Director of Jazz Studies at HSPVA 1976-1999

Robert “Doc” Morgan retired in May 1999 as Director of Jazz Studies at Houston’s High School for Performing and Visual Arts, a position held since 1976. He was previously director of the jazz program at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

Morgan’s degrees are from the University of North Texas (Bachelor of Music; Master of Music) and the University of Illinois/Urbana (Doctor of Musical Arts).

Under Morgan’s direction, the HSPVA jazz program became internationally known as a stimulating model for the successful training of young jazz aspirants. His teaching legacy is perhaps best represented by the dozens of HSPVA alumni currently enjoying significant professional success in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Nashville, Dallas, Houston and elsewhere.

Among Doc’s many personal awards and honors may be mentioned:

  • 1998: “Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award” by White House Commission on Presidential Scholars (including ceremony at The White House)
  •  1999:  Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Boston’s Berklee College of Music (other honorees included Benny Golson and Curtis Fuller)
  •  2003: Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois/Urbana
  •  2005: International Association for Jazz Education Hall of Fame

On December 28, 2017, Doc Morgan and pianist/composer Bob James were inducted into the KTSU-FM Jazz Hall of Fame, and that day was designated “Robert ‘Doc’ Morgan Day” by the City of Houston, marking the third occasion for Doc to receive “his own” official day in Houston.


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