|Born||June 29, 1925|
Alva, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||April 4, 2019 93) (aged|
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||University professor, teacher, soloist|
Marilyn May Mason (June 29, 1925 – April 4, 2019) was an American concert organist, recording artist, and professor. Mason joined the staff of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1947, became chair of the organ department in 1962, and was named a professor in 1965.
Born in Alva, Oklahoma, Mason enrolled at the University of Michigan (U-M), where she earned both a Bachelor and Master degree in music. She was so proficient, she joined the U-M music faculty, in 1947, even before she had graduated. Except for spending one summer in France studying organ with noted artists Maurice Duruflé and Nadia Boulanger, and some additional time earning the Doctor of Sacred Music degree at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Mason has spent almost her entire career at U-M.
Alva is a city in and the county seat of Woods County, Oklahoma, United States, along the Salt Fork Arkansas River. The population was 4,945 at the 2010 census. Northwestern Oklahoma State University is located in Alva.
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York is an independent, non-denominational, seminary grounded in the Christian tradition, located in New York City. It is the oldest independent seminary in the United States and has long been known as a bastion of progressive Christian scholarship, with a number of prominent thinkers among its faculty or alumni. It was founded in 1836 by members of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., but was open to students of all denominations. In 1893, Union rescinded the right of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church to veto faculty appointments, thus becoming fully independent. In the 20th century, Union became a center of liberal Christianity. It served as the birthplace of the Black theology, womanist theology, and other theological movements. Union houses the Columbia University Burke Library, one of the largest theological libraries in the Western Hemisphere.
Her career as performer, lecturer, adjudicator, and teacher has taken her throughout the western world, at one point performing more than thirty recitals per year. In 1988, she was described as "among the important influences on the American organ scene in the second half of the 20th century" by the American Guild of Organists New York Chapter when she was named International Performer of the Year.Over her career, she has also commissioned over 75 original works for the organ. In 1985, a C. B. Fisk organ modeled on the eighteenth-century organs of Gottfried Silbermann was commissioned by the University of Michigan School of Music and named the Marilyn Mason Organ in her honor. She was the first American woman organist to perform in Westminster Abbey, the first woman organist to play in Latin America, and the first American organist to perform in Egypt. Mason's teaching legacy was recognized in the fall of 2007 when the 47th Conference on Organ Music, which she founded in 1960, was dedicated to her in celebration of her 60th year of teaching. On the occasion of the 2009 GALA, sponsored by the national council of the American Guild of Organists, she was honored as the seventh in a series of organ teachers/performers who have reached the highest level of success in their profession.
The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is a national organization of academic, church, and concert organists in the U.S., headquartered in The Interchurch Center in New York City. Founded as both an educational and service organization, it was chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1896, with the authority to grant titles of associate or fellow to members who passed required examinations. Henry Houseley was a Founder of the American Guild of Organists, and Clifford Demarest played an important role in its first two decades. The Guild seeks to set and maintain high musical standards and to promote understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music.
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through the organ pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass. Most organs have multiple ranks of pipes of differing timbre, pitch, and volume that the player can employ singly or in combination through the use of controls called stops. Some Organs can have up to 98 keys/pedals.
Gottfried Silbermann was a German builder of keyboard instruments. He built harpsichords, clavichords, organs, and fortepianos; his modern reputation rests mainly on the latter two.
A biographical video retrospective, "A Life's Harmony," was created in 2007 to recognize Mason's exceptional teaching and mentorship.She was the longest-serving faculty member at the University of Michigan, retiring after 67 years, and was recognized in 2013 with a symposium in her honor titled "Teacher of Music, Teacher of Life". Mason died on April 4, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, aged 93.
Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, 28 miles (45 km) north of Miami. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2017 census, the city has an estimated population of 180,072. Fort Lauderdale is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,158,824 people in 2017.
The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) is an undergraduate and graduate institution for the performing arts in the United States. It is part of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. The school was founded in 1880 as the Ann Arbor School of Music, and it was later incorporated into the University of Michigan.
Larry Teal is considered by many to be the father of American orchestral saxophone.
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Gerre Edward Hancock was an American organist, improviser, and composer. Hancock was Professor of Organ and Sacred Music at the University of Texas at Austin. He died of cardiac arrest in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, January 21, 2012.
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Frederick L. Swann is an American church and concert organist, recording artist, choral conductor, and former president of the American Guild of Organists. Music critic Tim Smith called Swann "one of the country's most distinguished organists". He is Organist Emeritus of the Crystal Cathedral and the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.
Dr. Evelyn Lim is the founding dean of the Singapore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. She has been one of the main driving forces behind the renaissance of organ music, both sacred and secular, in Singapore.
Chelsea Chen is an internationally renowned young American organist and composer. She has been successful in establishing a concert career in North America, Europe and Asia. She has composed several original compositions, and has adapted music ranging from major classical repertoire to video game soundtracks to Taiwanese folk songs for the organ and other instruments.
John C. Walker, more familiarly known as John Walker, is an American concert organist, choirmaster, and CD recording artist. He is also a former president of the American Guild of Organists, elected in May 2014 to a two-year term of the 16,000-member organization. Walker has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. He is "widely recognized for his flawless technique and execution as well as his controlled and passionate playing," said Duke University in announcing a John Walker recital at Duke Chapel. Since 2006 he has served on the faculty of the Peabody Institute and George Mason University.
Robert Ellison Glasgow was an American organist and music pedagogue. He taught at the University of Michigan for over 40 years and was an internationally respected performer.
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James Kibbie is an American concert organist, recording artist and pedagogue. He is Chair of the Organ Department at the University of Michigan.
Diane Meredith Belcher is an American concert organist, teacher, and church musician. She has given a large number of solo recitals throughout the United States and abroad, is a teacher, and serves as Music Director at Saint Thomas Episcopal Church, and Lecturer in Music Theory & Organ at Dartmouth College, both in Hanover, New Hampshire. Her concert career is managed by Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc.
Cleveland Thomas Johnson is an American academic, administrator, music historian, and early-music performer. He has been the director of the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota since 2012. Previously, he was Executive Director of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Dean of the School of Music at DePauw University, Professor of Music at DePauw University (1985-2012), and Music Librarian at Old Dominion University. DePauw University awarded him the title, Professor Emeritus of Music, in 2012.
Martin Welzel is a German organist, musicologist, and pedagogue.