During his 27-year career in orchestra management, Cecil S. Cole Jr. earned the respect and admiration of countless people in the music industry. As Artistic Administrator of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, he played a key role in determining programming and guest artists. He was instrumental in the success of many symphony endeavors, including three grand opera productions, the creation of the Fresh Ink Florida Composers’ Competition, the Jacksonville International Piano Competition, the installation of the Bryan Concert Organ in Jacoby Symphony Hall and the inception of an organ recital series.
Always generous with his musical knowledge, Cecil served on the board of directors of the Ritz Chamber Players and the Beaches Fine Arts Series. He was a lifelong fan of jazz, and through his work with various orchestras, he worked with and presented many jazz greats, including Mel Torme and Doc Severinsen. It is for his outstanding contributions to jazz and to all types of music that he is being inducted into the 2005 Jacksonville Jazz Hall of Fame. Cecil quietly departed this life after a long illness on Feb. 22, 2005, but his many friends and fans in Jacksonville will always remember his joie de vivre and his motto: “It’s all about the music!” It is for his outstanding contributions to all types of music that he is inducted into the 2005 Jacksonville Jazz Festival Hall of Fame.