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A Legacy for Music and the Arts: Rosalie J. Coe Weir

Rosalie J. Coe Weir

Rosalie J. Coe Weir
(Photo by Helen B. Shepherd)

Rosalie J. Coe Weir, a longtime aficionado of opera, began her exceptional association with Manhattan School of Music (MSM) with a series of anonymous gifts. When Ms. Weir passed away in 2018, MSM was among the recipients of her extraordinary generosity through a bequest made in her will. We are pleased to share a tribute to Ms. Weir written by her close friend, Helen B. Shepherd.

Rosalie J. Coe Weir (March 7, 1930–June 30, 2018) was passionate about the arts, and music made her heart and soul soar! Her whole demeanor changed while listening to—absorbing and feeling—the music.

As the youngest child of three in a cultured New York and Cold Spring Harbor family, Rosalie was exposed to opera at a young age and enjoyed it throughout her life.

I don’t know when she first discovered Manhattan School of Music, but I can surmise that once having experienced first-hand, at small intimate gatherings, the quality of the musical education the school provides—Rosalie was inspired to contribute. She began with a series of donations to The Birgit Nilsson Scholarship Fund and, ultimately, to include the school in her will.

I believe she was impressed with the youth who found their talent and passion at an age when education could help shape and prepare them for success in their chosen discipline.

Although Rosalie had wonderful educational experiences at fine schools and travels around the world, she searched for years to find the art that best expressed her inner music. She finally found her craft in Wax Carving for Jewelry Making, taught at the YWCA on East 53rd Street in New York City.

This craft uses the Lost Wax Method to convert wax sculptural forms into any metal of your choosing. Rosalie chose silver and her wax figures represent all the rhythm and movement that music inspires. Looking at her sculptural figures is like seeing a ballet in silver with the symphony playing! She had incredible talent that complimented her sensitive and loving manner. Rosalie’s unstinting search to find the medium best suited to express her talents and inner passions is a lesson for all of us: Never give up the search.

Her generosity has transformed people’s lives for years while she contributed to the arts anonymously. Now everyone can sing her name, for in death her anonymous donations and endowments will be in her name.

We all thank our dear, modest and fiercely private Rosalie for her transformative and powerful gifts.

—Helen B. Shepherd

Share Your Love of Music and the Arts

There are many ways you, like Rosalie, can support MSM both today and after your lifetime. Contact Susan Madden at or 917-493-4115 to learn how.

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