The Board of Regents, state of Iowa, voted Wednesday to approve the naming of the Voxman Music Building, the University of Iowa School of Music facility slated for completion in 2016, in honor of longtime director and faculty member Himie Voxman.
The Voxman name over the years has brought recognition and respect for the state of Iowa, for the arts in Iowa, and for the UI. Centerville native Voxman committed his entire adult life to the university. He was on the faculty for 45 years, serving as director of the School of Music for 26 years, retiring in 1980. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 99.
“Himie Voxman led the School of Music to a position of national prominence and created the exemplar of a modern comprehensive school,” says School of Music Director David Gier. “We are delighted to carry that legacy forward in our new building.”
As director of the school, he crafted the ascendance of the program to national prominence by recruiting an outstanding faculty, transforming the curriculum, growing the student body, developing a world class music library, and overseeing the construction of a new facility.
Voxman’s distinguished musical career began at the age of 13 when he took up the clarinet. In later years he studied with Gustave Langenus, former principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic.
In 1929, Voxman enrolled in the UI chemical engineering program. During this time he continued his study of the clarinet, playing in the University Band and Symphony Orchestra and giving private clarinet lessons to pay for his education. In 1933, he received a Bachelor of Science degree with High Distinction in Chemical Engineering and then began graduate work in the psychology of music under the direction of the renowned psychology professor, Carl E. Seashore. After completing the Master of Arts degree in this area, Voxman taught music in the Iowa City public schools, where he met and married Lois Wilcox, an accomplished violinist and string instrument teacher. He also served as principal clarinetist in the Quad City Symphony.