“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
“…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.
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.
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)
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”