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Dumesnil Trust Endows Scholarship Fund


The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance has received a gift of $4.4 million from the Evangeline L. Dumesnil Trust to create the Maurice and Evangeline Dumesnil Endowed Scholarship Fund for music students.

For 22 years, the Evangeline L. Dumesnil Trust, from the estate of the Detroit-area singer-teacher-composer and her concert pianist husband, has awarded scholarships to SMTD students. During this time, more than 450 U-M students have been recognized as Dumesnil Scholars with more than $1.8 million in tuition support distributed. The Dumesnil trustees have now dissolved the trust and contributed its principal to an endowed fund that will provide, in perpetuity, significant scholarship support for generations of music students.

"We are enormously grateful for this gift of an endowed scholarship fund," said Christopher Kendall, dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. "With this permanent and reliable scholarship source, we can continue to support Dumensil scholars for many years into the future. The musical legacy of Evangeline and Maurice Dumesnil will live on through the artists and scholars who benefit from this fund to receive the finest music education available."

The gift to U-M from the Dumesnil Trust represents one-half of the Trust's principal; the other half was donated to Wayne State University's College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts in Detroit.

Evangeline Dumesnil (1896-1975), known professionally by her maiden name, Evangeline Lehman, was born and raised in Port Huron, Michigan and studied at Oberlin Conservatory and the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, France. She received her doctoral degree from the Detroit Institute of Art in 1940. She enjoyed an international career as a singer and pianist, performing on multiple continents, often with her husband Maurice Dumesnil. As a composer, Lehman wrote a number of works and was most celebrated for an oratorio titled St. Thereses de l'Enfant Jesus, which won the silver medal from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1933. She was also the recipient of France's Cross of Chevalier.

Maurice Dumesnil (1884-1974), who studied with Claude Debussy, had a celebrated career as a concert pianist in the early part of the 20th century and was also a conductor, arranger, and composer. He not only accompanied his wife during the height of her career, but also acted as her promoter. The couple married in 1931 and relocated to the U.S. in 1939 after France declared war on Germany. He became an American citizen in 1942 when they had a second marriage ceremony in Kansas City, Missouri. They lived in the Detroit area throughout their married life, residing in Highland Park, where Lehman taught out of a private studio. 



past news

September 2017
March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

Students Present "Wall-to-Wall Theatre Festival" 03/27/2014

First-Ever SMTD Chamber Music Competition Launches April 5 03/27/2014

Doctoral Fellow Named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year 03/26/2014

Theatre Student Lands Major TV Role 03/25/2014

Elizabeth Batiuk (ethnomusicology) has been chosen as a fellow at the Sweetland/Rackham Dissertation Writing Institute for spring 2014 and James McNally (ethnomusicology) received a summer and academic year FLAS for the study of Portuguese.    03/17/2014

Musicology graduate student Elizabeth McLain has been awarded a prestigious Lurcy Fellowship for research in France during the 2014-2015 academic year.   03/14/2014

December 2013

SMTD students Zoe Kumagai, Stephanie Aboukasm, and Adam DesJardins are among students profiled in an LSA article about the "Michigan in Washington" program, in which students intern at various Washington, DC organizations and businesses, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.    12/10/2013

October 2013
August 2013

Evan Zegiel, a sophomore who studies with Fritz Kaenzig, was the First Place winner in the Tuba Student division of the 2013 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium & Tuba Festival.     08/21/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

November 2011
August 2011
June 2011
Maurice and Evangeline Dumesnil, c. 1970 (photo from Evangeline Marie Lehman and Maurice Dumesnil papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)
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Two musical theatre students perform with New York Philharmonicmore

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower