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Alumnus, accomplished bassist establishes scholarship in father's memory, plans April 29 performance with University Symphony Orchestra

RELEASED: March 21, 2011

Jack Pingel Scott Pingel
Jack Pingel
Scott Pingel

University Symphony Orchestra Concert
Friday, April 29 7:30 p.m.

Gantner Concert Hall
Haas Fine Arts Center
Featuring bassist Scott Pingel with, in a rare performance, symphony orchestra conductor Nobuyoshi Yasuda on violin. Reserved seating,
tickets available April 11. Reservations recommended.

EAU CLAIRE — Scott Pingel, principal bassist for the San Francisco Symphony and 1996 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, will return to campus April 29 to perform with the University Symphony Orchestra and promote a new scholarship established through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in memory of his father.

Jack Pingel, a 1962 music education graduate of UW-Eau Claire and beloved music educator, died in February 2010. He taught high school music, primarily in the Madison area, for 31 years. He also had a master's degree in music and served as the associate director of the Wisconsin School Music Association until his retirement in 1993.

The elder Pingel was recruited to teach at the new McFarland High School in 1962 and was an instrumental factor in the school's first years of success.

"My father definitely inspired me to pursue music," Scott Pingel said. "He never demanded that it be my career path. Nevertheless, I know he was very proud of my accomplishments."

According to his son, Jack Pingel seemed to know the names and programs of every high school band director in the state of Wisconsin, and everywhere Scott Pingel went, it seemed to him that they all knew him, too. The scholarship will be available to UW-Eau Claire music students, and Pingel is inviting his fellow alumni to donate to the fund if they wish.

"I believe this is a fitting remembrance for the legacy of all the people he touched," he said.

Information about the scholarship and how to contribute will be available at the concert, which will feature the accomplished double bass player in a performance with his mentor and University Symphony Orchestra conductor, Nobuyoshi Yasuda, violinist and associate professor of music at UW-Eau Claire.

"Nobu was a young professor when I started at UW-Eau Claire, so our relationship included a strong element of friendship as well," Pingel said. "He had such a way of inspiring us all to learn and seemed to have a boundless enthusiasm for music."

"It is a great honor to return to UW-Eau Claire," Pingel said. "The city of Eau Claire itself is so special because I have family history going back generations."

For many years Pingel's grandparents lived in Eau Claire, where his grandfather ran a music store and had his own jazz orchestra. Jack Pingel also was raised in Eau Claire and met his wife, Carole Pingel, a 1963 UW-Eau Claire graduate, at the university.

Pingel said he encourages interested students to pursue careers in music because "it is beautiful, meaningful and important, but most of all because you love it."

For more information about this and other scholarships available through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, visit the Foundation website or contact Kimera Way, Foundation executive director, at



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