Photo above: Dr. Bradley Hufft and his wife Ellie Choate from their wedding day.
Fresno State’s national and state flags will fly at half-staff on Sunday, May 21, in memory of Dr. Bradley Hufft, a professor in the Department of Music who died in April.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at College Community Church, Mennonite Brethren (2529 Willow Ave.) in Clovis.
Castro issued the directive that the flags be lowered in honor of Dr. Hufft, who joined the Fresno State faculty in 2004 and was one of the lead developers of Fresno State’s online jazz and rock course.
Dr. Hufft was a musical educator, concert promoter and composer with a wide range of entrepreneurial experience. He owned several companies, including a multi-location restaurant corporation, produced records, managed bands, toured with a rock band, recorded two albums and had his music performed across Europe and the United States.
He is the co-author of “Listen to the Music: Styles and Trends in American Pop,” now in its 17th edition.
Dr. Saúl Jimenez-Sandoval, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State, released this statement upon hearing of Hufft’s unexpected death:
“I had the singular honor of meeting Brad, and he indeed was a special and kind person — dedicated to his students and art. His legacy will live on in the countless students he touched with his love of music, and in his distinct way of interpreting human emotions and the meaning of life through his own musical compositions.”
Hufft’s wife, Ellie Choate, said her husband was proud of earning all three of his advanced degrees from Fresno State — a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music composition and a doctorate in education. His doctoral dissertation was about the preparedness of high school seniors for college theory classes, for which he travelled to dozens of CSU campuses, interviewing theory faculty and students.
Born and raised in Bakersfield, Dr. Hufft was dedicated to serving his students and colleagues in any way he could. He was deeply involved in composing and orchestrating for young people’s orchestras, as he felt that “there is so little modern music that is not extremely difficult. We are failing our youth. They must have performable music that reflects modern sensibilities.”
“He was a tireless worker, dedicated to serving his students and colleagues in every endeavor to the best of his ability,” Choate said. “His love of music was all encompassing; composition was his greatest joy. Only days before his death, he finished a new work for voices and chamber group, employing the poetry of his late father-in- law and former high school English teacher and mentor, Bill Choate.”
Ellie Choate said, “If people would like to make memorial contributions to the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, that would be very fine. Brad loved the Sierras and volunteered several summers doing trail maintenance with them.”
Donations can be made to the Mariposa office:
PO Box 691
5065 Highway 140, Suite G
Mariposa, CA 95338
Or online donations can be made at: https://sierrafoothill.org/donate-today
Dr. Hufft is survived by his wife, Ellie Choate, of Coarsegold; son Cole Hufft of Fresno, daughter Ellen Hufft and son-in-law Eliot Jennings of Jacksonville, Ore., and daughter Gretchen Choate-Hufft Casella and son-in-law Greg Casella of Long Beach; mother, Polly Hufft, of Fresno; and brother, Gary Hufft, and sister-in-law, Gaye, of Watsonville. He was predeceased by his father, Paul Hufft.
- The Fresno Bee’s Donald Munro: How to remember Fresno State’s Brad Hufft? Try a drink and a song
- The Collegian: Hopes, dreams live on after Hufft’s death
- Fresno Bee news article
- YourCentralValley.com: Fresno State Music Department mourns death of longtime professor