Melohn's gift supports UH Mānoa classical music performances for Hawai'i

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, UH Foundation
Posted: May 3, 2011

Ellen L. Melohn
Ellen L. Melohn
In honor of Ellen L. Melohn and her lifelong passion for classical music, her family has established the Melohn Music Endowment at the Department of Music, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. This fund will support classical music performances, inspire future classical musicians, and nurture and grow the community’s appreciation of classical music performances for years to come.

“Even hundreds of years later, classical music in its various forms continues to be part of the fabric of our culture — orchestras, chamber music, opera, choirs and more,” said Tom Bingham, dean, College of Arts and Humanities. He continued, “The fact that millions of children play instruments associated with classical music, such as piano and violin, means that this music speaks to them.” Bingham continued, “Look at the popularity of our local programs such as the Hawaii Opera Theatre and the Hawaiʻi Youth Symphony. Through this gift, we will be able to expand our programming to include new venues and guest artists, as well as increase our outreach to include parts of the communities that may have limited access to classical music across our state.”

Ellen Melohn graduated Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1950 with a dual major in Psychology and Economics. In 1959 she passed the Certified Public Accountant exam with the highest score in the nation and began practicing as a CPA in Philadelphia. Ellen moved to Honolulu with her husband William, her son and her parents Louise and George McClarin in 1968 where she joined KPMG Peat Marwick.

Over a 25 year career in Honolulu Ellen worked on some of the most complex individual, corporate, and estate tax issues for a number of high profile clients. She also served as the treasurer and a board member for the Hawai‘i Council on Culture and the Arts (later known as the Hawaiʻi Arts Council).

“Our family is proud to support the Music Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, in honor of my mother, Ellen Melohn,” said Bill Melohn, Ellen’s son. “With the establishment of this endowment, we hope to help train future generations of classical musicians, provide increased opportunities for them to perform in Hawai‘i, and expose a broader local audience to the joy of this timeless music.”

Ellen enjoyed swimming, the performing arts, and travel. William passed away in 2005 at the age of 79 and Ellen passed away a year later at the age of 80.

“Ellen Melohn was a lifelong, passionate advocate for the arts and culture. Even near the end of her life, music transformed her days and lifted her spirits, showing the power of music in her life,” said Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, UH Mānoa. She continued, “This endowment is such a wonderful way to memorialize a very special woman who played a pivotal role in nurturing the arts and culture in Hawai‘i.”

To support the Department of Music, please contact Lori Admiral, Director of Development, (808) 956-5747 or You can also make a gift online at  

Visit to view photos from the Melohn Music Endowment Reception on Sunday, April 17, 2011.