College of Music Signature Student Endowments

Private support for scholarships, fellowships and graduate assistantships plays an increasingly vital role as the Michigan State University College of Music competes for the very best and brightest students on a national and international scene. The significant financial support of individuals and organizations empowers the talents, abilities and scholarship of students, faculty and staff, and makes our community and the world a better place through the arts. 

The Clare S. Mackey Endowed Fund in Voice

The intent of this scholarship is to enable the MSU College of Music Voice faculty to recruit and retain voice performance majors of the highest quality, with a focus placed on funding a graduate student through a teaching or research assistantship. This award may be renewed, contingent upon continued and growing excellence in vocal performance and academic achievement. While not the primary intent, if there is an unusual opportunity to recruit an undergraduate vocal performance major of exceptional quality, these funds may support an outstanding undergraduate student in a given year.  

The Clare S. Mackey Endowed Fund in Voice was established in 2006 in honor of Clare S. Mackey, recognizing her life-long professional accomplishments, her love of music, and her commitment to the musical arts. An accomplished singer and flutist, Clare Mackey earned a B.S. (with highest honors) and M.S. in Music Education, both in 1955 from the University of Illinois, and taught music in the public schools. Subsequently, she earned a Master of Music in Voice at Michigan State University in 1987. Clare Mackey has been a tireless supporter of vocal arts on the MSU campus and in the broader community. She has been a vocal soloist in the mid-Michigan area, a founding member of the MSU Choral Union, and was the alto soloist at The Peoples Church of East Lansing for 16 years. An active proponent of the arts, Clare Mackey has been an effective liaison between the Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the College of Music, facilitating a talented group of pre-concert speakers. In her role as First Lady of Michigan State University, Clare Mackey together with her husband, Cecil Mackey – MSU’s 16th president, provided strong and supportive leadership that enabled the musical arts to thrive at Michigan State University.

Photo: Clare S. Mackey Endowed Fund in Voice recipients pose for a photo with Clare and Cecil Mackey after a special concert honoring their contribution Sept. 28, 2014. Students shown left to right: Josh Baum, Anne Marie Theis, Eric Brysien Beer, Pia Broden-Williams, John Riesen, Gedeane Graham.


Jonathan Walker-Vankuren, MM Performance

Steve Martin, DMA Performance
Schyler Sheltrown, MM Performance

Gedeane Graham, Performance

2012-13 and 2013-14
John Riesen, MM Performance

Eric Brysien Beer, BM Performance

Anne Marie Theis, BM Performance

2008-09 and 2010-11
Josh Baum, DMA Performance

Pia Broden-Williams, MM Performance

Recent News: Mackey Scholars

Joshua Baum, tenor, DMA 2011
Earned apprenticeships at San Francisco Merola program (Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress) and Chautauqua Opera (Outstanding Apprentice Award). Was a MET regional finalist twice and district winner once. Took leading tenor roles with several regional opera companies. Was the national finalist in Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation competition, and a former faculty member at Grand Valley State and Aurora University. Currently freelancing.

Anne Marie Theis, soprano, BM 2014
Awarded a GA with fellowship at Indiana University. Sang Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus at Indiana University and just completed her MM.

Brysien Beer, tenor, current BM student
Sang a recital with pianist John Wustman in 2013. Was a finalist in 2013 African-American Emerging Artist Competition. Has appeared in Rigoletto and Porgy and Bess with Opera Grand Rapids. 

John Riesen, tenor, BM, MM 2014
Completed two years as apprentice with Shreveport Opera (sang Ralph in H.M.S. Pinafore). Scheduled upcoming performances with Shreveport Opera (Rodolfo in La Boheme), Tri-Cities Opera (Alfredo in La Traviata), Opera Columbus, Texarkana Symphony, and Pensacola Opera (Young Artist Program). Apprentice at Chautauquau (Outstanding Apprentice Award; sang Lenski in Eugene Onegin). Placed 2nd in two prominent vocal competitions: Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition and William C. Byrd Vocal Competition. Was a MET regional finalist twice and recipient of MET Young Artist Encouragement Award. Finalist in Birmingham Opera and Columbus Opera competitions.

Gedeane Graham, mezzo soprano, MM 2016
Young Artist with Utah Festival Opera, summer 2016. Is enrolled in artist diploma program at Indiana University with significant fellowship support.

Schyler Sheltrown, soprano, BM, MM 2016
A first place winner of the National Opera Association Argento Scholarship Competition in 2014. Recipient of MET Young Artist Encouragement Award in 2016.

Steve Martin, tenor, BM, MM, current DMA student
Apprentice at Santa Fe Opera, summer 2016. Winner of two MET district competitions and finalist in MET regional competition twice. Recipient of three MET Young Artist Encouragement Awards. Sang Jean-Valjean in Meadowbrook Festival professional production of Les Miserables.