hyson Winifred Prince Hyson On Friday, December 6, 2019, Winifred Prince Hyson passed away peacefully at her home of the past fourteen years, Maplewood Park Place in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 94. She was born on February 21, 1925 in Schenectady, New York to David Chandler Prince and Winifred Notman Prince. She attended the Shipley School in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania and went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Radcliffe College (now Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard) in 1945 with majors in Physics and Mathematics and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. While a student at Radcliffe she participated in the Radcliffe Choral society and the Harvard Glee Club. She completed post graduate work at Harvard University in Physics before her marriage to Charles David Hyson in 1946. After two additional years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she and Dr. Hyson embarked on a foreign service career to implement the Marshall Plan in Norway and Portugal. While in Portugal, Mrs. Hyson wrote and published a cookbook for American wives living in Portugal, translating Portuguese recipes into English. After the birth of three children and resettlement in Bethesda, Maryland, Winifred Hyson completed post graduate study at the American University in Washington, DC. She studied Music Theory and Composition and Piano. She had additional advanced piano study with Evelyn Swarthout Hayes and Roy Hamlin Johnson. Over the course of her lengthy teaching career she was awarded a Music Teachers National Association Lifetime Master Teacher Certificate in Piano and Composition. She was an active member of Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity, the Friday Morning Music Club and the National League of American Pen Women. A love of poetry and a fascination with the relationship between words and music led to the creation of many works for voice, including songs, vocal chamber works, choral pieces, and a musical about America's first Ladies, Ladies First: Songs, Rhymes and Times of the Presidents' Wives. A solid understanding of physical acoustics governed her harmonic structure and orchestration and enabled her to exploit the resources of the individual instruments. She explored the works of classic poets such as Robert Louis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling and contemporary poets including Carl Sandberg, Denise Levertov, Jean Starr Untermeyer and Maxine Kumin (a classmate from Radcliffe). Discovering that her students were unfamiliar with many English folk songs, she set about composing and arranging three sets of duets based on some of these. She continued in this genre with several sets of piano duets based on American folk songs. In her own words: "Whatever their ethnic or cultural backgrounds, Americans deserve to know something of their common musical heritage as citizens of our United States of America." The Blue and The Gray, which includes many favorite Civil War song tunes, was a prize-winning piano duet. The Spanish Dance Fantasy was the first prize winner in the Year 2000 Biennial National League of American Pen Women competition held to honor of the 300th year anniversary of the invention of the piano. Mrs. Hyson became a Who's Who Worldwide Lifetime Achievement inductee in 2017; a Grantee in the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County; a two-time Grantee in Meet the Composer, Inc.; a featured listee in Who's Who in America, (2014- 2016); and a featured listee in Who's Who in the World (2012). Other honors included being named a fellow of the Charles Ives Center for American Music; the Mu Phi Epsilon roster of distinguished artists, composers, musicologists and educators; the National League of American Pen Women; the Mostly Women Composers Festival; and the Composers Guild Composition Contest. Her composition Somewhere in the Wild was the commissioned work for the Maryland State Music Teachers Association 2002 Annual Conference held at Hood College. She often took inspiration from the wild forests and waters that surrounded her beloved summer home in the Adirondacks. Winifred Prince Hyson was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Charles David Hyson. She is survived by her three devoted children David Prince Hyson (Orion), Pamela Hyson Martin (Christopher) and Christopher Perry Hyson (Audrey) six grandchildren Alexander, Brian, Morgan, Peter, Emily, Rose and two great grandchildren, Savannah and Weston. A concert will be held in her memory at Maplewood Park Place, 9707 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, Maryland on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to the Friday Morning Music Club Foundation, Inc. at 755 8th Street NW. Washington, DC 20001. (These contributions are tax-deductible.)contributions are tax-deductible.)
Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 13, 2019.