Throughout the past year, the College of Music donor community has generously and tirelessly rallied behind the expansion of Imig Music Building by pulling together enough funding to secure a matching capital donation from the University of Colorado—and then some. Here, we recognize just a few of our supporters, whose gifts will result in the honorary naming of several of our new facilities.
In addition to the gifts below, an anonymous donor made a significant gift to name a space in honor of College of Music Advisory Board Chair Mikhy Ritter and music+ Campaign Chair Becky Roser. These are the finalized named spaces as of July 2019; more agreements could be forthcoming.
Barry and Sue Baer
Baer Teaching Assistants’ Office
Barry and Sue Baer are CU Boulder alumni and longtime supporters of the College of Music’s Adopt-a-Student program. After earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees at the university in the 1960s and 70s, the Baers never lost their deep ties to CU Boulder and moved back to the city in 2003, where they’ve been ever since. The couple is deeply involved in their temple and the CU Boulder Program in Jewish Studies. Loyal college donors since 2009, they also plan to create scholarships for vocal performance, choral music and choral conducting. The Baers’ gift names a teaching assistants’ office.
Gil and Nancy Berman
Berman Faculty and Staff Lounge
Longtime supporters of the College of Music and the Artist Series, the Bermans trace the genesis of their relationship back to a mutual love of classical music—and rock ‘n’ roll. Since meeting at a concert at LA’s famed Roxy Theatre in the 1980s, the pair have bonded over everyone from Chopin to Springsteen—and especially the late, great Tom Petty. Their gift names the new lounge in the expanded south wing in Petty’s memory. Read more about Gil and Nancy here.
Chris and Margot Brauchli
Berger Choral Faculty Studio
Boulder music mainstays Chris and Margot Brauchli met while they were students at the Aspen Music Festival and School and never looked back. While their professional paths have veered away from music, the pair have never been far removed from the world that brought them together, helping found the Boulder Bach Festival and serving on the board of the Boulder Philharmonic, to name just some pursuits. Now, the classical music champions have given a gift that names one of the new choral faculty studios in honor of former faculty composer Jean Berger. Read more about Chris and Margot here.
Schranz Practice Room
Pat Butler put down her violin—she thought for the last time—at the age of 16. Many years later, as she sat with her husband in the front row of one of the many Takács Quartet concerts the couple has attended, Butler had a change of heart. She began playing violin again, taking lessons and jumping feet first into a renewed life of music, and it was all inspired by the enthusiasm and passion exuded by then-second violinist Károly Schranz. Now, to thank Schranz—who retired from the quartet but still teaches at the College of Music—Butler’s gift names one of the eight new practice rooms in Imig for him.
Culver Practice Room
College of Music alumna and former University of Denver Lamont School of Music Director Anne Culver (BM ’59, PhD ’73) spent many hours practicing as a piano performance student in the 1950s—studying with such well-known former faculty as Storm Bull and Howard Waltz. Culver—pictured here with her brother and fellow CU Boulder alum Roger Mitchall (BA ’59)—says she spent more time in the practice room than most of her colleagues. That’s why she was happy to provide support for the new practice rooms being built at Imig—and to name one of them for her late husband, alumnus Richard A. Culver (BME, MME ’50). Read more about Anne here.
Kristina and Paul Eklund
Eklund Percussion Practice Room
Though their name is tied to the college’s Eklund Opera Program, opera is not the only genre of music that has moved Paul and Kristina Eklund throughout their lives. The heartbeat rhythm of pulsing drums has been a constant spiritual driver and source of strength and introspection for the couple, who wanted to show, with their gift to name a percussion practice room, that music students’ passions have support from the community—even from someone whom they may never have met. Read more about Paul and Kristina here.
Jonathan and Shari Fox
Fox Green Room
Music Advisory Board member Jonathan Fox has loved music ever since his mother—his first piano teacher—opened his ears to it. A member of the Golden Buffalo Marching Band during his time as a CU Boulder business student, he has fond memories of marching in the Orange Bowl in 1976. Shari, too, has always held music close in her heart, as both a flutist and a member of the traveling Continental Singers. The pair made their donation to name a green room on the first floor of the addition.
Dave Fulker and Nicky Wolman
Fulker/Wolman Percussion Faculty Studio
College of Music Advisory Board member Dave Fulker is active as a jazz trumpeter and has been involved with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra board for nearly 60 years, and Nicky Wolman is on the Boulder JCC’s Arts, Culture and Education Program Committee. The pair have been loyal supporters of the College of Music since 2012; Fulker was even a student at the college for two years before switching to a math major. Their gift names the new percussion faculty studio.
Gordon and Grace Gamm
Gamm Choral Faculty Studio
Regulars in the Boulder classical music and jazz scenes, Grace and Gordon Gamm have long been active supporters of CU Boulder. Grace serves on the College of Music Advisory Board; among other philanthropic ventures, the couple generously supported the renovation and expansion of the now-Grace Gamm and Gordon Gamm theatres in Boulder’s Dairy Arts Center. Lovers of impromptu piano-side sing-alongs, their gift names a new choral faculty studio. Read more about Gordon and Grace here.
Ben and Pattie Nelson
Nelson Practice Room
High school marching band sweethearts Ben and Pattie Nelson have a special place in their hearts for non-music majors at the College of Music. While Pattie (BME ’84, MME ’08) earned her music education degrees from the college and marched in the Golden Buffalo Marching Band, Ben himself was a member of marching band as he earned his engineering degree. Both of their daughters attended CU Boulder and performed in the Campus Orchestra—their eldest even helped form the ensemble. Now, the founders of the Jeffco Community Band have named one of the two non-major practice rooms to keep the tradition going. Read more about Ben and Pattie here.
Longtime Denver Public Schools music teacher, former Music Advisory Board member, consummate Colorado Symphony volunteer and 1965 College of Music graduate Frank Parce had one goal in mind when he made his gift to the college: Make sure every student has every opportunity to succeed at the life they are passionate about living. As a nod to the ever-increasing importance of counseling in a young musician’s life, the Denver native—who began his teaching career during the turbulent and revolutionary 1960s—gave his gift to name the academic services office in the new Imig. Sadly, Frank Parce passed away in May of this year, but the college is grateful that Parce Office can serve as a tribute to his passion for students, the community and music. Read more about Frank here.
Michele and Michael Ritter
Berrodin Music Education Office
Mike and Mikhy Ritter met as students at CU Boulder and have been loyal donors to the College of Music for more than 30 years. As chair of the Music Advisory Board, Mikhy has been instrumental in making the expanded Imig Music Building a reality, and she and Mike created the Ritter Family Classical Guitar Program with an endowment in 2014. Their latest gift names a music education faculty office in honor of Mikhy’s late grandmother, Anastasia Berrodin.
Peg and Chuck Rowe
Rowe Practice Room
Margaret Martin Steed was a violinist and avid supporter of community orchestras, theatre and opera. As a young violinist, she performed with the LA Junior Symphony, and later in life, she continued playing with another symphony and string quartet in San Diego. Peg and Chuck Rowe’s gift names one of the new practice rooms at Imig in Margaret’s memory. In addition, Peg and her daughter, Assistant Dean of Advancement Courtney Rowe (BA ’05) also established the Margaret Steed Memorial Graduate String Quartet Endowment to support the college’s graduate quartet-in-residence.
Daniel Sher and Boyce Reid Sher
Sher Piano Faculty Studio
The name “Sher” was practically synonymous with the College of Music at CU Boulder for 20 years, as Dean Emeritus Daniel Sher led the college from 1993 to 2013. In his time as dean, the college launched the Entrepreneurship Center for Music and the Musicians’ Wellness Program and added an addition to the east side of Imig Music Building. Now, Daniel Sher and his wife, Boyce Reid Sher, will cement their legacy with a gift to name the Sher Piano Faculty Studio. The Shers both know their way around the ivories, having played as a piano duo for many years around the world.
Jack and Jeannie Thompson
Benson Office of the Dean
CU Boulder alumni Jeannie and Jack Thompson have been supporters of the College of Music for more than 15 years. Their gift in 2013 to name the Thompson Jazz Studies Program created the first named academic program in CU Boulder history. This most recent gift names the new dean’s office in honor of recently retired University of Colorado President Bruce Benson and former First Lady Marcy Benson.