View all news

SCU pays tribute to Clive Pascoe


Brigid Veale
10 January 2006
Southern Cross University staff and students have paid tribute to Professor Clive Pascoe, the founder of SCU's contemporary music program and former Dean of Arts.

Professor Pascoe, of Lennox Head, passed away in Sydney on December 29, 2005 whilst undergoing treatment for leukaemia.

Professor Pascoe, a highly-regarded composer, conductor and music educator, came to the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education (which later became Southern Cross University) in 1985 as Dean of Arts. One of his primary goals was to transform the classical music program into Australia's first university-based contemporary music course. The popular music-based program was also the first of its kind in the world.

Associate Professor Jon Fitzgerald, from the contemporary music program, said Professor Pascoe was the driving force behind the program, which has since produced some of Australia's leading musicians.

"When Clive came to Lismore there was a lack of educational opportunities for aspiring popular musicians, and he really came up with the idea of establishing Australia's first university-based popular music course," Associate Professor Fitzgerald said.

"It certainly was a big undertaking, and making the transition from a classical program was not easy. He essentially got the course up and running and was also the driving force behind the design and construction of the music building, which was purpose-built to cater for contemporary music students."

Associate Professor Fitzgerald said Professor Pascoe had made an enormous contribution, both to the Australian music industry and the North Coast region.

"Clive's vision has been realised. We now have network of former SCU students making major contributions to the Australian and international music scene, such as members of Grinspoon, James Haselwood from the Dissociatives, and Delta Goodrem's musical director and keyboard player Richard Sanford."

SCU Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark paid tribute to Professor Pascoe for his enduring contribution to Southern Cross University.

Professor Pascoe, who was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his contribution to music education in 1996, was also a prominent musician and conductor. He completed a music doctorate in the United States, and conducted Sydney's annual Messiah performance for 28 years.

After leaving SCU in 1997 he became Senior Vice President, Education, School of Audio Engineering (SAE) - a leading international technology education institute with headquarters in Byron Bay.