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May 16 2017

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Roser Gift Renames Piano And Keyboard Department At CU Boulder

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Thompson. Eklund. Ritter. For the CU Boulder College of Music community, these are household names and reflect the generosity of Boulder community members and CU Boulder alumni who have endowed programs at the college.

Now, you can add the name Roser to that list.

Becky Roser

Becky Roser

Becky Roser, a longtime College of Music supporter and former chair of the Music Advisory Board, recently created a $2 million endowment, naming the keyboard area the Roser Piano and Keyboard Program. It’s a gift Roser says gets back to her roots.

“I’ve always loved piano,” she said. “My mom and dad bought me a piano back in 1951. I played that piano from the time I was young, and then my daughter Nicole played it, too.”

Roser, who now chairs the music+ campaign committee, wanted to help kick off the $50 million fundraising campaign with a gift whose influence would be felt well beyond the College of Music’s 2020 centennial.

“It makes me happy and it brings me joy to be able to do this,” she said. “An endowment goes on forever, and now more than ever, it’s important to have done this.”

The gift represents the latest in a series of shows of support from the Roser family to the CU Boulder campus. The Roser Visiting Artists Program brings artists, musicians, dancers and filmmakers to campus as guests. In 2009, the ATLAS Institute’s home on campus was named the Roser ATLAS Center in honor of a gift by Becky and her late husband Jim Roser.

Professor of Piano David Korevaar said he and his colleagues are honored Roser chose to support their work.

“She’s been such a friend of the college and the university,” Korevaar said. “It’s a wonderful feather in our cap. Having a named program gives us a nice status that translates outside the college. It’s a testament to the quality of what we do.”

“We are honored for keyboard to bear Becky’s name,” added Professor of Piano Andrew Cooperstock. “The piano is so important to her, and she has always been such a friend of the area. We are thrilled to have her emotional and financial support.”

Among the ideas faculty have discussed for the funding are increased scholarship support for students, a summer piano festival and more guest artist residencies throughout the year.

Roser, who last year led a fundraising campaign to refinish the pianos in Grusin Music Hall and the Chamber Hall, says the gift will also resonate across the other departments in the college.

“The piano traverses all areas,” Roser said. ”It’s pervasive in the education of all our students, whether they’re choral or instrumental or composition. So, in a way, this is helping everybody.”

On the heels of the public announcement of the college’s music+ campaign—which is already nearly halfway to its goal of $50 million raised toward program enhancements—Assistant Dean for Advancement Lissy Garrison said Roser’s gift is just one example of the supportive culture at the college.

“Music is like a family here,” Garrison says. “The four named programs we have are really partnerships. These partners are willing to invest not only their resources but their time and their love and their name.”

Feature photo credit: College of Music. (n.d.). Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://www.colorado.edu/music/

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