Robert Charles Scott, Ph.D. passed from this world on July 13, 2015 to join the celestial choir. Well, he probably picked up the baton to conduct the choir.
Born on July 23, 1935 in Wolf Lake, IN, to Robert Hudson Scott and Madeline Fowler Scott, Bob was raised in the suburbs of Chicago and knew he was destined for a career in music when at five years old learned he had perfect pitch. He was a singer, soloist, musician and director for 75 years.
He graduated with a bachelor's degree in music education from Knox College in Galesburg, IL in 1957 and sang professionally with the St. Louis Municipal Opera earning his Actors' Equity card.
He earned his master's degree in music literature and theory from Texas College of Arts and Industries and his Ph.D. in musical arts/performance from the University of Texas at Austin. His doctoral thesis was in French Opera.
In 1958, he met the love of his life, Patricia Darlene Long, in Salem, AR where both were teachers. After being drafted into the Army, he convinced Darlene to marry him in June of 1959 and their first son, Mark was born in 1960 in New Orleans where they were stationed. At the conclusion of his active duty during which he had initiated an Army Band, a parade was held in his honor. He was honorably discharged from the Army Reserves at the rank of First Lieutenant.
Starting music programs would be a recurring theme throughout his life.
The family relocated to Port Aransas, TX where Bob started the music program for Port Aransas ISD. He moved the family to Kingsville in 1963 to begin his university teaching career and to work on his master's degree. Their son Michael was born in 1964. Upon completion of his doctorate in Austin, he returned to Kingsville where he taught vocal music until he retired as a full professor in 2001.
In honor of his distinguished teaching career, Dr. Scott was honored by the Texas A & M System Board of Regents with the title of Professor Emeritus in 2010.
Dr. Scott was a teacher, mentor, coach, conductor and father figure to generations of music students at Texas A&I/Texas A&M Kingsville. Some of his students have sung on Broadway, in the Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, San Diego Light Opera, New York City Opera, Nashville Grand Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera.
On numerous occasions, Bob and Darlene are credited with not only teaching students, but making them a part of the family. Their table and their home has always been open to whoever needed a meal or a bed. Many spoken and unspoken words of appreciation have held the family up in the past months. To quote a dear family friend, "They took me in as one of their own."
Dr. Scott began the summer musical program in 1964 with a production of "Carousel" and the tradition continued every summer for 35 years. Mark and Michael Lee grew up in the wings of Jones Auditorium while Bob directed the musicals and Darlene sewed the costumes. A tireless promoter of the arts, he also introduced the community of Kingsville to countless operas, operettas and choral performances.
A lifelong Presbyterian, he served as music director at churches in Illinois, Arkansas and Texas. Bob and Darlene joined First Presbyterian Church in Kingsville in 1963 where he served as deacon and elder, choir director in the 1970's and 80's and for the past 30 years as the church organist. He served the church as a commissioner to Mission Presbytery and on the Committee of Ministry for many years. He also served as the choir director at Presbyterian Pan American School.
He was the director of countless musicals at the Little Theater in Corpus Christi and opened the Harbor Playhouse in 1976 with a production of "1776." He continued to direct musicals there until the mid-1980's.
He hosted a weekly opera show for many years on KEDT-FM, was a music critic for the Corpus Christi Caller Times, judge for the Metropolitan Opera auditions, and sang in many performances with the Corpus Christi Chorale, the Kingsville Chorale, the Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival. He most recently served on the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors.
Bob is survived by his wife of 56 years, Darlene. His family includes Mark and Carol Scott and their children Christopher and Alexandra of Corpus Christi, TX, Michael Lee Scott and partner Rob Flenniken of New York City, NY and Michael DePuydt and his wife Rhonda Neben of Seattle, WA. He is also survived by his brother James Albert Scott (Barbara) of Salem, AR and their family.
A celebration of his life will be held at 10 am on Saturday, July 18 at the First Presbyterian Church, 302 West Kleberg St., The Rev. Chuck Miller, officiating.
The family wishes to express profound thanks for the visits, kind words and prayers from many friends, former students and extended family. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to First Presbyterian Church of Kingsville.
Dr. Scott was my voice teacher, mentor, and friend for many years. I loved him with all my heart and will miss his voice, music, energy, and his humor. My condolences and prayers for his family on this great loss. I can already hear him singing!
Carolyn LacyBishop, TX
Please accept our deepest condolences to your family for the passing of Bob. He was a man that brought a ray of sunshine to those around him. We pray that your cherished memories of Bob ease the sadness of his loss to your family.
William and Beth IrishSan Antonio, TX
My condolences to the Scott Family on your loss. Dr. Scott was my teacher and mentor. He was a unique, vivacious and caring person. Heaven gained a beautiful voice.
Laney LopezWeslaco, TX
May Dr. Scott rest in peace ... while his family, friends, students, and colleagues celebrate his life and mourn his loss. God Bless the Scott family during this very tough time.
Brad HopkinsLaredo, Texas, TX