It is with great sadness that Vanier College announces the passing of Robert Frederick Jones on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. A graduate of the New England Conservatory and Brandeis University, he moved to Montreal in 1972 and joined the faculty of the Music Department at Vanier College in 1976.
He was appreciated for his outstanding abilities as a choral conductor and composer of music with an intensely spiritual quality. In addition to being a composer and pedagogue, Robert Jones was a remarkable pianist, noted for his outstanding abilities as an improviser and accompanist. Prominent in the music community he influenced a large number of students.
Retrospective concerts devoted entirely to his works were presented by Vanier College in 1998 and 2007, and last year the Music Department commissioned a work from him La Terra Promessa, which was premiered during the 40th anniversary of the College.
To paraphrase a notice from the program of one of his concerts is perhaps one way of remembering him and his legacy: When an audience hears a work by Robert Frederick Jones, they remember the soaring melodies, the intense and personal atmosphere he creates, and the way he touches the heart.
His passing is a loss to us all. Our sympathies are extended to his wife and family, Nadia Turbide and his colleagues in the Vanier Music Department, and his current and former students.
To honour the late Robert Frederick Jones, his colleagues in the Music Department have established the Robert Frederick Jones Compostion Scholarship. If you wish to contribute to this scholarship, you may do so by cheque made out to the Vanier College Foundation or online here.