The UNT Organ program boasts faculty members with credentials from some of the top organ programs in the United States and Europe. In addition to being outstanding educators, organ faculty members are equally well regarded as performers, researchers, and composers.
Jesse Eschbach, DMA
Recording: Maurice Durufle's Suite pour orgue Op. 5
Recorded live in concert at the Basilique Saint-Ouen, Rouen.
Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, 1890.
Professor Eschbach is a graduate of Indiana University and the University of Michigan where he was a student of Robert Glasgow. He completed his formal education during a five-year residency in Paris as a student of Marie-Claire Alain, specializing in early French music in her conservatory class at Rueil-Malmaison where he was awarded both a Prix d’Excellence and a Prix de Virtuosité. As one of the very last students of the legendary Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier, he studied the complete organ works of her husband, Maurice Duruflé, as well as much of the French symphonic repertoire. Since 1986, Eschbach has served on the faculty at the University of North Texas as the full-time Professor of Organ, instructing performance majors at all levels, and is Coordinator of Organ. His students have dominated the annual San Antonio competition since 1995 and have won prizes in national competitions as well.
Joshua Taylor, Instructor of Sacred Music
Joshua Taylor has served as the Director of Worship and Music at First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas since 2011. He previously served as the Director of Music at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Denton, Texas and the Director of Choirs at Navo Middle School in Denton ISD.
Taylor has led the FPC Chancel Choir and Chamber Choir in performances for the 2016 Southwest ACDA convention in Kansas City, the memorial service for fallen Dallas police officers with Presidents Obama and Bush in attendance, and numerous concerts for the First Concert Series including collaborations with the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Winds, the South Dallas Concert Choir, and the Turtle Creek Chorale. The choir’s first recording under his direction, Sounds of the Season: Advent and Christmas at First Presbyterian, was released in November 2013. Additionally, he conducts the church’s youth choir, coordinates the monthly Taizé worship experiences, serves as the Artistic Director of the First Concert Series, and prepares liturgy for all worship services of the congregation.
Josh has presented interest sessions/webinars for the national ACDA conventions in Dallas, Texas (2013) and Minneapolis, Minnesota (2017) and the Texas Choral Directors Association, SWACDA, the Kansas Music Educators Association, and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. He has published articles in the Choral Journal as well as Call to Worship, a publication of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Presbyterian Outlook. He was named the North Texas Children’s Choir Teacher of the Year in 2010.
Josh currently serves on the Executive Board of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and has directed that organization’s Mo-Ranch/PAM Worship & Music Conference in 2014 and 2019. He has also served as the Vice President for the Church Division of the Texas Choral Directors Association. He was a consulting member for the revision of the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (2018) published by Westminster/John Knox Press.
Mr. Taylor holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Kansas State University, a Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of North Texas, and a Certificate in Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is a candidate in the Doctor of Pastoral Music program at Perkins School of Theology/Southern Methodist University.
In Memoriam: Mark Scott, Professor of Sacred Music
We honor the life and work of Mark Scott, who coordinated the Sacred Music curriculum for 10 years at UNT. During his tenure, this curriculum was completely restructured and is now available to graduate students as a minor (related field). The following is used with permission from St. Stephen Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth.
We give thanks for the life of Peter Mark Scott, Minister of Music and Organist at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth, TX. A memorial service was held at 2:00pm on November 1, 2014 at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth.
Mr. Peter Mark Scott, St. Stephen, Fort Worth's Minister of Music and Organist for almost forty years, entered the joy of God's heavenly worship Friday, October 17, 2014, at around 5:30 a.m. Mr. Scott's creativity, talent, and faithfulness shaped St. Stephen's unique style of worship. His organ music and choir direction conveyed the mystery and majesty of God. Several generations of St. Stephen children had their appreciation for music and the gospel shaped by Mr. Scott's humorous but always disciplined way with children. One of his greatest joys was teaching children and youth. Mr. Scott was a gifted church musician and choir director, but he was also a pastor to many, and the stabilizing rock of this church through the last forty years. His strong will, sharp wit, and confidence in God served a reassuring and even visionary role to parishioners in good times and bad.
"For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's" (Romans 14: 7-8). Mr. Scott lived his life for the sake of Christ and St. Stephen, giving himself freely and joyfully to the church and its mission for decades. While we mourn his loss, we rejoice that Mark has joined his talents to that choir of saints and martyrs who worship God eternally in God's Kingdom, in that place where suffering is ended and there is only eternal joy in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch III
St. Stephen Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth