Edward Allen Livingston, age 77, of Somonauk, IL passed away on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at his home. He was born on April 16, 1935 in Home Acres, MI the son of Vernon and Marion (Boyd) Livingston.
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Edward was united in marriage on May 21, 1983 on Washington Island, WI to the former Melissa King, and they spent the next 29 happy years of their lives together. He was a loving husband and father who will be deeply missed by his family and many friends.
Ed graduated from Godwin Heights High School, received his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Tuba Performance and Music Education from Western Michigan University. Ed served as tuba soloist with the United States Army Field Band in Washington D.C. from 1959 to 1962, and went on to teach and direct the junior high band in Godwin Heights Public Schools. From 1965 to 1967 Ed studied tuba and instrument design at the Royal College of Music in London, England on a Fulbright Scholarship, and received the American equivalent of a masters and doctorate. While in London, Ed studied conducting with Leonard Bernstein and was selected to solo for the Queen of England performing the Richard Strauss E-flat Horn Concerto.
Over the years, Ed enjoyed playing his tuba professionally in London and the United States, including New York City's Radio City Music Hall and the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. Ed was a member of the Central States Judging Association, judging marching band competitions nationwide. As a tuba soloist and music educator, Ed was a sought after clinician representing leading instrument manufacturing companies throughout his career.
Upon returning from England, Ed started his career at Illinois State University in 1968 as their first Tuba/Euphonium professor. Ed served as Director of Bands from 1977 to 1984, during which time he founded the Big Red Marching Machine, the world's largest college marching band at the time. During his tenure at ISU, Ed established the State of Illinois High School Invitational Marching Band Championship, which continues as the premier state marching band competition to this day. Professor Livingston continued to teach and mentor hundreds of tuba and euphonium students until he retired in 1997. Today Ed's students can be found performing in the military bands and professional orchestras, and teaching in public schools and universities around the world.
Upon retirement, Ed moved to Washington Island, WI where he enjoyed the outdoors, gardening and boating with his family. He and his wife operated the Cherry Train Tours for nine seasons until selling the business in 2009.
Through the years as a musician and teacher, Ed touched the lives of thousands of colleagues and students. Friends and strangers alike enjoyed Ed's quick wit and sense of humor.
He is survived by his wife, Melissa Livingston of Somonauk, IL; and his daughters, Erin Livingston of Bloomington, IL and Samantha Livingston of Oconto, WI.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Marion Livingston.
A memorial service will take place 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at the Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 S. Cottage Ave., Normal, IL. The family will greet guests at the church from 11 to 12:30 p.m. Following the memorial service, friends are welcome to gather at the Illinois State University Alumni Center, 1101 N. Main St., Normal, IL.
Memorials may be directed to Illinois State University Foundation, Grand Puba Tuba Scholarship, Campus Box 8000, Normal, IL 61790-8000.
Online condolences are welcome at www.nelsonfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Homes & Crematory, 815-786-6461.
Published in Door County Advocate on May 26, 2012