School of Music Receives Gift Fund

The School of Music at the University of Illinois is pleased to announce a new gift fund to honor the memory of Nick Rudd that advances programming of the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music. A beloved figure of Champaign-Urbana’s music community, guitarist Nick Rudd’s joy of improvised music, the jazz avant-garde, progressive rock, and music traditions of the world will be celebrated in annual concerts billed “Nick Rudd Music Experience.”

The first event to be supported by this fund will be held on a Spring 2021 date acknowledging the first anniversary of Rudd’s passing on May 4, 2020. Jason Finkelman, curator of music programming for the center states, “we are aiming to offer the first concert as a memorial event for Nick, something the COVID-19 pandemic kept from happening, followed by annual concerts every Fall semester which celebrate his legacy around his October 19th birthday.”

Generously initiated by Rudd’s surviving wife Gina Manola and stepson Townes Durbin, the fund was established with the goal of reaching endowment levels to ensure this series becomes an ongoing and permanent part of the music culture of our campus and community. Manola adds, “Nick was an enthusiastic fan of Sudden Sound concerts and of the international music presented by the Center for World Music, so supporting these areas of programming in his memory is very meaningful.”

Anyone who would like to contribute to the Nick Rudd Music Fund, please contact David Allen, advancement director for the School of Music, or contribute directly online at by typing “Rudd” in the search field.

In addition to the Nick Rudd Music Fund for the School of Music, additional funds were established to support the Urbana Free Library and the Community Center for the Arts (C4A) in Urbana.

Visit to learn more about Nick and the impact he had on the CU music community.

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