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Jessie E Smith
July 20, 1924 ~ October 7, 2023 (age 99) 99 Years Old
1 Tree, Flower, or Condolence has been shared with support of Jessie's family - View on Tribute Wall
Born July 20, 1924 in Tacoma, Washington. Passed away on October 7, 2023.
His first employment, starting the day after high school graduation in 1942, was with the Air Force at the McChord Air Force Base, just outside Tacoma. This enabled him to be assigned to the U.S. Army Air Force when he was drafted for World War ll service on April 22, 1943.
He served overseas in Europe during WWll, from October 8, 1943 to October 8, 1945, serving in Englund, France, Belgium and Germany.
His college life began at the University of Puget Sound, in Tacoma, in January of 1946, and he wat graduated with Honors in June of 1950, earning the first Bachelor of Music Degree granted at the University of Puget Sound. He immediately enrolled in the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music for the summer of 1950, studying piano with Rosina Lhevinne, in her summer Master Classes. This led to enrollment in the Juilliard School of New York from September 1950 to June of 1951, when he left school to start employment with the Irving Trust Company, at One Wall Street, from 5:00pm to Midnight, from June 1591 until September of 1957. This enabled him to continue private piano study with first Muriel Kerr and then Alton Jones, both members of the Juilliard faculty. He later completed requirements for a Master’s Degree in Music from Teachers College of Columbia University, which was granted in June of 1967.
In September of 1957 he left Wall Street employment to start work at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, in both Music teaching and Administrative work. After one year he was assigned to direct the new Queensboro Branch of the Conservatory, where he taught piano and served as Registrar-in-Charge at the new branch.
He was made Vice President of the Conservatory in 1970 and Executive Directory in 1977, having as his responsibility the supervision of both the Brooklyn campus and the Queensboro Branch.
He retired in June of 1988, and lived in Ridge, in Eastern Long Island, teaching part-time at the Eastern Suffolk School of Music.
In January of 1991 he moved to Seal Rock, Oregon, where he resumed piano teaching, and became a member of the Oregon Music Teachers Association, services as Lincoln County President, and doing adjudicating for various Oregon musical organizations.
From 1998 to 2008 he led annual Music and Theater Tours to New York City, as benefits for the Oregon Coast Cultural Association. In 2005 he was Chairman of the Piano Fund of OCCA, and assisted in fundraising for the purchase of the present Steinway Concert Grand. When the time came for selection of the Steinway at the Steinway Factory, he assembled a committee of well-known New York pianists, including Contance Keene, of the Manhattan School of Music, to make the choice from a group of four new Steinway Concert Grands.