About Bruce Foote

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The Bruce R. Foote Foundation was founded in 1995, although scholarship awards in memory of Bruce R. Foote have been given annually since 1989. The Foundation’s mission is to encourage and support students with a background that has been historically under represented in the advanced pursuit of classical vocal study. Scholarships are awarded for matriculation in the Graduate and Artist Certificate Programs at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

The Foote Scholar, Schollmaier Scholar, David M. Crowley and Rosemary Haggar Vaughan Grants and Scholarships are awarded annually for matriculation in the graduate and artist certificate programs at SMU and are chosen on the basis of talent, career potential, scholarship and financial need.

Bruce R. Foote chaired the voice faculty of the University of Illinois from 1933 to 1970. With his family of six children, Bruce and his wife Doris, also a singer were widely recognized for their television appearances on the Ed Sullivan ShowThis Is Music and the Foote Family Folio, which was presented on television from 1953 to 1955.

Bruce Foote was a featured baritone on the Chicago Theatre of the Air and made more than 20 appearances with the St. Louis Bach Festival. He gave solo performances with orchestras throughout the United States — including Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Syracuse — and sang over 125 concerts of Handel’s Messiah with celebrated oratorio societies throughout the world. He was a principal bass baritone with the Chicago Opera Company for many years.

Earning both the graduate and undergraduate degrees in voice and piano from Syracuse University in New York, Bruce Foote was considered a rare and consummate musician. In the Syracuse area, he was widely known as the first trumpeter with the Parisians, a Central New York band led by Eddie Williamson.

A very active member of the SMU voice faculty following his retirement from Illinois, Bruce gave many oratorio performances throughout Texas and the Southwest until his second retirement in 1985. He was perhaps best remembered for his recruitment and mentoring of minority students throughout his career in Illinois and Texas.

Bruce was a teacher for present and former SMU faculty and students including Thomas Hayward, Donnie Ray Albert, Virginia Dupuy, Richard Poppino, Anne Weeks Jackson and Barbara Hill Moore. Many of his former students are teachers, music administrators, opera directors, conductors and ministers of music. Bruce Foote was a remarkable human being with a passion for helping his fellow man.