In 2021, the Eric Larson Endowment handed out grants to UNM students who were studying music at the University of New Mexico.

Jeremiah Fernandez-Studying music education with an instrumental concentration and plans to graduate in the spring or 2023. Jeremiah says “Music has been an important and necessary part of my life.” He plans to pursue a career teaching elementary general music and is currently employed by Children’s Choice Child Care Services.

Wayne Ellis-Wayne is a producer and composer studying composition and the recorded arts.

In May, we launched our 35 for 35 Campaign. We are asking for our music community to donate $35.00 for the 35 years that the New Mexico Music Awards have been in existence. Our goal it to raise $60,000.00 to bring our endowment to over $100,000.00, enough to offer a much larger scholarship.

To donate online, go to https://www.unmfund.org/fund/eric-larson/ and make a donation in any amount.

You can also send a check or money order to:

Eric Larson Music Endowment
UNM Foundation
700 Lomas NE
Two Woodward Center
Albuquerque, NM 87102

For more about the UNM Foundation, go to https://www.unmfund.org/about/ All donations are tax deductible.

About the Eric Larson Endowment

Eric Larson was without question one of the most extraordinarily gifted, charismatic and influential recording engineers and producers of the 1970s-2000s and he lived right here in New Mexico. His career included work on and credits for a 2003 Grammy Award winning album “Flying Free” by Black Eagle, the Jemez Pueblo drum group who earned a 2003 Grammy for Best Native American Music Album. Eric served as the projects mastering engineer.

Eric co-founded the New Mexico Music Industry Coalition or “MIC Awards which evolved into the the New Mexico Music Awards, to honor and encourage New Mexico music recording artists.

Eric passed away in 2005 and in his honor, the Larson family and the New Mexico Music Awards established the Eric Larson Endowment at the University of New Mexico. The scholarship is for junior or senior students attending the University of New Mexico and are studying music or the recording arts.

Each year the Eric Larson Endowment through the UNM Foundation awards a scholarship to a junior or senior student who has declared music or the recorded arts as their main interest of study and maintains a 3.0 grade average. The New Mexico Music Awards donates annually to support that scholarship.

About Eric Larson

Eric Larson was a talented musician, songwriter, producer and sound engineer. He worked for many years in New Mexico, creating, engineering and producing advertising jingles and producing the incredible talent in New Mexico from his studio, Quincy Street Sound in Albuquerque.

Eric Larson would later become an adjunct faculty member at UNM. He taught the most sought after recording courses for the music department and an advanced digital course. Eric’s recording classes were so popular and in such demand that there were waiting lists for multiple semesters in advance.

As well as an extraordinary freelance engineer and producer, Eric was a composer. He wrote compositions ranging from classical to contemporary. He also served as music director at his church.

His talent touched everything from advertising jingles, to rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, to classical music including work recording the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, recording and producing Native American artists and music as well as acoustic and flamenco guitar recordings.

One of his most exceptional qualities was his amazing ability to reach into the very heart and soul of the artists he worked with and to capture the essence of their artistic abilities. The results of his efforts in the final product were always extraordinary.

In many respects, Eric Larson helped to shape the recording and music industry in New Mexico into what it is today. Thanks to Eric’s many contributions to the New Mexico music industry, there is a thriving annual music awards program and his course curriculum continues to be taught at UNM. Most importantly, his legacy lives on through the many artists, composers and recording engineers he mentored and produced.

About the New Mexico Music Awards

In 1987 Eric helped co-found the New Mexico Music Industry Coalition and created New Mexico’s MIC Awards program, the progenitor of today’s New Mexico Music Awards. Eric’s goal was to create quality through competition. Up to that time, musicians, producers, engineers did not collaborate with one another. In fact, studio owners and producers discouraged the practice believing that recording techniques or secrets might be compromised.

Eric on the other hand, shared information freely, often trying out new equipment and passing his recommendations on to other engineers. The result was a higher quality of recordings coming from recording studios across New Mexico. Studios, producers and engineers in New Mexico have gone on to win prestigious music industry awards including several Grammys.

In the program’s first year, 1988, there were only 68 entries and about 20 winners in as many categories. As the program grew, the number of musicians and the quality of the music increased tenfold. Today, the awards program gets an average of over 700 entries in 40 plus categories.

In addition, the New Mexico Music Awards program also produces education workshops for artists, songwriters and others including Therapeutic Songwriting Workshops for veterans and others dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress.