John E. Rogers, an instructor of music from 1964-1967, died on April 6, 2016, in Dover, New Hampshire.
(The following appeared online at fosters.com, May 29, 2016):
DOVER – John Earl Rogers died on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. He was born February 20, 1938. A pioneer in the field of electronic music.
Born in 1938 in Dallas, Texas, he received his early education in the public schools of Texas and Georgia, studied philosophy (BA, 1960) and music (BM, 1960) at the University of Georgia, and did graduate work in music composition at the Yale School of Music (MM, 1962) as well as Princeton University (MFA, 1965) where he also did doctoral work.
John Rogers retired from UNH in 2005 as Emeritus Professor of Music. He had been at UNH for 38 years. John was an early champion of electronic and computer music. He initiated the installation of a music program on the university’s main-frame computer in 1967. The first musical work computed at UNH was converted to sound at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., in 1968. John was the director of UNH’s Electronic and Computer Music Studios, which he established in 1967; the current Electronic Music Studio at UNH is named in his honor.
John ran UNH Summer Electronic Music Festivals with a Queens College colleague, Hubert Howe, beginning in 1969. In 1972, John’s summer program at UNH joined with Dartmouth; the endeavor at UNH and Dartmouth was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1977, UNESCO sponsored the summer institute; several European and Canadian composers were brought to UNH to work with John on computer music projects. Due to John’s efforts, UNH had acquired an international reputation in the field of computer sound synthesis.
John’s service work was staggering. Here are some examples: he served as Chair of the Academic Senate; on the advisory board of the Center for the Humanities; he chaired the Language Review Committee; served on the Committee on UNH Accreditation; designed and was the administrator of Music’s first web page back in 1998 – and was Chair of the Music Department for nine long years. John also played bass sackbut in the Hampshire Consort, the early music ensemble at UNH.
John was a brilliant and prolific composer. His main composition teachers were Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, and Milton Babbitt. Professor Rogers taught in the public schools of Naugatuck, Connecticut, at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and came to the University of New Hampshire in 1967. He was an accomplished trombonist and played in the New Haven Symphony, the Hartford Symphony and the Portland Symphony. He began working in electronic and computer music in the early 1960’s and published extensively in that field and in the area of music theory.
He leaves behind his wife, Linda Holton; his children John Earl Rogers Jr. of Los Angeles and Louise Stewart Rogers of New York City; his step son Mark Holton and his wife Sarah LlopHolton of Ithaca, NY; 7 grandchildren – Joshua and Jacob Rogers of Los Angeles; Alexander John Strong of New York City; Helena, Iden, Emmeline and Sorrel Llop-Holton of Ithaca, N.Y.
John was predeceased by his first wife, and the mother of his children, Ada Louise Harwell Rogers. Louise, a fellow music professor at UNH and noted concert pianist, died in 1993 after a long struggle (17 years) with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. John managed her care in her later years almost single-handedly and, if truth be told, heroically. His sacrifices during this time will never be forgotten.
An avid runner, John Rogers completed several marathons. He was known for his friendliness, sense of humor, loyalty, great conversation and his intellect. He will be missed greatly.