ARS Tribute to Honor Late UA Alumnus

Arizona Repertory Singers
April 8, 2015

Jeffry Jahn (Photo: Chris Richards)

For decades, University of Arizona alumnus Jeffry Jahn's energy and passion for choral arts inspired his singers and audiences alike.

In honor of his memory, the Arizona Repertory Singers will present "How Can We Keep From Singing?," a concert featuring a nostalgic retrospective of Jahn's favorite choral works performed by ARS during his 25-year tenure as music director and conductor. Jahn died unexpectedly in February.

"Maestro Jahn was a very beloved conductor. I understand that he was passionate about choral music and his love of sharing it with others," said Elizabeth Schauer, associate director of choral activities and an associate professor at the UA's Fred Fox School of Music.

"My former students who encountered him were moved by him and drawn to him through his work," Schauer said. "Those who sang for him had a great connection with and appreciation of him.  I know he inspired his singers to love the masterworks of our art, and to aspire to bring their best to it."

The April 19 performance will be held at 3 p.m. at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd. Nadeen Jahn, Jahn's wife and the ARS interim music director, will conduct, and the concert will feature pieces that include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Laudate Pueri," Claude Debussy's "Trois Chansons" and Lorenz Hart's "Isn’t It Romantic."

The performance is free and open to the public as a gift to Tucson, honoring Jahn's belief that ARS sings for the public, not for itself. 

"Although we are profoundly heartbroken by his untimely death, we are immeasurably blessed by the many years that Jeffry graced our community as a musician, mentor, educator, composer, humorist and generous-hearted friend," said John Neve, president of the ARS board of directors.

"Jeffry's personal sentiment was 'life is a song that must be sung,' so it is only fitting that we honor his memory with a performance featuring his favorite pieces that we performed under his direction over the past 25 years," Neve said.

Jahn took the helm of ARS in 1990, shortly after earning his doctoral degree from the UA School of Music. He remained connected with his alma mater, often supporting students and also involving students and employees in ARS. 

ARS blossomed under his gifted musical direction; it became Tucson's premier vocal choral ensemble and developed one of the largest performing repertories in the nation, with more than 350 diverse pieces.

Jahn contributions to Tucson's music community also will be honored by his induction into the Tucson Musicians Museum as part of its grand-opening celebration, to be held Sunday. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild is expected to attend the ribbon cutting.

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