Bob Shafer


Bob started playing tenor sax in local bands in 1947. He attended Iowa State Teachers College and was in the original jazz band in 1951. After graduation he played bassoon and alto sax in the Strategic Air Command Bands at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, NE.

After his discharge he taught instrumental music in the Waterloo Schools for 36 years: 13 at MicKinstry Junior High, 19 years at West High School, and 5 years at Logan and Hoover Middle Schools. The West High Symphonic Band received Division I ratings at large group contests; the West High Jazz ensemble was a consistent winner in area contests and received first place at the Iowa Jazz Championships in 1980 and 1981. The West High Jazz Band was invited to the All-American Jazz Band Contest in Mobile, Alabama in 1972 and tied for first place.

During his teaching years he was active in local musical groups: he played bass0on in the Waterloo Symphony for 5 years; has played and was soloist with the Waterloo Municipal Band, serving as director for 3 years; he judged for large group, solo/ensemble and jazz band contests and is a member of Bill Shepherd's Big Band and combos.

In retirement, he continues to play as a member and soloist in the All Iowa Veteran's Band, the UNI New Horizons Band, both the Waterloo and Cedar Falls Municipal Bands and was in the praise band at Westminster Presbyterian Church for many years.

Bob has been teaching privately for many years and is honored to have several of his students selected for All State Band. All he has been inducted into the Iowa Jazz Educators Hall of Fame and the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Hall of Fame.