Dr. Rufus Jones Jr.
Dr. Rufus Jones Jr. began his formal training as an orchestral conductor at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, he continued his formal training as a Clifford D. Clarke Graduate Fellow at the State University of New York in Binghamton where he received a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting. Dr. Jones completed his formal training at Texas Tech University where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting.
Dr. Jones has studied with internationally recognized conductors like Louis Lane, Gustav Meier, Kirk Trevor, Donald Portnoy, Timothy Perry, Kenneth Kiesler, and Gary Lewis.
Dr. Jones has conducted youth, university and professional orchestras throughout this country and abroad. He has been accepted to prestigious conducting programs like the Tanglewood Music Festival (auditor), and the Conductors Institute in South Carolina (fellow) and the Leiston Abbey Conducting Masterclass in Suffolk, England (fellow).
His professional career started as Assistant Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in 1998, under the leadership of then music director, Maestro Kirk Trevor.
As a guest conductor Dr. Jones has appeared with the Utah Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Siena Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Youth Symphony, Omaha Area Youth Symphony, Binghamton Youth Symphony, and the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra.
In 2007, Dr. Jones was invited to perform at the famed Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Teatro in Florence, Italy. While in Florence, Dr. Jones conducted seven performances of the contemporary ballet, “On the Day You Were Born” by American composer, Steven Heitzig. The performances were primarily viewed by young Italian grade school students and benefited the Meyers Children Hospital in Florence, Italy.
Prior to moving to South Florida, Dr. Jones was Assistant Professor of Music at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He served as director of the chamber music program, wind ensemble, and symphony orchestra. He also taught courses in music theory, music history, and conducting.
His research has focused on African American classical musicians. His work has been published in an internationally recognized peer-reviewed journal and encyclopedia. Dr. Jones has written extensively on the music of William Grant Still. In 2009, his three volume edition, The Collected Folk Suites of William Grant Still was published and featured at the Inaugural William Grant Still Tribute Conference in Natchez, Mississippi. The principal string players of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra premiered the string quartets from his collection.
His latest project, Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad is the first ever full-length biography of one of the greatest American conductors of the twentieth century. It was released on April 16, 2015.
Dr. Jones is currently the Director of Orchestral and Choral Studies at Westglades Middle School in Parkland, Florida.