“I think we all have a responsibility to pay back—and to pay forward! I owe so much to the University of Iowa, and specifically to the School of Music, and I believe I have an obligation to help the school in any way I can.”

“I think we all have a responsibility to pay back—and to pay forward! I owe so much to the University of Iowa, and specifically to the School of Music, and I believe I have an obligation to help the school in any way I can. I have spent my entire life and career in public education, and I feel it is my responsibility to give new generations of UI students the same kind of opportunities that benefited me. After the tragedy of the flood that wiped out the previous Voxman Building and other UI arts facilities, I can think of few things more important than providing a first-rate facility for Iowa’s future music students.”

Robert B. Glidden (1958 B.A., 1960 M.A., 1966 Ph.D.) has fond recollections of his days as a student bassoonist in the University of Iowa School of Music. He played in both the Symphonic Band and the University Orchestra, and his work with the orchestra introduced him to UI faculty member and orchestral director James A. Dixon (1952 B.M., 1956 M.A.), who went on to direct Glidden in the Tri-City Symphony and to teach him conducting.

Glidden—who is president emeritus of Ohio University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and also was professor and dean of the School of Music at Florida State University—made a leadership gift to the James Dixon Orchestral Directing Fund in memory of his exceptional teacher and mentor.

“I still remember playing the Berlioz Requiem with a huge orchestra and chorus in the old Iowa Fieldhouse, led by Dimitri Mitropoulos, who was conductor of the New York Philharmonic and also was James Dixon’s mentor,” said Glidden. “For a young Iowa farm boy such as me, rubbing shoulders with those eminent musicians and playing under their batons, was an important opportunity to expand my horizons.”