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Wednesday, November 4, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 52


Campus Spotlight

About the Cougar

Organ professor retires after 35 years of service

Moores Music Notes

 Jason Caesar Consolacion

The Moores School of Music boasts a superb faculty of musicians from the Houston area, the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to say goodbye to some of our most beloved teachers -- those who have made an impact on us and those who have left their mark on the Moores School.

Robert Jones has been a faculty member at the Moores School of Music for 35 years. He is not only the professor of organ studies at the MSM, but he is a kind, supportive and warm friend of teachers and students alike.

Jones tentatively called it quits last May, agreeing to work on an on-call basis, but when the school unexpectedly accepted a large group of organ students for the Fall 1998 semester, he was asked to work a little more than anticipated.

This weekend, for reasons that were not disclosed, Jones officially retired from the Moores School of Music. His absence will surely be felt, and his kindness will surely be missed.

"He has a great musical gift," said Robert Brownlee, a Moores School piano professor and a colleague of Jones. "He is warm and kind, and he's one of the fastest talkers I've ever met."

Jones came to UH from Chicago to teach organ about 35 years ago. Before the Fine Arts Building was constructed, he taught in the A.D. Bruce Religion Center and held juries (final exams) there and at St. Philipis Presbyterian Church in the Galleria area.

When the Fine Arts Building was built in the early 1970s, Jones oversaw the construction of the Organ Recital Hall, which features an instrument imported from Europe. With the construction of the new organ, Jones was able to teach and hold juries on campus.

As an accompanist for churches and symphonies, Jones' credits include performing with St. Philip's Presbyterian Church and the Houston Symphony. Though he presented memorable recitals of contemporary music, his repertoire included many styles, from Baroque to classical.

Jones has built a major organ program at the Moores School of Music. While other schools' organ programs have gradually decreased, the Moores School of Music's has steadily increased.

He built a wonderful relationship with his students, supporting them emotionally, financially and any other way he could find. Jones even participated in organizing the School of Music graduatesi marches at various commencement ceremonies.

After a distinguished career in performing and teaching, Jones has decided to retire and settle down in Houston. He will probably devote more time to his hobby of collecting antique furniture, but will continue to support the Moores School of Music as he will oversee the rebuilding process of the organ in the Organ Recital Hall.

"Robert Jones has been the most loyal faculty member that I know at the Moores School of Music and the University of Houston," Moores School Director David Tomatz said. "He supports the programs academically and musically.

"He has earned the very deep respect of his students," Tomatz said. "With his retirement, he is completing a lifetime achievement."

Upcoming events

There are four events coming up this week that should accommodate lovers of all sorts of music. Clear your schedules for these upcoming events:

The Moores School Symphony Orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Moores Opera House. Masters conducting student Avlana Eisenberg will conduct the Overture from The Abduction from Seraglio by W.A. Mozart.

In addition, Steven Haff will conduct a world-premiere performance of Elegy for string orchestra by Stephen Shewan, and doctoral conducting student Clifton Evans will close the evening with Opus 93 from Beethovenis Symphony No. 8 in F Major.

At 6 p.m. Thursday in the Organ Recital Hall, the Moores Brass Quintet and organist Robert Brewer will present a faculty recital for organ and brass.

The group will perform pieces by MSM faculty members Robert Nelson and David Ashley White. They will also perform works by William Boyce, Giovanni Gabrielli and Richard Strauss.

Also Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Moores Opera House, Moores School faculty member and French horn player Nancy Goodearl will present a faculty recital.

Goodearl will be joined by guest artists Roger Kaza (French horn) and Patti Wolf (piano) to present a collage of solo and double horn works by composers such as Brahms, Reynolds, Hill and Strauss.

Admission for any of these recitals is $6 ($4 for students and seniors), and tickets are available at the door on the evening of the performance.

And finally, a free concert will be presented by AURA, the Moores School of Music's contemporary music ensemble, directed by Eric McIntyre. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Moores Opera House.

AURA will be performing works by several composers, including Steve Mackey's Physical Property for electric guitar and string quartet, Henryk Gorecki's Kleines Requiem fur ein Polka, as well as works by Kurtag, Part, Nehlybel and others.

For updated concert information, call (713) 743-3307. If you would like your recital announced, e-mail me all the information you wish to be published by 2 p.m. Monday, or fax it to my attention at (713) 743-5384.

Reach Consolacion at

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