Last week, the music world learned of the loss of Himie Voxman, who passed away on November 22nd at the age of 99. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Mr. Voxman, he was a music educator, performer, editor, administrator, and benefactor. He was a major force in the music world, a driving force in the University of Iowa School of Music, and a great friend to musicians everywhere. He has influenced countless musicians and his contributions will be felt for generations. He will be sorely missed. The excerpt below is an excerpt from the Iowa City Press Citizen:
In 1929, Himie enrolled in the University of Iowa chemical engineering program and continued his study of the clarinet, playing in the University band and symphony orchestra and giving private lessons. In 1933, he received a B.S. degree with High Distinction in Chemical Engineering and then began graduate work in the psychology of music under Carl E. Seashore. After completing this M.A program in Psychology, Himie taught music in the Iowa City public schools, including Iowa City High School where he met and married Lois Wilcox, who was the string instrument teacher there. He encouraged his friend Pearl West, who taught woodwinds in Centerville, to move to Iowa City where West subsequently founded West Music, Inc.
Himie was the principal clarinetist in the Quad City Symphony for many years. In 1939 he joined the University of Iowa School of Music and served as its Director from 1954 until his retirement in 1980. During World War II, in addition to his music faculty duties, he taught mathematics in the V-12 US Naval Officer Candidate Program based in the South Quadrangle at the University of Iowa. Following World War II Himie’s substantial archival research in European libraries, sometimes in conjunction with his great friend Charles Eble, brought to light an extensive, invaluable list of previously unpublished 18th and 19th century wind solo and chamber music works, serving as the basis for many of his widely used publications. Selling in the millions, his various publications have met the instructional and professional needs of countless aspiring and professional musicians, young and old.
Voxman has received innumerable awards, citations, and honorary doctorates. Among them are the American Bandmasters Association’s Edwin Frank Goldman Memorial Citation, the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
In 1995 the University of Iowa School of Music building was renamed the Voxman Music Building in recognition of Himie’s vast influence in the field of music education.