BYU creates music, family endowment

PROVO, Utah — The BYU School of Music announced a new endowment Oct. 25 in honor of Geraldine Swenson Watkins. The Endowment for Music and the Family will strengthen families with a variety of resources to help them enjoy music.

"This generous gift will bless many families for generations to come, and we are deeply grateful to the Watkins family for their support," said David Randall, director of the School of Music at BYU. "Our students and faculty look forward to working together to help families learn and enjoy music."

The endowment will assist families in a variety of ways, including Internet resources, music workshops and seminars on the BYU campus, research grants and creative projects to support music and the family, and broadcasts of music courses and appropriate family music.

Geraldine Swenson Watkins (1919-1981) provided an example of the powerful effect music can have in the home and family. Born in Montpelier, Idaho, she lived in Salt Lake City from 1937 to 1944, and then settled in New York for the rest of her life.

She studied at The Juilliard School and encouraged her eight children in music study and performance, which formed a strong family bond and created harmony in the home. She felt her life's mission was to prepare a new generation of musicians for the Church.