Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Death of Tom Jones, Former Clarinetist and Conductor of Afro-American Chamber Music Society Orchestra

[Tom Jones]

Janise White is a Professor of Music at West Los Angeles College, and is Founder and Conductor of the Afro-American Chamber Music Society Orchestra. She tells AfriClassical of the passing of the former clarinetist and conductor of the Orchestra, Tom Jones:

Dear Friends,

We are deeply saddened to announce the sudden and tragic passing of our former clarinetist and conductor of the Afro-American Chamber Music Society Orchestra, Tom Jones.

Tom Jones shared his expertise in orchestrating and performance with the orchestra consistently for over two decades replacing the late, Bill Green and Marcus Eley, clarinetists. He was a consummate music historian and clarinetist as a graduate of Indiana University (M.M.). From New Orleans he became the young clarinet student of Robert Marcellus, and later furthered his clarinet studies at the Cleveland Institute (B.M.) with Bernard Portnoy and Ron DeKant. Tom studied conducting with James Levine of the Metropolitan Opera at the Curtis Institute.

During his music career, Tom performed with the New Orleans Symphony, American Wind Symphony, Boston Symphony, Inglewood Philharmonic, Los Angeles Repertory Orchestra, New Valley Symphony and the Middle Eastern Orchestra of Culver City. In October of 1993, Tom introduced the AACMS orchestra to Professor John Price of Tuskegee University who quickly forwarded the orchestra score and parts for Scherzo For Clarinet. This resulted in a west coast premiere of the work performed by Tom Jones. Tom served as conductor of AACMS from 2006 to 2009. He concurrently pursued a successful career as a Computer Programmer for Boeing in El Segundo, California.

I will announce the day of the funeral on which I hope everyone will come out and support his daughter, Gina, my former voice student at West Los Angeles College. I am asking that we prepare a performance of Danse Nègre by Samuel Coleridge Taylor, a piece Tom enjoyed conducting and also a piece which he fully orchestrated along with Dwayne Smith.”

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