The Ray Delle Robbins Sponsorship program was created by the New Paltz Ballet Theatre, Inc. to provide dance sponsorships for those enrolled at the New Paltz School of Ballet.
The mission statement:
“It is the intent of the New Paltz Ballet Theatre, Inc. to recognize the contribution of artistic talent and love given to our productions by the incredibly gifted Ray Delle Robbins. Her vision from paper sketches to fabric to costume construction will continue to amaze our audiences for years to come. Ms. Robbins’ devotion to her art and her expertise in her craft are an inspiration to us all.”
Application for the Sponsorship is in early September.
On May 25, 2014 the Chalmers-Naumann family, the world of theatre, dance and the New Paltz Ballet family suffered a staggering loss, with the sudden passing of Ray Delle Robbins. She was like many of us a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a grandmother, a dear friend, but she was so much more. Ray Delle although an imposing woman in stature, was approachable and personable. You would not guess by talking with her what a creative power house she was, and the long resume of accomplishments she had to her name. Her tutus are worn by some of the biggest names in the dance world.
She was a noted and celebrated costume designer for the Houston Ballet Company, where Miss Lisa started her professional career, and then at TUTS the famous Theatre Under the Stars in Houston. But to the New Paltz Ballet family she was the person behind the costume book that magically appears every year in early January at the dance studio. The book, that young and older dancers clamor to get their hands on to see what beautiful and imaginative costumes they get to wear that year. Ray Delle was the magician behind all the beautiful costumes seen on the stage when the New Paltz School of Ballet produces their annual recital, and the breathtaking visuals of the productions of the New Paltz Ballet Theatre, such as the Nutcracker and Coppelia.
Ray Delle began her education as an art and drama major, but quickly realized she liked to eat more than she liked to perform so she earned her teaching certificate. After teaching school for seven years, she worked for 17 years with the Houston Ballet, and or the last 25 years, she has been the Costume Shop Manager at TUTS. In her free time (we are not sure when that was?) Ray Delle in addition to designing and sewing costumes for the New Paltz School of Ballet and for the New Paltz Ballet Theatre also found time to create things that brought her pleasure. Miss Lisa talks about her mom painting murals and oil paintings, she quilted the most amazing theme quilts (one for the Nutcracker of course!), she painted beer steins (Miss Lisa is not quite sure how that came about), and she also created beautiful porcelain dolls. Ray Delle was truly a renaissance woman.
We cannot express the extent of our pain and sorrow of such a loss, but we were so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with and the privilege to know such a star of the creative world.
The New Paltz Ballet Theatre is a 501(c)3 dance company, producing the annual Nutcracker for the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, and hosting educational outreach programs such as its annual Master Class Series and the Ray Delle Memorial Sponsorship for students of its official school, the New Paltz School of Ballet.
Serving Ulster, Dutchess, Orange Counties and the Hudson Valley.