Supporting UBC Music

Alumni and donors are vital parts of the UBC School of Music. From attending concerts to supporting a scholarship, you enrich the experience of music students and help to make their careers possible. Read about our generous supporters and learn how you can get involved.


Our Supporters


Tom Lee Music

A student sits at the new grand piano in the Music, Art and Architecture Library (MAA). She has headphones on, concealing the sound, so all you hear is the tapping of keys, rhythmic patterns. It feels like a pre-concert ritual—the quiet excitement of something about to be born. The grand is one of five new pianos that Tom Lee Music provided to UBC this year. The pianos can be found at the Walter C. Koerner Library, David Lam Management Research Library, Woodward Library, and the Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre—the dental clinic.

Read “Calling All Music Lovers”


Photo: Takumi Hayashi/UBC

Photo: Takumi Hayashi/UBC

The Gift of Music

In March 2018, the School of Music unveiled one of the jewels of our instrument collection: a newly renovated double-manual harpsichord modeled on an 18th-century German original. A generous donation by Marlene Yemchuk, in honour of her son David Yemchuk (BSc’10), made the renovation possible.

Read “The Gift of Music”


Photo: Chris Pfahl, courtesy of Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Photo: Chris Pfahl, courtesy of Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. Elizabeth Lamberton

Musicologist Elizabeth Lamberton (MA’78, PhD’88) fondly recalls her time at UBC. She credits her inspiring professors with helping her to discover her own lifelong passion: teaching. Her interest in the development of young people and her appreciation for her alma mater led her to establish student scholarships in Musicology and Voice through a significant gift from her estate.

Elizabeth's story |  In Memoriam


Photo: Martin Dee

Photo: Martin Dee

Dr. Irene Bettinger

For Dr. Irene Bettinger, the job of giving away money is a privilege, as she gets to choose projects of great consequence in keeping with her parents’ final wishes.

Edwina and Paul Heller, a UBC pianist and BC lumber mill owner, were great supporters of music, education and Vancouver’s Jewish community. Having fled Europe shortly after the Nazi invasion of Poland, they settled in Vancouver. To build on her parents’ many contributions to the city, Dr. Bettinger decided to up the ante: In addition to existing scholarships, she allotted $710,000 from her parents’ estate to create UBC fellowships in opera, forestry and medicine.

Irene's story



Eleanor Gray

“I was totally surrounded by music growing up,” says Doug Gray (BA’67, LLB’77) who established the Eleanor Gray Memorial Scholarship in Music in honour of his mother. “Her whole life revolved around the joy of music. It had a dramatic positive impact on her life, her family, and the lives of others.”

Eleanor's story



Joseph Kandler

Since 1988, the Johann Strauss Foundation Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Scholarship has provided many UBC students with transformative experiences, thanks in large part to the efforts of the late Joseph Kandler. He dedicated his life to creating lasting links between Canada and Austria, and provided transformative artistic opportunities for emerging Canadian musicians.

Joseph's story



Elva Fitzpatrick Walters & Harold Walters

Elva and Harold expressed their commitment to music education by establishing the Kids Sing Chorus, a community choir for underprivileged children. They also created the Fitzpatrick Walters Scholarship in Music at UBC. Through annual donations and an estate gift to endow the scholarship the couple has helped more than 27 students to pursue careers in music education.

Elva & Harold's story



Marnie Carter

On her 75th birthday, Marnie Carter received a surprise gift: her family and friends had gathered together to establish a music scholarship in her name. As a vocal coach, pianist and singer, Carter understands the value of supporting students in pursuit of music education.

“When you think about all those people out there who are struggling to repay student loans, it’s sobering,” says Carter, who actively contributes to the scholarship.

Marnie's story



Maurice & Tamako Copithorne

Studying abroad can have immeasurable effects on students’ lives. Maurice (BA’54, LLB’55, LLD’02) and Tamako Copithorne understand firsthand the value of international learning experiences. As students from Canada and Japan, they met by participating in exchange programs.

The Copithornes wanted to provide UBC School of Music students with similarly inspiring opportunities and established a scholarship to support study abroad. They named it in honour of friends Joseph and Melitta Kandler as a tribute to the Kandlers’ commitment to music and to fostering enduring cultural and economic ties between Canada and Austria.

Maurice & Tamako's story | Read “A Life Dedicated to Cultural Exchange”



Roy Barnett

“I felt that the opportunity to fund the renewal of the Recital Hall was an exciting and very effective way to give back to the community,” Roy Barnett says of his gift to the School of Music.

Roy's story



Thank you for all that you do!

Your support makes a tremendous difference to our students as they pursue studies in music performance and scholarship. In their own words, here are a few of our recent scholarship winners:


Charlotte Beglinger

Tanaba Thorne Scholar


"The [Tanaba Thorne] scholarship will allow me to travel to the Czech Republic this July with UBC opera. There I will perform Cherubino (my dream role!) in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro."


Matthew Barrie

Fitzpatrick Walters Scholar


“I am incredibly thankful to the Fitzpatrick family for their support of the musical arts. . . not just for myself, but for the children and teens who show aptitude and promise in the public school system."


Nicholas Robson

Jim DeFina Scholar


“[It] was both a shock and a great honour. It is a confirmation that the bachelor’s degree program in music performance is exactly where I need to be, and that I am doing well on the path I am on."



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