Fred Fox, a popular visitor, guest and teacher in the UA School of Music, performed as a horn player with the National Symphony, the Minneapolis Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Fred Fox, a popular visitor, guest and teacher in the UA School of Music, performed as a horn player with the National Symphony, the Minneapolis Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

UA College of Fine Arts Announces $20M Gift

Family's donation recognizes the stellar career of 100-year-old Fred Fox, a legendary horn player and instructor who has coached the Graduate Wind Quintet in the School of Music.
Jan. 14, 2015
Fred Fox in December 2014 with members of the UA's premier chamber group, the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet.
Fred Fox in December 2014 with members of the UA's premier chamber group, the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet.
Fred Fox wrote "Essentials of Brass Playing," still considered an authoritative source on brass technique 40 years after its publication. (Photo: Jacob Chinn/UA Alumni Association)
Fred Fox wrote "Essentials of Brass Playing," still considered an authoritative source on brass technique 40 years after its publication. (Photo: Jacob Chinn/UA Alumni Association)

The University of Arizona College of Fine Arts has received a $20 million gift to the School of Music from Alan and Daveen Fox, in honor of Alan’s 100-year-old father, master teacher and legendary horn performer Fred Fox.

In recognition of the gift, and pending approval, the school will be renamed the Fred Fox School of Music.

The Foxes' generosity puts the UA even closer to its goal of raising $1.5 billion during the Arizona NOW campaign, which was launched publicly in April 2014 and concludes in June 2018. The comprehensive fundraising campaign is distinguished by its unprecedented scope as well as its ties to Never Settle, the UA’s strategic academic and business plan. To date, the campaign is ahead of pace with more than 70 percent of the goal already accomplished. The vast majority of gifts are "restricted," which means they can be used only for a specific purpose or project.

"Alan and Daveen Fox have been such strong supporters of the School of Music through our connections with the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet and our personal friendships," said professor Edward Reid, the school’s director and a close friend of the Fox family.

"Their passion is and always has been education. These past four years of working together with the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet as the centerpiece, seeing what our school has been doing in outreach and education, and how much we love Fred, have led to this extraordinary and wonderful gift. The relationship between the School of Music and Alan, Daveen and Fred is as magical as it gets."

UA President Ann Weaver Hart said the gift would extend the reputation of the School of Music.

"The generosity of the Fox family will be reflected in the continued excellence of our faculty and students, who always have been the best ambassadors for our music school," Hart said. "Fred’s support of the arts at the University of Arizona has been steadfast. We not only appreciate his unwavering support, but also the incredible generosity of Alan and Daveen."

Alan Fox said that he and his wife "strongly believe in education, and especially in music education. We believe that the University of Arizona already has a respected music school, and we would like to help make it become one of the very finest."

Jory Hancock, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said, "The school, and the college as well, will be elevated and energized by this gift. And the campus, Tucson community and arts patrons locally, regionally and nationally will enjoy the fruits of this remarkable support." 

The gift will provide support for the School of Music by creating several endowments and scholarships. In recognition of the gift, the school will be renamed pending completion of the UA’s internal process that involves a recommendation from the UA Naming Advisory Committee and approval of the Faculty Senate.

"We are so grateful to Alan and Daveen Fox for their generous gift, and join with them in celebrating the legacy of Fred and his love of music," said James H. Moore Jr., president and CEO of the University of Arizona Foundation. "This transformative gift represents the best of what philanthropy aspires to achieve. It supports faculty through endowed chairs, students through endowed scholarships, and the sustained growth of the School of Music through a general operating fund. It aligns with the Arizona NOW campaign priorities perfectly."

About $4 million of the gift will be used to establish three endowed chairs in the School of Music: the Alan C. and Daveen Fox Endowed Chair for the Director of the School of Music; the Fred Fox Endowed Chair for French Horn Studies; and the Daveen Fox Endowed Chair for Music. Alan and Daveen Fox established the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet in 2012, and $1.25 million will be used to establish an endowed fund to provide support for the quintet in perpetuity.

In addition, $2 million of the gift will be used to establish an endowed scholarship fund, to be named the Fox Family Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide scholarships each year for up to three undergraduate students who are majoring in music and three graduate students who are attending the Fred Fox School of Music and whose studies emphasize brass instrument performance. 

The Foxes' connection to the UA is through associate professor of music Daniel Katzen, who is a former student of Fred Fox's.

Fred Fox was born in 1914 in Brooklyn, New York, and studied violin before he took up the French horn. He graduated from the Juilliard School and performed as solo horn player with the National Symphony, the Minneapolis Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as at Paramount and RKO studios in Hollywood.

Fox served on the faculties of California State University, Northridge; the University of Southern California; and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. He was also professor of brass instruments at California State University, Los Angeles. His book "Essentials of Brass Playing," published in 1974, is considered an authorative source on brass technique.

Considered a legend in his field, Fox was honored at age 97 with the Punto Award at the 2011 International Horn Symposium in San Francisco. The award is given to individuals who have made a major contribution at the regional or national level to the art of horn playing.

"I believe that learning an instrument in school teaches kids to use their whole mind and requires total concentration," Fred Fox said. "Once music enters a child’s life in this way, for the rest of their life they will always know how to use their full mind at any task, no matter what they are doing. The end result will be that they will be more effective at whatever they choose to do.  I am very happy to have my name associated with such a wonderful music school and look forward to great things from the students enrolled there."

Fred, Alan and Daveen Fox reside in southern California.