Cipriano Vigil is a 2019 New Mexico Music Commission Platinum Music Awards honoree. He has won several other prestigious awards. These include being honored as a Living Treasure, the Governor’s Award, the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities Award. Cipriano has been nominated three times for the National Heritage Award for outstanding work in maintaining and preserving traditional folk music.
He was born and raised in the small village of Chamisal, New Mexico. He received his baccalaureate degree in Music Education from Highlands University. Upon completion of his undergraduate work, he received a scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in Bilingual Education, also from Highlands University. Another scholarship followed from the Mexican government. In Mexico, he studied at the National Institute of Fine Arts where he obtained a second master’s degree in Ethnomusicology. While studying in Mexico, he would go to every and any place where music was played, including dance halls and bars. From these excursions, he absorbed the knowledge of many different styles of music.
He began his career as a professor at Northern New Mexico College in 1980, and retired from that institution in 2004. It was during this time that he also completed his doctorate in Ethnomusicology, which he received in 1988. This same year he became the Chairperson of the Fine Arts Department, a position he held for ten years. Because of his love for music and teaching, he continues to work at NNMC as a part time instructor in folk music. from http://www.newmexicomusic.org/2016/02/26/vigil-cipriano/