Department of Music and Theatre Scholarships and Awards

Department of Music

Donna Falk Music Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Donna Falk, an accomplished alumna of the Chico State Music Department, to support deserving students who are pursuing a music degree at Chico State. In particular, her intention is to encourage music students who may share her love of sacred music and who choose to make the performance, enjoyment and sharing of music an integral part of their lives. Donna taught music and English in Chico schools for 26 years, and has been actively involved throughout her life in church music.

Edith Gould Award

This award is presented to a continuing student in the Department of Music in memory of Edith Gould, a secretary in the music department for 25 years. Students and faculty found Edith to be the "heart of the music department" and were inspired by her pleasant and supportive attitude. This award is selected by a vote of the music department to one student whose extraordinary attitude encourages a sense of “family” within the Chico State music department.

Music Faculty Scholarships

Each year, faculty and students in the music department donate their time and talent to present the holiday concert "Glorious Sounds of the Season." Proceeds from this event are awarded to students as a way to recognize and support the long hours of practice and rehearsal required of music majors.

Instrumental

Steve Connolly Music Education Scholarship
This scholarship honors the memory of Steve Connolly, who established the award to support students in music education in their work in a directed field project. Steve was a longtime music teacher in Northern California and the father of a Chico State alum.

Archie E. Gobba Music Scholarship
Professor Gobba, a teacher passionate about the music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, retired from Chico State nearly 30 years ago. His family established this scholarship in his memory, and it is awarded by audition for students with high academic achievement. His family also donated a collection of Renaissance musical instruments to the University so that his love of that musical period could be brought to life through performances on the instruments of the period.

Margaret Marie Graf / Jack Browne Music Scholarship
This scholarship was established in l973 to honor Margaret Marie Graf, the mother of long time faculty member Jack Browne’s wife, Dorothy. Following Jack’s death in 2006, the family added Jack’s name to this scholarship to honor his career as Chico State’s band program director for so many years. The winners are selected by audition and must play in one of the department’s major performing ensembles.

John Hagen Music Scholarship Fund
This memorial scholarship provides scholarship support to music students who graduated from Pleasant Valley High School, Chico High School or Hamilton City High School.

Rudy and Mary Jensen Music Recruitment Scholarship
Rudy and Mary Jensen are long-time career educators and supporters of CSU, Chico, where Mary has been a professor of special education at CSU, Chico for many years and Rudy a school administrator with Chico Unified School District.  Living in Chico, both Rudy and Mary enjoy the music performances staged by Chico State students, and have endowed a scholarship to support a transfer or incoming freshman student interested in performing classical music.

Dennis Letcher and Victoria Simone-Letcher Symphonic Band Scholarship
This scholarship was established to support students who participate in music performance at Chico State. Victoria graduated from San Diego State with a degree in Music. As a long-time member of the Chico community, she attends numerous School of the Arts performances and Chico Performances. Her belief that "music feeds the soul" inspired her to provide this gift to help ensure a thriving performance community in Chico.

Pennie Lindsey String Bass Scholarship
Catharine E. (Pennie) Lindsey was principal bass with both the Chico and Paradise Symphonies during the 60s and 70s. She  also played for the Chico State Opera program. This scholarship was established by her family to honor her love of music and is designed to encourage young bass players achieve a high degree of proficiency while further developing their love of music and its performance.

George Longazo Double Reed Scholarship
This scholarship is named in honor of one of our most generous faculty, the late Professor George Longazo who taught bassoon and oboe and played in the Chico Symphony Orchestra for many years. He endowed this scholarship with these thoughts: “Since 1969, I have enjoyed the pleasure and the privilege of working with music students at CSU, Chico. I wish to dedicate this scholarship to my students and trust they will continue the tradition of helping music students in the future.”

Low Brass Scholarship
Faculty give concerts to raise funds for student scholarships – now that shows dedication! Winners are selected by audition.

Evelyn Riddell and Ada McKinney Music Scholarship
People who love the arts know how much scholarships mean to hard working students and this one is dedicated to students who perform. The award is based on competitive audition and is awarded rotationally to music theatre and music students.

Russ Sanchez Scholarship
Funded by alum Russ Sanchez, this award is for an instrumentalist who performs in the Chico State Band program. Mr. Sanchez remembers how difficult it was to work and play in ensembles, and established this scholarship to make life a little bit easier for music students.

Donald and Jennifer Smith Trumpet Performance Scholarship
This scholarship is intended to promote and sustain the trumpet performance in the music department. It is funded by Donald and Jennifer Smith, both graduates of the CSU, Chico Music Department.

North State Symphony Performance Awards
Funded through the generosity and hard work of the Chico Symphony Guild, these awards are based on auditions and go to outstanding student musicians who play in the North State Symphony.

Colonel Jack H. Taylor, U.S.A.F., Jazz Studies Scholarship
Jack was married to Ruth Rowland-Taylor (for who our recital hall was named!) and organized on of the first Pioneer Days bands in the 1930’s. This scholarship honors his contributions and is awarded by audition to an outstanding student in the Jazz program.

Elaine West Reynolds Scholarship
Elaine grew up in the Paradise and Chico area, and graduated from Chico State in 1943 with a degree in music education. A pianist and vocal performer, she has been active in choral and music organizations in Riverside and Paradise, and enjoys a lifelong love of classical music. Elaine established the Reynolds Family Scholarship in honor of her family, and the rich music heritage of Chico State. Preference for this scholarship is an upper division or graduate level student who loves classical music and plays woodwinds, especially clarinet and flute.

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Vocal/Opera


BRAVO Performance Award
For many years, the highlight of Chico’s party scene was the annual Opera Ball, a glorious evening of fine food, selections from favorite operas sung by Chico State students, and donations from supporters. These events resulted in an endowment that generates scholarships for students who audition and are selected for Opera Workshop. Our thanks go to all of the many volunteers who made this happen over the years, especially Gwen Curatilo, professor emerita of music, and Richard Jackson, director of the Research Foundation.

Choral Music Scholarship
This award is based on audition and is for a student who performs in a choral ensemble.

Gwen Curatilo Honorary Award
Faculty Emerita Gwen Curatilo dedicated many years to the Opera Workshop and this award, established by family, friends and colleagues, recognizes her tireless devotion to all things opera. This award is given by audition to opera students with high academic achievement.

Marilyn Curtis Vocal Prize
Local patron of the opera, Marilyn Curtis has created this scholarship to honor high quality students with artistic excellence. The winner is selected by audition and must demonstrate high academic achievement.

Manuel Esteban, Sr. Aspiring Tenor Scholarship
Manuel Esteban was president of California State University, Chico and established and named this scholarship in honor of his father, Manuel Esteban, Sr. His father was an exceptional tenor who would have liked to have sung professionally, but he had no formally education. The goal of this scholarship is to help recruit strong vocal talent to our university, and provide formal training to help students grow in their abilities.

James H. Kinnee Memorial Opera Scholarship
This scholarship was endowed in 1986 and is dedicated to students who are studying opera performance. The winner is selected by audition.

Andrea Lerner – Marshall Thompson Award
Established by Marshall Thompson, CEO of Adworks, and Andrea Lerner Thompson, English Department professor at CSU, Chico, this scholarship is dedicated to students in the vocal program. It was established in appreciation for the many productions offered by the Music Department and is awarded to students through audition.

William Wallace/Thomas Taylor Opera Award
This award is based on audition for students who are studying opera performance.

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Keyboard

Jane Bowman Jewett and John Svec Memorial Keyboard Award
This scholarship is funded in memory of two great supporters of keyboard music – Jane Bowman Jewett, mother of Dr. Robert Bowman, who taught Chico State piano and music students for more than 35 years, and John Svec, an outstanding piano technician who served CSU Chico Music Department for 16 years. The scholarship is awarded by audition to music students enrolled under the Keyboard Performance Option or the Certification Program in Keyboard Pedagogy.

Butte County Music Teachers’ Association of California 2nd Place Kruschke Prize
The Butte County Branch of the Music Teachers’ Association of California is proud to present the Butte County Branch of the Music Teachers’ Association of California Second Place Kruschke Prize to recognize an outstanding keyboard student and enhance the recipient’s education or career in classical music. The Butte County MTAC is proud to promote the advancement of standards in piano performance by awarding talented and aspiring pianists.

C. Robert Laxson Memorial Scholarship
This award honors the career of Dr. Robert Laxson, Professor of Music, for whom the largest auditorium on campus is named.  Bob's high standards of performance and continuing dedication to Chico's Performing Arts have left a lasting musical legacy to this community. This scholarship follows in that vein by awarding to a student in piano and/or music education. The winner is selected by audition.

E. Luella Lofgren Scholarship
Former Music Department faculty member Luella Lofgren dedicated this scholarship to a promising vocal major or a pianist. The award is based on audition and excellent academic achievement.

The Earl R. and Marilyn Ann Kruschke Prize in Piano Performance
The Kruschke Prize annually awards $2,000 to one outstanding keyboard student for the enhancement of the recipient’s education or career in classical music. Since the late Earl R. Kruschke and his wife Marilyn established the annual piano competition/audition more than $18,000 has been awarded to outstanding keyboard students.

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Music Education

Arvel V. Allread Memorial Music Scholarship
This scholarship honors the long-time band teacher at Durham High School and in many schools throughout Glenn County. Established by his family, this award memorializes a man for whom “music was life.” Mr. Allread was also well-known for his hobby of playing the euphonium in circus bands.  This award is for aspiring teachers with an instrumental emphasis for whom “life is music!”

Daniel Hiestand Music Education Scholarship
Dedicated to the memory of long-time director of Chico State Bands and much loved faculty member Daniel Hiestand, this award was endowed by his wife, Marilyn H. Hiestand, his family, colleagues, and former students in his memory. Recipient must be a member of the Music Educators National Conference, a member of the band, and selected by audition. We are deeply grateful to Mrs. Hiestand for her continuing interest and support of this scholarship and the Chico State Band.

Josh Read Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is created in memory of Josh Read, a multi-talented musician who played trumpet and bass while a student at Chico State. Following his graduation in 1999, Josh played in numerous bands and became active as well in the music industry. This scholarship is intended to recognize students with a similar passion for music performance and music education.

Professor Ruth Rowland-Taylor Scholarship
As a faculty member of the Music Department, Professor Rowland-Taylor was much loved by all who knew her. This scholarship was endowed by her husband to support students in music education who wish to strengthen elementary school singing programs and music appreciation classes. The winner is selected by audition.

Dorothy Wilson Music Education Scholarship
Dorothy was a longtime music education instructor at California State University, Chico who will be remembered for her passion for children and their essential spiritual development. She believed that “children are unique individuals with wisdom and a purpose deep within that need to be nurtured, nourished, and encouraged to emerge into the light.” This scholarship was created by her friends to honor her memory after she died in December 2007.

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Music Industry & Technology

Raymond Barker Recording Arts Scholarship
This scholarship supports student excellence in the recording arts, and was established to honor Raymond Barker who taught at Chico State for 37 years and founded the Music Department's Electronic Music Studio and Recording Arts program.

Dr. Barker was educated at CSU, Chico, where he earned his BA in Music, and at the University of Oregon where he was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition. He also studied electronic and computer music composition with Robert Moog and Donald Buchla, and composes for both traditional and electronic media. Barker also served as a faculty member and recording engineer at the Aspen Music Festival and Recording Arts Institute.

In 2010, during Dr. Barker's last semester at CSU, Chico, colleagues, alumni, friends and family donated to help establish this scholarship and to name the "Raymond Barker Recording Arts Studio" to forever honor and recognize his lifework at Chico State.

Deparment of Theatre

Department of Theatre Scholarships and Awards

Donna Stone Breed Memorial Scholarship
Donna Stone Breed was a much-loved faculty member of theatre who died in 1994. This memorial scholarship, awarded through audition, is supported by colleagues, family and friends, and former students, as well as the proceeds from the annual Donna Stone Breed One Acts.

Evelyn Riddell and Ada McKinney Music Scholarship
People who love the arts know how much scholarships mean to hard working students and this one is dedicated to students who perform. The award is based on competitive audition and is awarded rotationally to music theatre and music students.

Harlen Adams Scholarship
Named in honor of the late Professor Emeritus Harlen Adams, this scholarship recognizes his long and singular contributions to the University as a teacher and administrator. In his retirement, Adams continued to be a faithful supporter of theatre and never missed a performance. Students are selected by audition for this award.

Herbert Lewis Swan Award
This scholarship, awarded by audition, is given to full-time theatre majors who show academic achievement. The scholarship honors Mr. Swan, an amateur playwright, and was endowed by his son.

Larry Wismer Drama Scholarship
The late Professor Emeritus Larry Wismer endowed this scholarship to support students who study drama at CSU, Chico. He was a long-time faculty member who founded Court Theatre, and the Wismer Theatre honors his many contributions. Students are selected by audition.

Marilyn Warrens Musical Theatre Award
Alum Marilyn Warrens is a long-time patron of the arts at the University (and Chico) and one of CSU, Chico’s very special friends and supporters. She endowed this scholarship for students pursing a degree in musical theatre. Winners are selected by audition.

Musical Theatre Award
This performance award is based on audition for majors or minors in music, theatre, or musical theatre, and the winners are selected by faculty in the departments. Musical Theatre Dance Scholarship This scholarship was begun by alums who want to support current and future students. Winner is selected by audition and must perform in Theatre Department productions.

Pat Kopp Theatre Scholarship
This scholarship is intended to support a student with expressed interest in design – including costume, lighting, sound, and set. This scholarship was initiated in 2005 by the Department of Theatre to honor Pat Kopp, 36-year Chico State employee, co-founder of Court Theatre and founder and longtime director of University Public Events/Chico Performances. The scholarship is supported by Pat Kopp and many community theatre patrons who wished to honor Pat’s leadership and years of service to California State University, Chico.

Patricia & Larry Wismer Theatre Scholarship
This scholarship was established by Patricia Wismer to celebrate the legacy of the late Larry Wismer, Professor Emeritus, of the Department of Theatre at California State University, Chico. Larry’s tireless efforts and dedication helped the Department of Theatre advance to a new level of professional talent and prestige. Among many other accomplishments, in 1966 Larry Wismer was a founder of Court Theatre, a 39-year tradition at Chico State.

Theatre on the Ridge Theatre Scholarship
This scholarship recognizes outstanding theatre students performing in the Department of Theatre and may be given to more than one student each year. Recipients must be current students in the CSU, Chico Department of Theatre actively engaged in theatre department productions.

Vonnie Eastham Theatre Awards
This award was first established in 1976 to support student actors in Court Theatre, a summer repertory theatre program that closed in 2007. Thanks to longtime community support and box office revenue, this endowment now provides significant support to student recipients selected to participate in off-campus summer theatre learning experiences. The award honors the memory of Vonnie Eastham, a tireless volunteer and advocate for the university’s theatre program. Students are selected by audition for this award.

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