Fort Hays State loses longtime music teacher to cancer


HAYS, Kan. (KWCH) – Fort Hays State University lost a longtime music professor a week ago to cancer.

Dr Jeff Jordan was the director of musical groups at the university for almost 20 years. He died at the age of 63 from a rare form of leukemia.

Jordan’s former colleagues, students and his wife have spoken about the impact he has had on them.

“It was still a bit of a shock though because I felt like someone was going to be there – forever,” said Nathan Northrop, a former Jeff Jordan trumpeter.

Dr Jordan resigned his post at Fort Hays State last May, a post he held for 19 years.

“As a person who wants to be a future music teacher. I think probably the biggest thing he’s done for me is he’s shown exactly how you should take care of each student, “said Gavin Blehm, music graduate from FHSU.

Brad Dawson, assistant professor of music at FHSU, said his favorite memory was a college Christmas party where three faculty members, including him and Jordan, dressed up as students.

“I’m not exaggerating, it was like 10, 15, maybe more minutes than that, just a solid laugh.” These students. They just couldn’t believe we messed up the party, ”recalls Dawson.

Dr Jordan composed a marching band in 2015 titled “Hi” for a deceased former colleague. This same song will be played at the end of his funeral on January 15.

“It’s powerful. Because he liked to end concerts with high, fast, loud sounds, without taking prisoners, ”said his wife, JoAnn Jordan.

Dawson has asked former students and conductors to come and play in the service.

“The response has been overwhelming. We are doubling, tripling the games. Alumni, there’s even a former student flying in from New York,” said Dawson.

“Not only can I pay tribute to Dr Jordan as an amazing person, but I can also pay tribute,” Blehm said.

Dr. Jordan’s funeral will be on Saturday, Jan.15 at 11 a.m. at the Beach-Schmidt Performing Arts Center, located on the campus of Fort Hays State University.

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