William Laney Furr Endowed Jazz Scholarship IHO Rod Cannon

The William Laney Furr Endowed Jazz Scholarship in Honor of Rod Cannon is a gift from the Estate of William Laney Furr. William Furr also known as Laney Furr was born in Oxford, Mississippi on June 9, 1953, to Lynne and Howard Furr. He was raised for most of his life in Bryan, TX where he graduated from Stephen F Austin High School in 1971. Laney completed his undergraduate degree in music literature at Sam Houston State University, studying with Dr. Harry Mallard. A few years later he continued his education at Texas A&M University where he earned his MBA in Finance. He also played in the Symphonic Band and Houstonian Jazz Ensemble every year until he graduated in 1976. He played trombone with the Palmetto Brass Quintet, the Columbia Brass Band, The Gene Dykes Band, and occasionally as a substitute with the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. Laney was well-known in the SC music community and played various other musical gigs throughout the southeast. Dr. Rod Cannon is a Professor Emeritus and former Director of the School of Music at Sam Houston State University. He began his tenure in 1982 as a Percussion Instructor and Director of the SHSU Marching Band. Rod would later become the Director of Jazz Studies in 1988, leading many excellent big bands over the next 14 years as well as directing the Annual SHSU Jazz Festival, which continues today as the oldest jazz festival in the state of Texas. Garnering critical acclaim, the SHSU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Rod, performed at the 2002 Annual Texas Music Educators Association Music Convention as the premier jazz band. In 2004, Rod earned a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of North Texas while still teaching and performing the duties of Director of Music at SHSU.