E. WILLIAM DOTY
Ezra William Doty ("Bill" to his colleagues)
was born in 1907 in Michigan and had his early schooling there. Because
his father was a Methodist minister, the family moved several times.
After attending Western Michigan University for three years, he entered
the University of Michigan, from which he received four degrees during
the period 1927-36: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Music, Master of
in Philosophy, and Doctor of Philosophy in Aesthetics. In 1932-33
he studied at the University of Leipzig and the Conservatory there.
At Michigan, he was a star pupil of the eminent organist Palmer Christian.
And it was at Ann Arbor that he met his future wife, Elinor Wortley,
herself an accomplished organist. They were married in 1934 and are
the parents of three children, Ruth Joan Doty, now Mrs. Allen Killam
of Durham, North Carolina; William Wortley Doty of Colorado Springs;
and Martha Elinor Doty, now married to Austin architect Joe Freeman.
coming to Texas, Dr. Doty taught at the University
of Illinois and at the University of Michigan, where he substituted
for Palmer Christian, as both teacher and weekly concert organist,
Christian's absences from the campus.
In the spring of 1938, Dr. Doty,
still young enough in appearance to be mistaken for a student on occasion,
came to Austin
to prepare for the founding of a College of Fine Arts at The University
of Texas. (There had been a Department of Music earlier, but it had
been "terminated" by Governor "Ma" Ferguson, who apparently felt that
there was no place for such folderol at The University.) The new arrival
held a triple title: Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Chairman of
Music Department, and Professor of Music. By fall, a small faculty
had been assembled (nine, altogether) and classes were offered in art,
and music, leading to degrees at the bachelor's, master's and, later,
the doctoral levels. The faculties of all three departments continued
to grow each year. Currently (1994), that of the Music Department numbers
86; with Art and Drama departments added, the total is 191.
seemed to have a special talent for selecting faculty members who not
only were skilled in their fields but whose
outlooks and personal qualities augured well for cordial relations
with their colleagues and for a shared sense of values. As a result,
was a remarkable degree of friendliness and camaraderie not only within
the departments but among members of the three departments. In summer,
musicians, artists, and drama people often gathered at a cool spot
the green banks beside Barton Springs pool; these associations were
enriching as well as pleasurable.
A retrospective look at the young
College of Fine Arts reveals a faculty of uncommonly high quality.
For example, in Art,
there were painters Everett Spruce, William Lester, Ralph White, Loren
Mozley, and Kelly Fearing, all acknowledged as important Texas artists,
and sculptor Charles Umlauf, whose reputation is now international.
In Drama, there was the famed Shakespearean director B. Iden Payne,
as well as the younger but gifted directors Francis Hodge and James
Moll, and the successful playwright Ellsworth P. Conkle. In Music,
were Chase Baromeo and Josephine Antoine, who had sung at the Metropolitan
opera; Dalies Frantz, a superb pianist who had appeared as soloist
major orchestras and been heard in solo recitals throughout the country
under Community Concerts management; Horace Britt, one of the world's
great cellists; and Otto Kinkeldey, Donald Grout, and Paul Pisk, musicologists
of international renown. Less visible to the public but no less important
in terms of their contributions were the many other expert teachers
in all three departments; some of these later came to national prominence
through books, creative work, or professional activities. Dean Doty
had obviously expended much effort and selective judgment in assembling
this faculty. Those of us who were members of it found the experience
of being pioneers in a fresh new venture an exhilarating if sometimes
In addition to fulfilling the heavy obligations
connected with the deanship and the chairmanship, Dr. Doty managed
teach classes in form and analysis, music literature, American music,
aesthetics, philosophy, and fine arts administration; he also taught
a number of organ students. Among the more distinguished of these are:
Gerre Hancock, concert organist and organist at St. Thomas Episcopal
Church Fifth Avenue in New York City; Joyce Jones, concert organist
and the only organist to win the Dealy Award; John Huston, organist
at First Presbyterian Church and at Temple Emanu-El in New York City;
Everett Hilty, head of the organ department at the University of Colorado;
Jack Ossewarde, organist-choirmaster at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal
Church in New York City; and James Moeser, who, while continuing his
activities as a concert organist, is currently Provost and Chief Executive
Officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For a number of years,
Dr. Doty also taught classes in church music at the Episcopal Seminary
of the Southwest in Austin.
He served as organist at several Austin churches, performed many solo
organ recitals throughout the country, and appeared frequently as lecturer
or consultant. His text, The Analysis of Form in Music, was published
by D. Appleton Crofts, and he was the composer of several works, one
of which, Mist (for organ), was published by J. Fischer.
be hard to imagine a person more actively involved in professional
organizations than Dr. Doty. From 1955 to 1958,
he served as president of the preeminent accrediting organization in
the field of music, the National Association of Schools of Music; for
six years, he was NASM's representative to the American Council on
His considerable and varied service to NASM over the years resulted
in his being made an honorary life member. In 1947-1949, he was president
of the Texas Music Teachers Association, and between 1949 and 1955
also served two terms as president of the Texas Association of Schools
of Music. He was active in the Music Teachers National Association,
the Music Educators National Conference, the Texas Federation of Music
Clubs, and the National Federation of Music Clubs, of which he was
an honorary life member.
But music organizations were not the only ones
that drew his time and interest; he was also a leader in arts advocacy
He was a board member of the Texas Fine Arts Association and the Greater
New York Chapter of the American National Theatre and Academy, and
was a charter member of the National Council of the Arts in Education.
In 1964, he organized the first national conference of fine arts deans,
which led to a new professional organization, the International Council
of Fine Arts Deans. He was also instrumental in founding the American
Association of the Arts in Higher Education. One of his most vital
interests was in accreditation standards and procedures, and through
such organizations as NASM and the National Accrediting Council in
Arts he was an examiner/consultant for numerous schools throughout
the country. Such was his national reputation as an arts administrator
consultant that he was appointed Executive Director of the Office of
Cultural Affairs in New York City in 1964-1965 and took leave from
University to serve in this position, one unthinkable for a non-New
Yorker in today's world. Among his listings in biographical dictionaries
are those in Who's Who in America and Leaders in American
Education. His memberships in honorary societies include Phi Kappa
Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda (music), Phi Delta Kappa (education), the Philosophical
Society of Texas, and the Bohemians (in New York City).
Despite so many
impressive activities at the national
level, Dr. Doty's contributions locally were no less important. He
was keenly aware of the importance of interaction between arts groups
the community. For over forty years, he was an active Rotarian; he
was instrumental in organizing and meeting with the Fine Arts Advisory
a group of prominent arts patrons from around the state; he helped
in planning music programs currently used in public schools; he worked
with the Interscholastic League, with private music teachers in Austin,
with the Austin Symphony, and with the Junior League of Austin, which
has helped for many years to finance The University's String Project.
major accomplishment during Dr. Doty's tenure as Chairman/Dean and
one for which he deserves great credit was the
construction of a Music Building on 21st Street next to Littlefield
Fountain in 1941-1942. Before that, music classes had been scattered
in a number of different locations: the Littlefield Home, Battle Hall,
the ground floor of the Main Building, and two old homes on Whitis
that served as annexes. The new building at last provided sufficient
space for all the department's activities. Thanks to meticulous planning
by the architects and the acoustician (Dr. Paul Boner) in consultation
with Dr. Doty, the sound conditions in the studios, practice rooms
auditorium were ideal; walls had been angled, floors "floated," curtains
provided along walls to vary the liveness of the sound, and so on.
addition to all this largesse, the building was air-conditioned!
It was the only one on campus so equipped at the time; not surprisingly,
the Music Library attracted many students from other disciplines who
came there to study. Although this handsome structure served admirably
for many years, enrollment in the Music Department eventually burgeoned
to the point that a larger building was needed. This need was met by
Music Recital Hall, a building added to Music Building East in 1980
as part of the Performing Arts Center. Happily, the acoustically superb
Jessen Auditorium in the original Music Building, scene of so many
concerts over the years, continues to be used for solo and chamber-music
Tall, spare in body, energetic (despite serious
and constant problems with allergies), youthful-looking until his late
years, Dr. Doty is remembered as being cordial in manner, if sometimes
understandably harried by the multiple pressures of his academic life.
Persons visiting his office for the first time tended to find the penetrating
gaze from his intense blue eyes a bit intimidating, but further acquaintance
would reveal the kindly human qualities that endeared him to so many.
Former students frequently mention instances in which he took a deep
personal interest in them. When they brought him problems academic
or personal he dealt with these in a sympathetic and helpful
manner. As one example, he gave special attention to a blind organ
waiving certain required courses such as art, and allowing her to substitute
others; his guidance and encouragement helped her to become a successful
music teacher. He was equally attentive to the many problems brought
to him by faculty members, even though not all of these could be easily
Despite the many demands on his time from all the
activities mentioned, William Doty was very much a home-and-family
man, devoted to his wife, children, and grandchildren. The Dotys entertained
faculty and other friends frequently in their attractive house high
in West Lake Hills, from which there is a spectacular view of the city.
(Incidentally, during the building of this house, Dr. Doty obtained
journeyman's licenses to do some of the work himself, including the
installation of a solar water-heating system! further testimony
to the amazing breadth of his interests and abilities.) At these social
functions, Mrs. Doty was always a gracious hostess. A woman of great
charm and character, she played an important role throughout her husband's
career. During summer vacations, the two escaped heat and allergies
at a mountain retreat in Colorado.
Religion was an important element
for both of them. Ardent Episcopalians, they attended services at All
Saints' Church faithfully;
each filled in as organist on occasion, when the regular organist could
not be present (surely a unique situation!).
In 1965, Dr. Doty retired
as Chairman of the Music Department, but retained the titles of Dean
of the College of Fine Arts
and Professor of Music. In 1966, Dr. Bryce Jordan, then Chairman of
the Music Department at the University of Maryland, was appointed Chairman
at Austin, and in 1972 Peter Garvie assumed the Deanship. Dr. Doty
to teach for a time but retired completely in 1974.
In retirement, he
devoted much time to writing a history of the College of Fine Arts.
This is a detailed and valuable
record (now in The University's archive) of a memorable era in Austin's
artistic life, an era that obviously owes an enormous debt to William
Doty's own vision and pioneering efforts.
Declining health forced him
to withdraw from active musical life in Austin during his last years.
He died at the age of
87 on June 16, 1994. His funeral, attended by a host of former students,
faculty, and other friends, was held at All Saints' Church, and he
entombed at Memorial Hill Park Mausoleum in Austin.
Robert M. Berdahl,
The University of Texas at Austin
H. Paul Kelley, Secretary
The General Faculty
This Memorial Resolution was prepared
by a special committee consisting of Professor Emeritus Kent Kennan
(Chair), Professor Rebecca Baltzer, Professor Richard Blair, and Professor
Emeritus Janet McGaughey.