Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Doctor Eschbach

Doctor Jesse Eschbach has taught organ performance at the University of North Texas since 1986. He was influential in rebuilding the Auditorium's Moller organ and bringing the Bedient French Classical organ to the university. The Main Auditorium has benefited greatly from his efforts.

The lineage and biographies of all UNT organ professors will be included in the upcoming book about the Main Auditorium. Included below is Dr. Eschbach's biography, as presented in the book.

- - -

Eschbach is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he was a student of Robert Glasgow. He completed his formal education during a five-year residency in Paris as a student of Marie-Claire Alain, specializing in early French music in her conservatory class at Rueil-Malmaison where he was awarded both a Prix d’Excellence and a Prix de Virtuosité. As one of the very last students of the legendary Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier, he studied the complete organ works of her husband, Maurice Duruflé, as well as much of the French symphonic repertoire.

Since 1986, Eschbach has served on the faculty at the University of North Texas as the full-time Professor of Organ, instructing performance majors at all levels. His students have dominated the annual San Antonio competition since 1995 and have won prizes in national competitions as well. A very active performer until 1998, Eschbach has several CDs to his credit, including a disc recorded at the Cathédrale de Perpignan entitled “Music of the Second Empire and Beyond”, released in June, 2003.  Also released in 2003 was his 800+ page book, detailing the original stoplists of the majority of organs constructed by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, based extensively on the Lapresté collection. This research is still in progress, and an expanded second edition will be released in the next few years. The first edition received a very positive “feature review” in the March, 2007 issue of The American Organist. Likewise, his CD recorded on the 1857 Aristide Cavaillé-Coll organ in Perpignan consisting of works by Lemmens, Franck, Gigout, Fessy, Schubert, and Couturier garnered high praise in a February, 2007 review in The Diapason.

Recent tours have taken him to Poland and Italy. He has recently completed assignments adjudicating the preliminary rounds of the AGO National Competition, the Canadian International Organ Competition, and in April 2008, judged the finals of the Fort Wayne National Competition.

Due to focal dystonia in the right hand, his career was sidetracked for more than 10 years, but due to the efforts of Dorothy Taubman and Sheila Paige, he has resumed his performance career.

Eschbach has pursued his technical studies with the renowned Sheila Paige, Director of the Piano and Organ Wellness Clinic. Based on the work of Dorothy Taubman but recast to reflect her own advances in promoting healthy technique, Paige equips her students with technical ease, fluency, and facility based on historical ideas known to musicians since at least the beginning of the nineteenth century.  His work with Sheila Paige is now reflected in his own pedagogy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Main Auditorium Dedication Plague

Here is the Main Auditorium's dedication plaque, which is located on the right side of the front doors. The Auditorium housed the school's administration offices until 1956, when the new Administration building was completed. At this time, the school was called "North Texas State Teachers' College" or NTSTC.

The building's architects, C. H. Page, is still in business. They now have an office in Dallas, in addition to their Austin branch.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Classroom of the Main Auditorium in the 1960s

This is one of the few available photographs of a classroom in the Main Auditorium building, circa 1960s. The floor and room number are not given. Note the wood window frames and casement windows. The frames were painted at some undetermined point after this photograph was taken, and the windows were replaced sometime in the 1970s.

The identities of the people in this photograph are unknown.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Main Auditorium: From the Yucca

Here is a photograph from a copy of the UNT yearbook, the Yucca. It is from the 1930s. The old, casement windows are clearly visible in this photograph.