, she provided 24 scholarships, two full sets of band uniforms, 24 brass instruments, and a full drum line (25 instruments). She almost single-handedly turned a young group of musicians into a university showpiece.


Leroy RobertsonLeroy J. Robertson

Chairman of the Department of Music from 1948-62, Leroy Robertson, a Utah composer of international renown, enlarged the music curriculum to meet national accreditation standards, its current home, now David P. Gardner Hall, and gave the Utah Symphony a temporary home on campus, saving it during trying times.



Stephen B. and June W. NebekerStephen B. and June W. Nebeker

Alumni and lifetime supporters of the University of Utah – from music and theatre, to athletics and law – Stephen and June Nebeker served as Co-chairs of Utah’s Campaign for Music from 1999-2000, which raised more than $2.5 million for the School of Music.


Photography by Busath Photography

Gala Register

For more information:
April Goddard
(801) 581-6762
Last Updated: 5/8/18