Eugene Dowling

Fine Arts

- John Threlfall

The Faculty of Fine Arts mourns the passing of inspirational teacher and invaluable colleague, School of Music professor Eugene Dowling. Following a 2013 diagnosis of prostate cancer, Dowling passed away at his home on June 30 with his family and close friends at hand.

“Gene was a wonderful teacher, talented performer and delightful colleague and friend,” says Acting Dean of Fine Arts and former School of Music Director Susan Lewis. “He showed incredible generosity and thoughtfulness towards his students and helped make the School of Music a great place to be.”

An inspirational mentor to more than one generation of students, Dowling worked as a teaching professor for 39 years before retiring in 2014. But he was perhaps best known locally for his 35 years leading the annual Tuba Christmas ensemble, which raised thousands of dollars for local charities. 

“He was a devoted and insightful instructor, often offering extra hours of teaching and mentoring to his students,” recalls fellow professor and School of Music Acting Director Harald Krebs. “The many successes of his students worldwide honour his legacy. He will be sorely missed by the many in whose lives he made a difference.”

In addition to his teaching, Dowling was a very active performer: for 25 of his 39 years at UVic, he was Principal Tubist with the Victoria Symphony, as well as an internationally known soloist. He was also nominated for a Juno Award for his first recording, The English Tuba. 

Upon his retirement in 2014, Dowling established a scholarship for the benefit of School of Music low brass students. 

“He was widely recognized as a dedicated teacher and advisor,” says Lewis. “We will miss Gene’s expertise, good humour and collegial nature.”

A public memorial for Eugene Dowling is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at St. John the Divine, 1611 Quadra St.


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