March 18, 1949 – August 27, 2019
The Bishop’s School community mourns the passing of beloved teacher Jared Jacobsen, a member of Bishop’s music faculty for the past 22 years. Jared was involved in a car accident in Geneva, Ohio on Aug. 27. He was fondly known among the student body as “Mr. J.”
Bishop’s Performing Arts Department Chair Christine Micu says, “While Jared's official job title was Accompanist, he did ever so much more than that for the students, faculty, and the School. He was the students' biggest cheerleader, and was always available and willing to help any student with anything musical. He worked with students of all grades, from accompanying the sixth-grade violins, to helping students prepare and record college auditions, to playing for professional guest artists. He was the epitome of humility. Most of the students here never knew that he had done such amazing things as playing for the pope. He was most happy when letting them shine, and making them feel like the stars of the show.”
In 1987, Jared played for the papal mass in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park for a congregation of 70,000 and the following spring was invited by Pope John Paul II to be an American delegate to the historic First World Congress of Church Music at the Vatican. Jared earned a bachelor of music degree with honors from Westminster College and later a master of music degree from the University of Arizona. He was the long-time organist at the Chautauqua Institute and director of music for the First Lutheran Church in San Diego for many years. He toured extensively as a pianist, organist and choral clinician in the United States, Mexico, Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
To that notable list of accomplishments, Christine adds, “Jared often still played the organ in Balboa Park on Sundays. He often filled in as a sub, and was quite busy playing there throughout the hiring process between the former and current organists. He would sometimes have students sing something on one of his programs, and often would create an organ arrangement of music we were working on in choir and play it in one of his Sunday concerts. One of our choir favorites that he adapted and played on the Spreckles organ was the ‘Armed Forces Salute.’”
Clare Friedman, a member of St. James-by-the-Sea, sang in the choir under Jared’s direction when he served as the organist and choirmaster there. She recalls, “Jared came to St. James as a young man with remarkable keyboard skills on both piano and organ. We particularly enjoyed his impeccable sense of rhythm. One Palm Sunday Jared instructed the choir to bring in our own 'significant fronds' for the procession around the church and we did. I still think of them each year as significant fronds even if they are small palm crosses. In some of our concerts, Jared included the choir at our mission church on Genesee which is now Good Samaritan. We were all very fond of him and really appreciated his musical talents, wit, and good humor.”
A memorial service is scheduled 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 in the Eva May Fleet Athletic Center on the Bishop’s campus. If you plan to attend, we ask that you RSVP here
. Memories and messages of condolence may be shared here
. Memorial donations
may be made to The Bishop’s School, Jared Jacobsen Music Education Fund.