Jan Morris Bach
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Jan Morris Bach

Jan Morris Bach, DMA, 82, award-winning composer, French Hornist, pianist, cartoonist, 38-year professor at Northern Illinois University's School of Music. Born in Fairbury, IL died at home in DeKalb, October 30, 2020.

As associate first horn in the U. S. Army Band (1962-1965), Jan had the honor of playing for President John F. Kennedy's funeral. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Played French Horn with the DeKalb Municipal Band for three decades.

Winner of NIU's Excellence in Teaching Award and Presidential Research Professorship grant. First prizes, First International Brass Congress in Montreux, Switzerland and Nebraska Sinfonia chamber orchestra competition. Six-time nominee, national CASE Professor of the Year.Six compositions recommended for Pulitzer Prize in music; work featured on Grammy-nominated album. His opera The Student of Salamanca was produced by Beverly Sills and won the 1980 New York City Opera competition. "[Jan is] one of America's somewhat hidden treasures"--Music Library Association.

Survived and remembered by former wife, Dalia Bach; daughters Dawn (E.Rawlings Thurman) Bach and Eva Bach (Eric) Engelhard; grandchildren Zachary and Marlo Thurman and Elsa Engelhard; and siblings Gaylon Gwin and Eric (Rick) Bach.

A scholarship fund has been established in his memory through NIU https://foundation.myniu.com/give.php.

Arrangements by Cremation Society of Illinois, 773-281-5058 or www.cremation-society.com.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The MidWeek News on Nov. 7, 2020.
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November 13, 2020
My husband and I knew Jan a bit when we lived in DeKalb and he used the house out our backyard for composing in the summer. To us he was bright, wise and caring. We knew him as a consummate musician and devoted professor with a passion for music and the players of it. May that legacy endure. Rest well, Jan.
Julie and Tom Sorensen
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