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Robert L. Town

Death Notice
  • "We were classmate in high school@ Cato-Meridian, Cato, NY I..."
    - Donald Richardson
  • "Prof Town Rest in Peace. I will miss you. This year I had..."
    - Mee Lee
  • "A kind and unique man with whom I shared some wonderful..."
    - Diana Kitch
  • "My very dear will always be in my thoughts! ..."
    - Gary Strout
  • "Bob Town was an outstanding organist and committed to the..."
    - Marilyn Mason

Town, Robert L., 76, Professor of Organ at WSU, died Dec. 10, 2013. He was born Oct. 31, 1937 in Waterman, Wisc. His interest in the pipe organ began when he was 3 yrs old, attending church for the first time. Instead of fighting boredom, he was fascinated by the organ. At age 12, he headed a successful campaign to purchase a Hammond organ for his church. At 15, he was appointed organist at First Baptist Church in Weedsport, NY. Mr. Town was admitted to the Eastman School of Music and received his B.M. degree in 1960 studying with Catharine Crozier and earned his master's degree at Syracuse University with Arthur Poister. He began his doctoral work at the University of Michigan with Marilyn Mason and was appointed to a teaching position as he continued his doctoral studies. At age 25, Mr. Town won the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Competition, winning over organists with 10 yrs greater experience. He then gave a recital at Boston Symphony Hall. He recalled the competition as the beginning of his national reputation. Mr. Town's recital venues included the Kennedy Center, St. Thomas Church in New York City and the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He applied and was accepted at WSU in 1965 by Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Walter Duerksen. He taught until his retirement in 2006. He was a beloved master teacher and his students were successful in competition across the world with two receiving the Fulbright Award, the only students to do so in the history of the College of Fine Arts. His efforts at WSU led to the acquisition of the Great Marcussen Organ and building (Wiedemann Hall) to house it. Many of the finest organists in the world have given recitals in Wiedemann Hall. A memorial service will be held for Professor Town at 3:00 pm. on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at Weidemann Hall WSU. Memorials may be sent to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, 313 S. Market, Wichita, KS 67202 or the Marcussen Organ Maintenance Fund c/o WSU Foundation, 1845 N. Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260. To sign a guest book or leave a condolence for the family, go to

Published in The Wichita Eagle from Dec. 15, 2013 to Jan. 8, 2014
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