The Mission of the Trust, in collaboration with UNM, is to support the music and musical legacy of John Donald Robb, to further his inspiring commitment to education, and to advance the understanding of music of the Southwest. »Learn more.




2015 Composers' Symposium

The 2015 John Donald Robb Composers' Symposium will bring composers Chen Yi and Christoph Maria Wagner to the University of New Mexico campus from March 22-26. Performances from Chatter, the UNM Wind Symphony, the UNM Children's Chorus and faculty from the UNM Department of Music will feature virtuosic transformations of folk song. The winning composition from the UNM John Donald Robb International Composers' Competition will be announced and performed during the symposium 



Luke Dahn Takes Competition Prize

Luke Dahn, Ph.D., a professor at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, has won the 2014 UNM John Donald Robb Composers’ Competition with his composition, Buffalo Dance, for alto saxophone and piano. Dahn will be on hand for a performance of the winning composition at the 44th Annual UNM John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium, which will take place from Sunday, March 22 through Wednesday, March 25, 2015 on the University of New Mexico campus.



Robb Hispanic Folk Music Book Re-published

Hispanic Folk Music of New Mexico and the Southwest: A Self-Portrait of a People, an exhaustive collection and study of 700 folk songs, has been re-published by University of New Mexico Press 34 years after its initial release in 1980. The highly respected book by John Donald Robb, compiled from his many years of recording these songs in the field, is available for purchase at local bookstores or online.



An Electronic Music Pioneer

John Donald Robb was in his 70s when he attended a seminar hosted by Bob Moog in upstate New York to learn more about a revolutionary new instrument, which came to be known as the Moog Synthesizer. Shortly thereafter he became one of the first to purchase the synthesizer, and set about to create a new body of electronic music. After years in storage, in 2013 Robb's Moog synthesizer was refurbished and is now being featured in concerts and used by students.



Accessible to the World

A recently completed project by the Robb Trust graduate assistants has made it easier to listen to and learn about the songs in the John Donald Robb Archive of Southwestern Music. Now you can listen to Robb's field recordings and view the melodies and lyrics, all on your own computer.

We invite you to check it out!



Perform John Donald Robb's Compositions

The John Donald Robb Musical Trust has more than 48 compositions that are ready to be performed. These compositions are divided into seven major areas: orchestral, chamber music, piano, organ, vocal, choral and opera. Recent additions include Robb's Requiem, and to celebrate the New Mexico Centennial, Song for New Mexico.


Experience the Music
View musical scores, photographs and listen to samples of John Donald Robb compositions.

Explore the extensive Robb archive of photographs, scores, performances of compositions and personal papers.

Field Recordings
Listen to nearly 3,000 folk songs and Native American chants collected by John Donald Robb during travels in the Southwest, Latin America and Nepal from 1941-1979.

Graduate Assistantship
Music graduate students are invited to apply for the John Donald Robb Graduate Music Assistantship.

The UNM Robb Musical Trust offers small grants for projects that advance its mission.

»More      »Write a Testimonial

The 2012 Composers' Symposium was a wonderful event with so much great new music to recommend it. Dean Robb left a wonderful legacy for new music. All aspects of the symposium were so well worked out. It was a heartfelt event...

-- Ruth Loman, Composer and Resident Scholar, Brandeis University