Scott Pingel, principal bassist with the San Francisco Symphony, returned to campus to perform and introduce a new music scholarship in his father's name.
A legacy from father to son memorialized
in a new UW-Eau Claire Foundation scholarship
Scott Pingel graduated in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in music and holds a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he attended on a full scholarship. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Wu Han and Joseph Silverstein, and notable quartets.
He has taught master classes at the Curtis Institute of Music, Julliard School, The Colburn School, Manhattan School of Music, the Shanghai Conservatory and the New World Symphony and is a faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 2007 he received an Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award from the at UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association.
Jack Pingel – alumnus and lifelong music educator/ innovator
Jack Pingel received both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in music education in 1962 and 1971, respectively. He was recruited by the new McFarland High School and was an instrumental factor in its first years of success. He later taught at Wright Middle School in Madison. Pingel was the associate executive director of the Wisconsin School Music Association (until his retirement in 1993), during which time he designed and coordinated the Wisconsin Honors Project, pairing students with renowned conductors. Jack Pingel shared the gift of music with his family and thousands of music students in Wisconsin before his passing in February 2010.
Scott Pingel remembers his father as an intense, larger-than-life personality who could light up any room.
"My father definitely inspired me to pursue music," Pingel said. "I learned early on the impact it can have in someone's life."
Pingel recalls his father playing piano at gatherings with friends and all the joy, singing and laughter that accompanied him. A favorite family memory is of Jack sitting in on drums with Jazz Ensemble I at a Viennese Ball, playing alongside Scott, with Scott's sister, Anne, singing vocals.
"It astounded me that he seemed to know the names and programs of every high school band director in the state, and everywhere I went they all seemed to know him, too," Pingel said. "I cannot tell you how many times I heard 'Are you Jack Pingel's kid?' That even happened a couple of years ago in California."
Pingel's father encouraged him to pursue music, but he never demanded that it be Scott's career path.
"Nevertheless, I know he was very proud of my accomplishments."