Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Music Robert “Bob” M. Isgro and Maria “Mary” Isgro have made a combined outright and planned gift in support of chorus ensembles and vocal students in SUNY Geneseo’s Department of Music.
“We are most grateful for this generous gift from Bob and Mary Isgro,” said Geneseo President Denise A. Battles. “It celebrates the performing arts at Geneseo and underscores our mission to prepare students for enriched lives and success in the world.”
The Isgros’ gift establishes The Dr. Robert M. and Maria L. Isgro Choral Music Endowment to support all academically recognized chorus ensembles of Geneseo, from artists-in-residence and voice lessons to performances and tours.
In addition, they have contributed to their existing Dr. Robert M. and Maria L. Isgro Scholarship Endowment to support Geneseo students pursuing a degree in vocal performance who have demonstrated excellence in their craft.
“Bob and Mary's gift is truly transformational — much the way Bob's teaching and leadership was,” said Gerard Floriano, music department chair and director of choral activities. “I myself am a product of his mentorship, and I am so thrilled for the generations of future students who will benefit from ‘Doc and Docette's’ generosity and support. This gift is a testament to the Isgros’ faith in the music program and the future of music at Geneseo."
During his tenure at SUNY Geneseo from 1963 to 1998, Bob Isgro served as administrator, choral director, and professor. In addition to conducting three choirs, he was chair of the Department of Music in its formative years (1969–81 and 1990–92) and taught a variety of courses, including music appreciation, choral literature, music history, folk music, and conducting.
Isgro’s most enduring contribution during his 35-year tenure was his leadership of the Geneseo Chamber Singers. He taught and directed hundreds of young vocalists to impressive levels of artistic and intellectual achievement.
Mary Isgro, a former elementary school teacher, often accompanied Bob and the Chamber Singers on concert tours as an unofficial guide, chaperone, and friendly consultant. In retirement, Bob and Mary Isgro continue to stay in touch with Chamber Singers alumni.
(Photo on right: Bob Isgro conducting in the 1980s)