Rotary Club Announces 2020 Deborah Beene Memorial Music Performance Awards

Jackson Bell, DBeene 2020Trombonist Jackson Bell/Courtesy photo

Ursula Coe, DBeene 2020Cellist Ursula Coe/Courtesy photo

Eleanor Henderson, DBeene 2020Soprano Eleanor Henderson/Courtesy photo


The Rotary Club of Los Alamos recently held auditions for the annual Deborah Beene Memorial Music Performance Awards, the first time in its history that awards were determined based on performances submitted on audio-visual recordings.

The award was established in the memory of Deborah Beene, daughter of Donald and Sara Beene, a violin and piano student who died in December 1972 while enrolled in school here. 

The award is intended to assist 9th -12th grade Los Alamos High School students in their musical growth. The students receiving the award are asked to use the money for fees to attend a music camp, for college or university music expenses, for the purchase of a better instrument, or for tuition for private music instruction.  As in this year, multiple awards are often given.

This year’s winners, each awarded $1000, are:

  • Jackson Bell, trombonist, performing the solo introduction of Gordon Jacob’s Trombone Concerto.  His teacher is Ryan Finn.
  • Ursula Coe, cellist, performing David Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody, accompanied by pianist Yelena Mealy. Her teacher is Dana Winograd.
  • Eleanor Henderson, soprano, performing three songs from popular musicals, accompanied by pianist Paul Roth. Her teacher is Kathleen Clawson.

The awards committee included three local professional musicians: Cindy Little, pianist and winner of the 1978 Deborah Beene competition, Kay Newnam, violinist, and Rotarian Brian Newnam, violinist/violist.

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos sincerely thanks this year’s competitors and their families for their support of music and stellar student performances.