Recital to honor the memory of former professor

Jenna Gerling

Music of Schumann, Wolf to be performed

A song recital in memory of Professor Emeritus James Waters, who died of cancer on July 26, 2006, will be performed by Boyd Mackus and pianist David Holkeboer Jan. 21. Waters was a professor of music theory and composition at the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music.

Mackus, a baritone singer, is a former voice professor at the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music. He performed a recital every autumn with Waters.


What: Song recital by baritone Boyd Mackus and pianist David Holkeboer in memory of Professor Emeritus James L. Waters

When: 3 p.m., Jan. 21

Where: Ludwig Recital Hall in the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music

Cost: This recital is free and open to the public, but a suggested donation of $10 per person will benefit the School of Music Scholarship Fund. Donations may be made at the door the day of the recital, or by calling (330) 672-4741.

Source: Information provided by Ann Waters.

“We probably did around 130 songs over … six years, and this program that we are doing for Jim was the exact program we did in October of 1979, which is an all-German program,” Mackus said. “He was a fairly quiet man and a very talented musician, and I know that these collaborations we had were really important to him. I think I was less aware of how important to him it was at the time.”

For this recital, Mackus and Holkboer will be performing music by some of Waters’ favorite composers: Schumann, Schubert, Strauss and Wolf.

“This music with a voice and piano was some of his most important music, and he played the music with a lot of passion — he was not only all about the meaning of the music, but the poetry of it as well,” Mackus said.

One of the most memorable times he had with Waters, he said, was when they were invited to perform during the Cleveland Museum of Art’s artist series.

“One week before the performance, he cut one of his fingers with a knife and he had to have stitches in it, and Jim said he’d just re-finger the whole thing,” he said. “I thought we were going to have to cancel the performance, but just as he said, he re-fingered the whole recital so that he could play it with only nine fingers. It was smashing — he really made it work.”

Professor Emeritus Walter Watson, former director of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music, will be saying a few words on behalf of Waters.

“One of the things, when you’re as closely in contact with a person as we have been over the years, it’s hard not to say all of the things that we’ve shared,” Watson said.

“It’s a fitting tribute,” Watson said. “For a musician, I think this is a meaningful way to be remembered.”

Ann Waters, Kent Classic Arts coordinator and former wife of Waters, said,

“We thought the memorial recital was a lovely idea because he was so involved with singers most of his life.”

“He’s remembered in a way that was important to him. He enjoyed playing this vocal repertoire, and he had done it for much of his performing life and this is a great way to acknowledge that.”

Contact features correspondent Jenna Gerling at [email protected].