About the founders
Bill Collins III
The founder of the Sherman Jazz Museum. From childhood, Bill loved jazz and learned to play the trumpet and knew exactly what he wanted to do. His high school band recorded a live performance with Doc Severinsen which became the inspiration for the Museum to preserve jazz recordings years later. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at TCU and completed the Master of Music Education degree at the University of North Texas. While there, he performed in the seven time grammy award nominated One O’Clock Lab Band.
After graduating, Bill stayed in the DFW area working in the Dallas recording studios, and was a member of the house orchestra for 24 years at the Dallas Summer Musicals. Bill has adjudicated jazz competitions, and has served on several music advisory boards. He served on the Executive Board of the DFW Musicians Union for eight years.
Bill performed with many internationally renowned artists including Doc Severinsen, Mel Torme, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, and Aretha Franklin. Bill has used his degrees as an adjunct faculty teaching trumpet, improvisation, and music business at Texas Wesleyan University, Cedar Valley College, Tarrant County College, Weatherford College, and UT-Arlington.
Bill, retired from teaching and performing, is now completely dedicated to seeing the Sherman Jazz Museum succeed.
Bill’s initial purpose of founding the jazz museum was to preserve the albums in his collections. “Jazz is such a new art form and it’s quickly losing popularity. We have to preserve these records and historical items before they are gone.” After Bill began his project, donations and lucky finds began to drive expansion to a full fledged jazz museum.
Retiring in 2007 as Undergraduate Advisor in the Music Department at UT-Arlington, Susan now enjoys the time spent helping her husband and daughter at the Sherman Jazz Museum.
Cathy, the daughter of Bill and Susan Collins, studied percussion at OU and moved back to Texas in 2002 to graduate from UT-Arlington with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Sociology, Music, Art and Art History. Her classes in Art History provides Cathy with a foundation of creativity which she uses while designing the museum and displaying the jazz exhibits and memorabilia. She sings in the five-time international champion Rich-Tone Chorus, as well as plays guitar, and piano. Cathy can be spotted with the museum’s mascot – her Shih-poo “The Count” Baci.
“Wonderful experience!! So much to see. Highly recommend.”
The building is NOT wheelchair accessible. PLEASE Watch your step!