University of Arizona Department of Fine Arts

UA Music Professor Emeritus Maurice Skones Dies of Cancer

Friday, May 10, 2002 Tina Alvarez, News Services


    Professor emeritus and former Director of the Choral Activities, Maurice Skones, passed away in Tucson on May 2 from cancer. He was born in Havre, Montana on July 24, 1926.

    Skones joined the UA School of Music and Dance in 1981 as a visiting professor and was named director of choral activities in 1983. He retired in 1992, and also served as acting director of the School that year. In 1997, he returned to the School for three years to serve as director of choral activities.

    Skones was admired as a leading choral director and for his ability to build quality choral programs. He brought the School's choral programs to national and international prominence and acclaim. He founded the popular UA Faculty and Staff Choirs. Recognized as an eminent conductor, teacher, scholar, performer and musician, he received high critical acclaim for his performances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference. He was an inspiration to students, faculty and administrators at the University and served as guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician at more than 200 music festivals.

    Skones, who earned an A.Mus.D. in choral conducting in 1976 from the University of Arizona, earned his master of music at the Montana State University after completing his bachelor of arts in music at Concordia College.

    He is survived by his wife, Patricia; three children, Paul Skones, Karen Denmark and Janet Hitt; eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Leona Larson of Shelby, Montana, and Alice Brownfield of Worden, Montana.

    A memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14, at 3 p.m., at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 1949 East Helen Street, Tucson.

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