Jane Ellen


Shortly after completing double majors in music and religious studies, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, at the University of New Mexico, Jane Ellen began sharing her passion for music and history with New Mexico audiences.

Jane has been a popular, long-time instructor for Oasis-Albuquerque, offering classes in music history and appreciation, along with other entertainment-related subjects, for over 20 years. Her musical compositions were featured in a special concert in November 2014, entitled Oasis in the Desert: Music of Jane Ellen. In 2016, she was feted by a celebration honouring 20 years of service to the Institute, complete with an Albuquerque Mayoral Proclamation naming 18 February 2016 as Jane Ellen Day.

Jane was also a popular lecturer for eight years at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI @ UNM) at UNM-CE and other OLLI campuses. In November 2013 she was the first recipient of the Osher at UNM Instructor of the Year award. Regretfully, Jane's time as a solo instructor for Osher has come to an end, although she manages to team-teach the occasional class with OLLI rockstar Roberta (Bobbie) Boggess.

Throughout her speaking career Jane has given presentations to the International Anne Frank Foundation, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNM, Hadassah, Congregation Albert Sisterhood, Elderhostel at UNM, the Kiwanis Club, KHFM Radio Classical Café, the Irish-American Society, Albuquerque Genealogical Society, Albuquerque Newcomers' Club, and numerous other civic, social, and religious groups.

Jane's current lecture schedule can be found here: Schedule 2019



What People Are Saying

You really have a gift for presenting the lives and works of composers and recording artists and making us appreciate their achievements even more. I'm always struck by your perfectly chosen music tracks and gentle humor that make your lectures so engaging and far from dull!
Steve Ridlon, Albuquerque, NM

Jane's extraordinary depth of knowledge of musical composition makes her lectures fascinating. She describes the distinctions between musical genres in relation to rhythm, beat, key and note sequencing so even I can understand the differences. Jane's the 'real deal' if you want to know more about music from a true professional.
Carol Spitz, Albuquerque, NM

You did a superlative job with the class on Stan Kenton. It is always impressive to me that you are able to squeeze so much information, perspective, music, and indelible delight into your limited time with the class. Thank you for the detailed preparation. You are one of Oasis's brightest stars and a gift to us all!
Betty Whiton, Albuquerque, NM

When I retired 8 years ago, I began exploring ways to expand my horizons and learn new subjects at the same time. Some friends suggested that I look into taking classes which Jane Ellen offered through Oasis and Osher because, 'she REALLY knows her stuff'. That fall I signed up for 2 of these, and I have been an avid consumer ever since. She has enriched my life in so many ways - not only through the subjects she offers but the manner in which she presents them. Jane does an excellent job of gathering information, narrowing the scope, and presenting it in a factual, informative, and entertaining way - and she rarely, if ever, refers to notes. I have laughed, shed tears, learned, and been enchanted on subjects as diverse as Joan of Arc, Chopin, Paul Newman, Music of the Civil War, The Beatles, Route 66, Johann Bach, and Harry Belafonte - to name only a very few. Jane never fails to entertain, educate, surprise, and inform her audience. Her teaching ability is legendary, and the only time I feel regret is when the class is over!
Joanna Gilbert, Albuquerque, NM

What new superlatives can one come up with to describe Jane Ellen? They have all been taken. A passion for the subject and way beyond extensive knowledge makes for a great class.
Osher-UNM student, Albuquerque, NM

I followed everything that she said and understood the chain of events in developing the music historically. Wow, while listening to the first two chords of the last song of the presentation (a song I knew since childhood), I recognized the minor chord influence that I had never heard before, and the light of cultural recognition went on. Thank you, Jane, for the moment of clarity in both music and my culture; it means a lot!
Linda S, Albuquerque, NM

We thoroughly enjoyed Jane Ellen (what a fabulous speaker!) and were sorry that a previous commitment kept us from staying until the end. Boy, does Jane know her stuff! Very informative and entertaining.
Gary and Doug, Albuquerque, NM

Jane Ellen presented information in a really interesting way. I thought I really knew Broadway musicals, but her manner of presentation seemed so personal that I sat in the back of the room and laughed and wept and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Bonnie, Albuquerque, NM



Would you like Jane to speak to your group?

Email: jane.ellen.music@gmail.com