Mollie Jamison / Staff Writer
The College of Music will honor former UNT professors Bob Rogers and Harold Heiberg by dedicating its fall faculty and guest piano concerts to them.
Both died this summer at the age of 91.
“They were both a big part of my life,” said chair of keyboard studies Steven Harlos. “Both were very kind to me when I first joined the faculty some 30 years ago. I’ve known them that long. Coming as a new faculty member and kind of trying to figure out what to do, they gave me lots of good advice and encouragement and support. They were really like fathers to me, in different ways.”
The second concert of the 11-part series will take place at 8 p.m. today in Kenton Hall in the Music Building. The Dan Haerle Quartet will perform both standard and jazz originals. The performance is free and open to the public.
Rogers was a Professor Emeritus of Music and a UNT alumnus. He taught piano pedagogy and applied piano from 1948 to 1984 and served as assistant dean in the College of Music from 1969 to 1975. He died May 14 and is survived by his wife Daisy, who has volunteered at UNT since 1951. They were married for 68 years.
“I think it’s a very well-deserved honor and I appreciate it very much,” Daisy said. “He has given a lot of his life to the service of North Texas. It’s been a very wonderful place for us to have been all these years. He loved his job because he got to work with these fine young people and send them out to use their talent to the best of their ability.”
Harlos said that Rogers and his wife Daisy had him over for dinner when he first joined the UNT staff.
“We’ve kept up our relationship over the years,” he said. “He’s always very interested in what I’m doing and I miss him. Bob was very active after his retirement and involved with volunteer work and did tremendous things in the community. He was very active, until the very end.”
Heiberg was also a Professor Emeritus of Music. He joined the UNT faculty in 1971 as a vocal coach. He received the UNT Citation for Distinguished Service in 1989 and the UNT J.H. Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000. Heiberg retired from UNT in 2004 and died June 17.
“I met him when I came for my interview, so that was almost 32 years ago,” Harlos said. “He was always a role model for me of what a faculty member should be, what a musician should be, what a human being should be.”
Dan Haerle is a Professor of Emeritus of the Jazz Studies Program and taught at UNT until 2011. Haerle studied classical piano with Rogers before changing his major to composition a year later. Even then, he and Rogers continued to keep in touch.
“Bob and I had a relationship as good friends for many years,” Haerle said. “He would occasionally borrow an electric piano for a job he was playing. He’s an excellent musician and a great teacher. Those kind of people make an impact.”
Haerle was also friends with Heiberg and said they attended several operas together.
“I’m very pleased to be a part of it because they were such great musicians and great friends,” Haerle said.
Harlos said that because of the contributions both men made, it’s appropriate that the College of Music remembers them in this way.
“I love them both,” he said. “It was more than just a professional [relationship], they were just great people. Love is part of it. I think the students feel the same way.”
A full list of the fall faculty and guest piano concerts can be found online at music.unt.edu/calendar.
Feature photo courtesy Heiberg’s facebook