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Nic Robbins wins 2024 Gallaher Memorial Music Award 

Nic Robbins HeadshotMorehead State University has named Nicholas “Nic” Robbins, a junior from Jenkins, the winner of the A. Frank and Bethel C. Gallaher Memorial Music Award. 

Robbins competed with fellow music students at the 37th Annual A. Frank and Bethel C. Gallaher Competition in April.  

The Gallaher Competition is named for the late businessman A. Frank Gallaher from Ashland and his wife, Bethel. They were parents of the late Dr. Christopher S. Gallaher (Class of 1962), former chair of MSU’s Department of Music. Gallaher earned a degree in music education/composition in 1962 from MSU. He went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. In 1972, he returned to MSU and taught until retirement in 2003.  

The competition challenges music students to excel in performance artistry. It is open to full-time students in their third year of study in the Department of Music, Theatre & Dance. The winning performer receives a $2,000 award and performs a piece from memory at the annual Celebration of Student Scholarship.  

While attending high school in Jenkins, Robbins participated in the KYVA Summer Winds and helped organize and participate in Saxophone Extravaganza, an event for Southeastern Kentucky saxophonists to perform chamber music.  

Robbins is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance-Saxophone. He is a member of the Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Winds Ensemble, and MoreSax. He has also participated in Concert Band, University Chorus, and Concert Choir. Robbins also performed in the Lockegee Saxophone Quartet and is currently in the Amburgey Saxophone Quartet. He performs locally in the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra.  

Robbins learned about the Gallaher Award while researching Morehead State University in high school. He said it feels good that his dedication to his craft as a musician is paying off. 

"I wanted to try to earn this award because of how challenging it would be. It is not easy to memorize ten minutes' worth of music, and saxophone repertoire, in particular, is quite difficult," Robbins said. "I thought it would push me in the right direction to become a better musician, and I'm happy to say that it did."  

To learn more about Morehead State's music programs, contact the Department of Music, Theatre & Dance at or 606-783-2473

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