1926 ~ 2021
Long time educator Jack Haddon Coldiron died May 9, 2021 at his home.
Jack was born on May 30, 1926 in Kingsport, Tennessee to George and Ollie Coldiron. His father was a Baptist Minister and owned a grocery store in Kingsport. Jack attended Dobyns-Bennet High School, graduating in 1944 and received the Kingsport Music Club award that year as Outstanding Music Student. Jack received his early music training in piano and voice instruction beginning at age 11. His early teachers were graduates of the Juilliard School of Music and Boston University. Between high school and entering Stetson University he worked as an announcer at WKPT, the NBC affiliate in Kingsport, and WGST in Atlanta.
Mr. Coldiron’s undergraduate studies were at Stetson University where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 1953. He then studied and received the Master of Church Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1960. He did graduate study at Southern Methodist University and post graduate studies at Meadowbrook School of Music, German Center for International Music Education in Stuttgart, Germany, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. He was a guest professor at the University of Southern California, and was a Master Teacher in the Summer Intern Program for Young Teachers at the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Stetson University in 1994.
His first teaching position was at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida where he was Professor of singing from 1954 to 1963 with a two year stint in the army in between. It was at Stetson that he met his wife, Donna. They married in 1957 and moved to Fort Worth in 1963. Mr. Coldiron took a position as Voice Professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and taught there for over 30 years, retiring as Distinguished Professor of Voice in 1994. He then went to Baylor University as Brown Professor of Vocal Studies for 20 years. After retiring from Baylor he taught at TCU.
Mr. Coldiron also had an impressive performing career as a Lyric Baritone. He performed in works including Handel’s Messiah, Brahms and Mozart Requiems, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Judas Maccabaeus, Mass in C and numerous others. He gave solo recitals for over 50 years with professional orchestras in Florida, Texas, Georgia, New Mexico, Arkansas and Tennessee. Jack taught hundreds of students in his 50 plus year career as a Professor of Music. His students have gone on to become Ministers of Music, Professors of Voice in Universities and professional singers, including the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York City.
The Kingsport Music Club helped Jack financially while he was at Stetson as a student. In appreciation, in 1992 he gave a generous gift to the Music Club with which they endowed the Coldiron Music Scholarship given annually to a college student.
Jack had an unwavering love for and devotion to his wife and family. He and Donna traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe, living in Germany for one year and in England for three. They took the children with them as they were growing up and this provided Stephen and Susanna with a magical childhood full of culture and adventure and taught them life lessons. Mr. Coldiron was devoted to Broadway Baptist Church where he sang in the choir and was a Deacon. He was elected Deacon Emeritus on November 15, 2020. Jack was kind and fair, understanding and forgiving to absolutely everyone. Jack was renowned for his talent but was equally known for his outgoing nature and faith. He loved people and they loved him back. His remarkable life is a testament to a remarkable man.
Jack Coldiron is survived by his wife, Donna; son, Stephen; daughter, Susanna; and grandchildren, Bethann and Chloe.