UNT College of Music names undergraduate Presser Scholar

Monday, June 4, 2018 - 10:15

Ruth Mertens, a harp music performance student at UNT, has been named the 2018-19 Presser Scholar. Download the photo

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Ruth Mertens, a harp music performance student from Natchitoches, Louisiana, has been named the University of North Texas College of Music’s 2018-19 Presser Scholar and recipient of a $4,000 Presser scholarship.

The Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award is presented annually to a student entering his or her senior year who has shown extraordinary musical and academic accomplishments. The Presser award is considered the most prestigious undergraduate award in music at UNT and is provided by the Presser Foundation that awards annual scholarships, grants and funds for the furthering of music education and music in America.

“I am so excited and surprised,” Mertens said. “UNT has such an outstanding music school and so many of my fellow musicians are worthy of this award. It was an honor just to be nominated.”

The winner is nominated and selected by UNT music faculty. The scholarship has been awarded annually for more than six decades.

Jaymee Haefner, professor of harp who nominated Mertens for the scholarship, said, “In every opportunity, Ruth represents the best of the UNT College of Music and does so with poise and humility. Currently in her junior year, Ruth is preparing and performing repertoire which would be challenging for some doctoral students. In the summer of 2017, Ruth accompanied the UNT HarpBeats in their Hong Kong performance for the World Harp Congress which featured one of her arrangements. This summer, she will perform at Lyon and Healy Hall for the Summer Concert Series in Chicago with the other members of our harp studio. She is an exemplary student with many bright opportunities ahead and I’ve been so honored to work with her.”

Mertens said she credits Haefner for putting opportunities in her path to help her grow both as a musician and a scholar and that the scholarship will open doors for her to pursue a postgraduate degree.


About the Presser Foundation

The Presser Foundation was established in 1939 under the Deeds of Trust and Will of the late Theodore Presser. It is one of the few private foundations in the United States dedicated solely to music education and music philanthropy. It is their hope that every institution, organization and individual funded by The Presser Foundation will read about the rich history of The Foundation and the inspiring biography of Theodore Presser.


About the UNT College of Music

The UNT College of Music is one of the world’s largest and most respected comprehensive music schools. The college offers fully accredited degrees from the bachelor’s to doctoral levels and is home to the world's first jazz studies program. The music faculty is made up of internationally acclaimed artists and scholars in composition, conducting, ethnomusicology, music education, music history, music theory and performance. The College of Music enriches the community by producing more than 1,000 diverse concerts and recitals annually. Distinguished UNT music alumni can be found around the globe in impressive, award-winning careers across a wide-range of music professions. Visit the College of Music online calendar at http://music.unt.edu/calendar and connect with the College of Music on Facebook at Facebook.com/UNTCollegeofMusic and on Twitter at @UNTCoM.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Media Contacts:

Kris Muller
(940) 565-3509