As we honor the life of Dr. Steve Zegree, you are invited to leave your thoughts and remembrances. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to place your comments.

16 thoughts on “Remembrances

  1. Karen Shaw

    I am so very sad to hear of Steve’s passing, and I extend my deepest condolences to his family.
    As studio neighbors in MA for several years, we shared many moments of musical talk, and humorous exchanges as we
    encountered each other coming or going.
    Steve’s career was full of significant accomplishments, and his passing leaves me sad that one so talented, and with so much more to
    contribute is gone. We will all miss him very much.

  2. Darryl Lucas

    Thank you Dr. Zegree! You said last summer that my life would be ‘molecularly” changed from my experience at your camp, and it was. It was an honor to learn from you and I was very excited about the opportunity to learn more from you in the future. You will surely be missed. My condolences to the the Zegree family and friends from the Lucas family.

    Darryl Lucas

  3. Christopher Cole

    Dr. Zegree was the best a teacher can be: he was both a friend and a mentor, giving you the opportunity to forge your own path while reminding you that commitments made cannot be broken without consequence. The vocal jazz world would not be the same without him, and neither will we. But while we don’t have Steve’s intense passion here in his presence any longer, we have each other – a legacy of professionals, both musical and otherwise, who maintain the three Ds: dedication, discipline, and desire. Thanks, Dr. Z. Your legacy lives on.

  4. Emily Crocker

    We at Hal Leonard only just recently learned of Steve Zegree’s battle with cancer. His typical modest manner kept this knowledge from the wider world. There is little to say, except Steve was the sweetest man ever and a giant of an educator..

    We were privileged to publish his vocal jazz arrangements and his book “The Wow Factor.” We would need a U-Haul truck to remove the exclamation points and ellipses from that manuscript, but like Steve, it was effusive and full of wisdom and humor.

    Until the very end, Steve was thinking of others, sending me a birthday email, sending an update on a special student of mine now at IU, letting us know that we would be receiving his latest arrangement for publication “very soon”!

    In thinking about what to say today, I am reminded of the poem “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (1922-1941). Although about flight and flying, I think perhaps it could be related to the sonic flights of jazz, of which Steve was a master artist.

    “Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    – Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

    Requiescat in pace, friend.

  5. Leslie Hill

    Steve ignited my love of jazz as an undergrad at Western Michigan University in the 80’s. I remember fondly his passion and enthusiasm as a teacher. In my years as a music educator, I’ve used his wonderful arrangements to introduce my students to the likes of Johnny Mercer, Jerome Kern, and Harold Arlen. My condolences to the Zegree family, and to everyone in the music world who is feeling loss at Steve’s passing.

  6. Marci Mayer Eisen (Abby's mom)

    Heartbroken for the thousands of students he taught and inspired and the thousands more who will never know this great man. I’ve never seen anyone with more talent, passion, energy, kindness, professionalism and creativity combined. I even went out and bought his book The Wow Factor after I first saw him interact with the IU students. Grateful for the many gifts he gave my daughter and the other Singing Hoosiers 2012-14.

  7. Robert Hurley

    Very surprised to hear this news. Our son was in the Singing Hoosiers and I had the privilege of seeing one of the practices that Dr. Zegree conducted in the fall of 2012. A very talented man who will be missed by all I.U. lovers of music.

  8. Bobby Scharmann

    Dr. Zegree caught me off guard when we first worked together with his intense and passionate style of teaching. He had a very “in your face” way of leading an ensemble (in a good way…he always brought the best out of his students) and I really grew to like him, both as an educator and as a human being. Without his tireless efforts, relentlessly positive attitude, and mind-boggling professional network, IU’s newly-formed Vocal Jazz program may not have succeeded as well as it did right from the beginning.

    I will always cherish the opportunity he afforded me to perform in Jazz at Lincoln Center as a part of the NYC Jazz Festival. It was an honor and a privilege to share the stage with you, Steve. As you said… “I’ll get you to New York this time, but it’s YOUR responsibility to get back there next time!”

    You will be missed terribly, but the legacy you’ve left behind is, in my opinion, more of a cause for celebration. Thanks for everything you did in your time with us.

  9. Echo Lu

    I have only met Dr. Zegree twice. The first time was during my audition to The Singing Hoosiers in spring 2014, second time was at the call back of the same audition. Unlucky I did not make it to the finalist and did not have a opportunity to work with Dr. Zegree. He was such a passionate person who always has smiles on his face. During my audition I performed “Do Re Mi” and Dr. Zegree was very happy to hear it and laughed out when I was singing. He had a very strong hand shake, very warm. I should have auditioned one more time in the fall 2014 semester. Although I was graduating. So I could have had a chance to work with Dr. Zegree, such a great man and great musician. May him rest in peace.

  10. Olivia Maughan

    I feel so blessed to have been in the company of such a wonderful musician and man, even for such a short time. My two summers at the Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Camp were some of the most transformative and influential of my musical life. I will always remember something you said at camp; “This is not the dress rehearsal of your life.”– this has stuck with me over the years, reminding me to be grateful for each day and do my best, because you don’t get another chance! Thank you, Dr. Zegree, for your instruction and inspiration. You will be sorely missed. My deep condolances go out to the Zegree family. Thank you for touching our lives.

    Olivia Maughan

  11. Doug Taracuk

    I had the pleasure of getting to know Steve as a fraternity brother at Miami University. In my time in the Alpha Delta Phi house, I encountered brothers passionate about politics, business, art, athletics and the various aspects of social life in the early 1970s. No one had the passion and drive that “Z” had for music. I am happy to hear and read about all of the people that he has impacted since he left our little “Oz” at 22 South Campus in Oxford. He made the world a better place and that is all we can ask for during one’s life.

  12. Glenn Wheaton

    I was Steve’s first graduating senior in Piano Performance at Western Michigan University in 1983. I loved the man as he gave so much. He was demanding and exacting and told it like it was. I also loved him because he always gave me an “A”. Seriously though, he was a total master of music period. No matter if he was playing piano, teaching piano, arranging, choral conducting, whatever, you knew it was going to be simply great! I have fond memories of him eating his packed brown bag lunches during my lesson time. It was always healthy to eat. Usually included an apple and a sandwich. Rest in Peace Steve. Thank you so much for what you taught me. You not only taught me piano but countless life lessons that were so invaluable.

  13. Barbra Weidlein

    I met Steve at a JEN conference – he seemed to be playing hide and seek among the book displays. I had no idea who he was, but found myself magnetically attracted to his playfulness and charm, and his joy in simply being present. When I discovered he was the author of the books he was standing by (and knocking over) and then realized he was the vocal jazz guru I’d heard so much about, all I could do was smile. Sadly, I had planned on interviewing him about studying vocal jazz on the college level when I learned of his passing. But I’m confident his teachings will be passed on by those fortunate to have studied with him, and will continue to influence generations of musicians to come. May wonderful memories bring comfort to his family, friends, colleagues, and students.

  14. Jacalyn Goodman

    Little did we know, less than three years ago, how profoundly you would impact the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, it’s Jazz programming and of course, the beloved Singing Hoosiers and their proud families. Thank you for bringing delightful change, the powerful, rare Zegreeisms and music lessons you taught so many of us, and the smiles and joy you gave us simply by sharing your infectious passion and spirit. My prayers and sympathies are with your beautiful family now. Today, they gave us sweet glimpses of your personal life we will treasure forever. You must be one proud Son, Brother, Father, and Husband in Heaven. I am so grateful you touched my daughter’s and every Singing Hoosier’s life during your short stay in Bloomington. They and I will miss you forever until we meet again.

  15. James F Mothersbaugh Jr

    I have not seen Steve since he graduated from Miami, yet I am still overwhelmed by the news of his death which just came to me through “The Miamian,” the Miami University newsletter. I can truly say, I knew him when…when we were still in high school at different ends of the state but met and would see each other at Student Council leadership events across the state. When we sat together as freshman at Miami University in the back row of Winfred Cummings’ “Survey of Musical Styles” course, where he leaned over and corrected my spelling of Haydn’s name in my notes. When he was the first ever to ask me, are you related to these guys named Mothersbaugh from Akron? When I sat in the first violins of The University Orchestra as he soloed with us in Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto. I’m happy to have known Steve so long ago, and I grieve our loss.


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