Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Charles W. Froh
1936 Grassburr
"Enthusiastic Tarleton Music Professor, Here Since 1910, Thinks Summer Too Long!"

According to the September 21, 1935 J-TAC, Charley Wesley Froh, head of the music department at John Tarleton College, instructor since 1910, was the oldest man in point of service in the college. He had taught consecutively since 1904, first as head of the music department at Western Piano College, Fresno, California. Then in 1906 he began teaching at Add-Ran-Jarvis College in Thorp Spring (the forerunner of TCU), and came to Tarleton in 1910.

Upon arriving at Tarleton the music department consisted of three pianos and one instructor. In 1915 the conservatory moved to a larger building. A splendid, new, modern conservatory was completed in 1930 and had the finest musical equipment and a splendid staff! He headed the fine arts department for nearly 40 years.

Recognized as a master in music circles, Charles Froh was also choir director at the First Methodist Church, with his brother Garnett as the pianist. He built up enrollment in Tarleton's music department to a high figure. Fully retiring in 1950, Froh opened successful private studios in Stephenville and Dublin. Tarleton's grand old man of music died January 6, 1953 and is buried across the street in the West End Cemetery. He stated "If I had my life to live over, I would certainly choose music again. I have been very happy."

Charles Froh worked with a fire and zeal that inspired students to do their best. His office files indicated that he had taught some 3,000 students with hundreds of them going on to teach in various parts of the country! Not only that, the walls in his office was lined with a collection of over 500 portraits of musician students and friends.

Seventy five years ago that fire and zeal really showed in his statement to the J-TAC that "The summer was too long. I had too much vacation. I am eager to get started in the new year!"

We hope that you too have eagerly begun this new 2010-11 school year and wish you the best!


J-TAC, September 21, 1935.
J-TAC, January 13, 1953.
Stephenville Empire-Tribune, January 9, 1953.

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