Dr. Douglas M. Crowder|
Virginia Beach - Dr. Douglas Mark Crowder, who was one of the foremost professors of voice, specializing in choral music, bel canto opera, and art song as well as the piano, in a career spanning three decades, passed away on June 15, 2013 at a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He was 55.
The cause of death was abdominal cancer, said his brother Kenneth Crowder.
Mr. Crowder loved music from a young age, listening to the Beatles with his brother and to the classical records his mother would play. He began taking guitar lessons when he was 12, and started his career in singing in his church choir at Spurgeon Memorial Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia and in the Bayside High School Choir. He started piano studies at 17.
Mr. Crowder earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College, a Master of Church Music degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice from Peabody Conservatory. Mr. Crowder sang with the Westminster Choir with Joseph Flummerfelt conducting at the Spoleto Festival in Spoleto, Italy; at Royal Albert Hall in London, England; and at Lincoln Center with Leonard Bernstein conducting.
He was a professor of Voice at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a professor of Voice and Piano at Mansfield University in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. Dr. Crowder also had a private voice and piano studio for many years. He spoke and sang in six languages. In the early 1980's he brought his talent, leadership and musical skills to Mendoza, Argentina as a music missionary and loved the people and their music and culture.
Dr. Crowder was a commanding and moving baritone singer of classical music, art song (lieder), bel canto opera, as well as Latin American songs and in recent years bluegrass and folk music and old time music. He brought a depth of emotion and content to both the melody and the lyrics as a soloist and choral member that are rare.
Dr. Crowder was also an avid fisherman. He loved nature, art, and literature.
He was recognized and admired as a scholar and a gentleman.
Mr. Crowder was the younger son of Mr. Norman E. Crowder and Mrs. Mary Eileen Jones Crowder. Survivors are his elder brother Kenneth E. Crowder, and three cousins and their families.
Services are pending at Smith & Williams Funeral Home, Norfolk Chapel. Friends may offer condolences at www.smithandwilliamsnorfolk.com.
May He Rest In Peace.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on June 23, 2013