Details announced for Zegree memorial service

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Stephen Zegree.

Steve Zegree

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Western Michigan University School of Music and the family of Dr. Stephen Zegree, in collaboration with Miller Auditorium, will present a celebration of Zegree's life at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 23, in Miller Auditorium. The event is open to the public.

The program will include performances by WMU's vocal jazz ensemble Gold Company; Nat Zegree, Steve's son; pianist/composer/arranger Phil Mattson; and the combined faculty of the Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Camp and the Phil Mattson Workshop. Several video and spoken tributes will be given by friends and colleagues, as well as Zegree's family. The program will close with Gold Company alumni performing Zegree's arrangements of  "Route 66"  and "Bridge over Troubled Water."

Steve Zegree

For 34 years, Zegree taught vocal jazz and piano at WMU, where he was the Bobby McFerrin Distinguished Professor of Music, He performed with the Western Jazz Quartet, and was the director of Gold Company. Under his direction, Gold Company and students in the program won more than 70 Student Music Awards from DownBeat magazine.

Under Zegree's leadership, Gold Company toured the world, bringing distinction to the University and the School of Music. The ensemble performed twice at the Music Educators National Conference, at numerous International Association for Jazz Education national conferences, the central division meetings of the American Choral Directors Association, the 1993 World Symposium on Choral Music and at Disney World.

During his life, Zegree performed as piano soloist with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Battle Creek Symphony, Kansas City Civic Orchestra and Kalamazoo Concert Band. He served on the Artistic Advisory Board of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and presented numerous recitals lectures, and presentations representing the Gilmore.

Zegree was a member of several honorary fraternities, including Pi Kappa Lambda, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Mu Alpha  Sinfonia. Zegree continued giving to WMU even after he retired, establishing the Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Endowed Scholarship. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution can do so through the WMU Foundation, 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5403.

Hotel blocks available

Blocks of hotel rooms for guests coming from out of town have been arranged at the TownePlace Suite by Marriott, (269) 353-1500, and the Holiday Inn, (269) 375-6000. Guests are encouraged to call the hotels directly and mention the Stephen Zegree Celebration of Life to receive a special rate.

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Longtime jazz educator Steve Zegree passes away at 61 | March 9, 2015
Memorial services set for longtime jazz educator Steve Zegree | April 16, 2015