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Drusilla Anderson

Drusilla Huffmaster Anderson Drusilla Huffmaster Anderson passed away on April 29, 2011, in Georgetown. Born in 1917 in Houston, she was the daughter of Hu T. and Nonie Thompson Huffmaster. Drusilla's father, organist and choirmaster of St. Paul's Methodist Church in Houston, was her first piano teacher. She made her debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra at age 13, and through the years received critical acclaim for subsequent performances. Under the patronage of Miss Ima Hogg, she then studied with the Viennese pianist Adele Margulies in Houston, and later, from 1936 through 1940, with Ernest Hutcheson as a scholarship student at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, where she received her artist's diploma at age 22. Drusilla had a remarkable career as a concert pianist. She played in New York's Town Hall and toured in Europe, appearing in London, Vienna, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Milan, Hamburg, Munich, Copenhagen, Zurich, Amsterdam and the Hague. She appeared as soloist with such distinguished conductors as Sir Malcolm Sargent, Sir John Barbirolli, Arthur Fiedler, Efrem Kurz and Ezra Rachlin. In 1959 and 1960 she performed the Beethoven 4th and Schumann piano concerti with the Austin Symphony. In 1961 Drusilla was appointed to the music faculty of Southwestern University as Artist-in-Residence. In this position she greatly enriched the lives of all who came in contact with her, especially the hundreds of students who developed their piano skills under her expert guidance. Her recitals were always appreciated by the Southwestern community and by music lovers in the city of Georgetown. In 1983 she was recognized as Ms. Homecoming at Southwestern. She retired from the faculty in 1988. In 1996 Drusilla married Grady Anderson, with whom she lived happily until his death in 2005. In recent months she was well cared for in the Wesleyan Nursing Home in Georgetown. Drusilla was recognized as a Steinway Artist. She was an active member of Delta Omicron National Music Fraternity, P.E.O., the Georgetown Women's Club, the Georgetown Music Study Club and the American Heart Association. She was an honorary member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Drusilla is survived by her two daughters from her former marriage to Knute E. Peterson, Karin Tripp of Vienna and Virginia Peterson of Bracknell, England; step-daughter Gaynell Sachse and her husband David of Cookeville, Tenn; by her sister and brother-in-law Ellen and Howard Wilhelm of Sebring, Ohio and other descendents of the Huffmaster and Thompson families. On Saturday, May 7, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., there will be visitation at The Gabriels Funeral Home, 393 North IH 35, in Georgetown. On Sunday, May 15, at 2:00 p.m., there will be a concert sponsored by the Georgetown Festival of the Arts and the Friends of the Georgetown Library in recognition of Drusilla's gift to the Georgetown Symphony Society of her Steinway piano, which had belonged to Miss Ima Hogg. This will take place in the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street in Georgetown. On Wednesday. May 18, at 2:00 p.m., there will be a memorial service celebrating Drusilla's life at Georgetown's First United Methodist Church. In lieu of floral offerings, the family asks that donations be made to the Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University, the Organ Fund at the First United Methodist Church of Georgetown, or Cottey College, 1000 West Austin, Nevada, MO 64772.

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Published in Austin American-Statesman on May 15, 2011
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