CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa School of Music will induct alumnus Jeffrey Tower, ‘75, into the Jazz Hall of Fame posthumously on Friday, April 6, at a Jazz Band One concert, in Bengtson Auditorium, Russell Hall. Guest artist and critically acclaimed conductor, composer and arranger George Stone will appear at the concert as guest conductor as the final event of his residency at UNI.
Each year, the School of Music inducts one exceptional contributor from the UNI jazz community into the Hall of Fame. Tower will be recognized as a trombonist, lifelong music educator and arts advocate.
Jeffrey James Tower received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa and his Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance at the University of Redlands in California. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from Pacific Western University for his accomplishments in music education in 1985. Tower retired in 2008 after being the director of bands at Hemet High School in Hemet, California, for 30 years. Under his direction, the Hemet High School instrumental music program maintained a world-renowned reputation as one of the nation’s finest, appearing at the Rose Parade, the Aloha Bowl and the Montreux, Switzerland and Hollywood Bowl Playboy Jazz Festivals. Tower served as chairman of Summer Jazz Studies at the Idyllwild Arts Academy for 30 years. An educational specialist and trombone artist for Conn/Selmer Musical Instruments, Tower was also a member of the University of Northern Iowa School of Music Advisory Board and The American Band College Faculty. As a professional trombonist, Tower performed in all aspects of the music industry, including symphony orchestras, movie soundtracks, Broadway productions, TV commercials, recording projects and live shows. He performed with Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Bennett among others. Tower was selected as Outstanding Educator by World of Music Festivals, received the National Band Association’s Outstanding Jazz Educator Award, was inducted into the National Band Director’s Hall of Fame, received Downbeat Magazine's Jazz Education Achievement Award and The Sousa Legion of Honor. Tower was inducted into the California Jazz Hall of Fame in 2014. The son of David and Janette Tower from Greene, Iowa, Tower passed away on July 4, 2017.
George Stone has enjoyed a substantial career in music performance, composition, arranging and education for 30 years. He directs the Audio Technology Program and teaches Music Theory and Composition at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California. Born and raised in Newhall, Stone
was a product of the strong local music programs and teachers of the Santa Clarita Valley. He graduated from Hart High School and directed their instrumental music program for eight years. He received his degrees from Cal State University Northridge where he was a member of the renowned Jazz A-Band for whom he wrote extensively. By age 21 he was directing his own Los Angeles big band and writing for live shows and television, including the famed NBC Tonight Show Orchestra led by Doc Severinson. He has composed for NBC, HBO, Warner Brothers and Disney. He is also the composer of the most famous MIDI song of all time, “Trip Through the Grand Canyon” (Canyon.Mid), that was released on over 66 million copies of Microsoft Windows. Stone performs regularly on trumpet and piano, with compositions and arrangements released through publishers worldwide. With new compositions on LA trumpeter Wayne Bergeron’s newest CD Full Circle and the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, Stone remains active in creating exciting new music in the big band format. His recordings and published charts can be found at www.georgestonemusic.com.
The April 6 Jazz Band One concert and Hall of Fame induction is open to the public, but does require tickets. For tickets, call (319) 273-4849. For more information on the UNI Jazz Hall of Fame or School of Music events, contact Caroline Francis at 319-273-2028 or firstname.lastname@example.org.