Forming this Scholarship

— “Their story of meeting at Sam is a delight!”

I would like to send a huge note of thanks to the SHSU Division of University Advancement for their help in creating this scholarship. Also, of course, to the Farisses for putting their seal of approval on our efforts. Their story of meeting at Sam is a delight! Sam Houston State Teacher’s College became “Sam Houston State College” in 1965, and finally became “Sam Houston State University” in 1969. Jack and Pat got to be a part of it in its earlier ‘heyday,’ and saw the key leadership of the music department arrive and prosper. The music program has seen incredible development since their time there. To all of the Pearland Band Alumni and Friends who are helping to fund the award, thank you for being such a tight knit and wonderful group of people, you will always be Jack and Pat’s “kids” according to the Farisses themselves. We will all keep our fingers crossed for the growth of the Jack and Pat Fariss Music Scholarship, and look forward to seeing it help students in their quest to become music educators. ~ Steve D. Matchett (M. Mus. SHSU ‘94 – PHS class of 1975)

Jack and Pat Fariss – Dec. 2019

From the Honorees, 30 Dec 2019:

“You have no idea how much something like this means to us. … Sharing our life and love with you was always such a pleasure. We never felt we were working because we were having so much fun. I don’t know if the students realize exactly how much pleasure and motivation you were to us and the dedication so many had that it simply kept us going. As I listen to the music you produced, I am always in awe of your performances and find it hard to believe that we were the leaders of such wonderful talent and so much hard work. …
With all our love and support,
Jack and Pat”

Making the Grade … and Then Some

Teamwork proved to be the driving force toward making our goal of a permanent scholarship endowment a reality—we are getting so close! The matching funds campaign set up by Jeff and Toni Slepak in December 2022 brought in $8,000!! $500 of that went to the upcoming award (school year 2023 – 24), and $7,500 went into the endowment fund. Along with Jeff and Toni’s $5,000, the campaign brought in a grand total of $13,000! We are now ever so close to our permanent goal of $25,000 as you all can see charted on the endowment status page here: We are now only $2,538 shy of fully funding the Endowment and creating this permanent legacy in the name of Jack and Pat Fariss at their Alma Mater Sam Houston State University. Please help us make it to that full funding. Any and every donation helps bring us closer.

Team Work Gets It Done

A Matching Contributions Challenge regarding the Jack and Pat Fariss Endowed Scholarship for Music Education at Sam Houston State University

To all our fellow friends of Jack and Pat Fariss:
In January, 2020 Pearland Band alumni and friends launched the Jack & Pat Fariss Scholarship at Sam Houston State–the Fariss’ alma mater–in order to honor these two great music educators who brought music and important life lessons into the lives of countless young people in the Pearland community.

The $1,000 annual award to a deserving music education student has been presented for three straight years now by the SHSU Music Scholarship Committee. To date, however, the funding has never reached the original goal of $25,000 which would make it a self-sustaining endowment.  Currently, we have a little over one-third of the funds needed to reach the self-sustaining level of $25,000.

To reinvigorate the project, Jeff & Toni Slepak (friends and colleagues of Jack & Pat in the 1980’s) have put out a Matching Challenge in order to build the fund to the self-sustaining level. Between now and February 15, 2023, they will MATCH up to $5,000 in new donations received by SHSU for the benefit of the Jack & Pat Fariss Music Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Just as they did with the Slepaks, the Farisses had a positive and lasting impact on colleagues and on generations of Pearland music students. We hope that each of you can do your part with a contribution to create a lasting legacy in their honor.

Donations are made directly to SHSU, and are tax deductible. Here’s how to give:

To contribute online go to: — In the “Gift Designation” dropdown menu select “Other.” Just below that, in the “Other” window, type “Jack and Pat Fariss Scholarship Endowment for Music Education.” Fill out the other blanks as required/desired. Click “Submit” at the bottom to finish up at the Payments page.

OR to mail in your donation, use the form found here.

We can make this happen!

Sticking With Tradition

“…creating the musical traditions for band students in the future.”

One of the great lessons we all learned from our experiences as members of ‘The Pride of Pearland’ was what tradition means to a community and to the school experience. This scholarship will hopefully play its own small part—a spark if you will—to creating the musical traditions for band students in the future. We all never know what the results of our efforts here can be, but if the future teachers we support through our humble efforts share their own love of music in the way it was shared with us, the world will be a richer place for it. Traditions matter…here’s to tradition—old and new.

Pearland Band Alumni—picking up their instruments again to perform at JAM with the BAND ‘21 night October 8, 2021. GO OILERS! (photo courtesy of the Pearland HS Band Facebook group)

The Excitement of Education

“The college experience for musicians is a rich one, and students look forward to giving their own future students as rich an experience as possible.”

The very first annual Jack and Pat Fariss Endowed Scholarship for Music Education has been awarded for the 2020-21 academic year by the School of Music scholarships committee at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. — It’s very exciting to think about how much this will do to support a student through their college career. In the music field, a “college career” involves the achieving of a high musical level in participation with one’s peers. The degree program that students follow includes not just high level music making, but also sharing in reaching out to public school students with performances and student teaching. What a college career does is generate a level of excitement and knowledge that college musicians will hold in their experience and then transmit to younger students as they start their own teaching career. Students gain knowledge about the art form itself through their various academics. Teaching skills are learned through instrumental methods class where students learn, hands on, how to play the other instruments which are not their own, and the newest techniques and music for school music programs. They take conducting techniques classes and get hands on experience conducting in front of musicians. The college experience for musicians is a rich one, and students look forward to giving their own future students as rich an experience as possible — An experience that many of us have had in our younger days, and that were, in many profound and many subtle ways, life changing. The arts matter, music matters… they matter in that they change us as people. They teach us that abstract thinking, emotional thinking and team effort are irreplaceable traits. We are honored that we, as donors to this scholarship, and in the name of two wonderful teachers, can keep these rich experiences going forward for others. Music school graduates will share their excitement and knowledge with hundreds or thousands of future students each, and will teach those students how to reach common goals together. ~ Steve D. Matchett (M. Mus. SHSU ‘94 – PHS class of 1975

College Band – An experience to remember.

Celebrating a Life Serving Young People

“…his energies and excitement for music education have not waned.”

As our scholarship dedicatee approaches his 80th birthday in late May I believe we can all learn from his example. The example that I’m talking about is the one that has come SINCE his retirement from Pearland ISD. After talking to Jack back in January at his home I realized very promptly that his energies and excitement for music education have not waned, as he has continued to judge and clinic bands. We’ve all known older adults who stay young by remaining in the fray and I sensed this was the case for our Mr. Fariss. If I can be half that involved with life entering my 9th decade I will consider myself very fortunate, and it’s something I would want for all my friends as well.

Jack Fariss pictured in the 1973 Gusher, aged 32 his 4th year at PHS


Given the circumstances in all of our lives right now, I know it’s hard to think about donating money. I’ve spoken with our Endowment Fund administrators at SHSU about something I’d like to do, and I hope you all might join me. If we decided to donate a minimum of $10 each, say before May 20, 2020 in anticipation of the 25th, the office would be happy to send a card with our names to Jack for his 80th birthday. The $10 minimum is what they ask for since the processing fees make lesser amounts little cost effective. Anyway, if you choose to donate just put in the “In honor of” space, “For Jack Fariss 80th birthday” and they will add your name to a birthday greeting from us. Use the online donation system or the forms on our ‘contributing’ page. Of Course be sure and designate the donation to the “Jack and Pat Fariss Endowment Fund for Music Education” as directed. A minimum donation will get you on our donors list on this site as well. Remember this is ultimately for the music education students at SHSU!

Everybody hang tight out there, look after each other, and stay in touch.

All the best!

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