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.




A Tale of Two Cellos

Tom McVeety remembers his mother and John Donald Robb playing cello in living-room string quartets at the McVeety home when he was a budding young cello player himself. Both Robb and McVeety went on to explore electronic music and now McVeety is studying composition at the University of New Mexico where he is the current Robb graduate assistant.



Robb Hispanic Folk Song 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, is being 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, will be available for purchase at local bookstores or online beginning March 1, 2014.



Composers' Competition Goes International

The 6th Biennial Composers' Competition has gone international! For the first time, composers from around the world are invited to compete for the $3,500 prize. Judging the competition will be the international panel of  Lee Hyla, Hilda Paredes and Chinary Ung. The winning competition will be performed during the 2015 John Donald Robb Composers' Symposium.
All entries must be received by October 1, 2014.



2014 Composers' Symposium

An unprecedented collaboration between internationally acclaimed Mexican and United States-based creative artists led the events at the 2014 UNM John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium. From the opening panel discussion to the closing concert at the Outpost Performance Space, the role the arts play in southwestern multicultural identity was examined, along with the effectiveness of the arts as a provocation and reflection upon contemporary social issues.



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.



Apply for a Grant

Every year, the John Donald Robb Musical Trust welcomes applications for grants up to $3,000 each. Grants are awarded for a broad range of projects, all of which are designed to support and promote the work of Robb, a highly respected 20th Century composer, music arranger/collector and pioneer in electronic music. The application deadline is March 1, and funding decisions will be made by May 1, 2014.



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!



Interested in Performing John Donald Robb's Compositions?

The John Donald Robb Musical Trust has more than four dozen 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

As a student at UNM between 1991 and 1996, my ears were opened to the magical music of the Southwest U.S. I did not know John Donald Robb personally, but I know that I benefited directly from his legacy. Thank you for keeping the music he valued so highly alive...

-- Tiffany Nicely, percussion teacher at SUNY Fredonia