Charles Garner
Garner, Charles
Dr. Charles Garner, composer, musician and educator, of Silver Spring, Maryland, went home to be with the Lord on February 12, 2019. He was born on July 27 in Toledo, Ohio, the fifth of ten children of Plurel and Lucius Garner. While still a child, Charles accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at Toledo's St. Paul Baptist Church.
As a child prodigy pianist, Charles served as his church musician by the time he was twelve. During his teens, he accompanied notable singing artists, including Mahalia Jackson and Willie Mae Ford Smith. He later earned a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a master's degree from Boston University, and his doctorate from Teachers College Columbia University. He completed additional graduate work at Yale University, where he received the prestigious Frances Osbourn Kellogg Counterpoint Prize and the Charles Ditson Award. Charles was a U.S. Army Korean War Veteran.
For twenty-eight years, Dr. Garner was a beloved professor of music at Southern Connecticut State University, retiring as former Chairman of the Music Department. He was designated Professor Emeritus and was furthered honored when the University's main recital hall was renamed The Charles Garner Recital Hall. Throughout his career, Dr. Garner made numerous contributions to the arts in musical theater and television, and through scores of solo recitals, ensemble collaborations and premieres. He also served as Organist/Director of Music for several congregations in the Northeast and Midwest. Among his professional and fraternal affiliations were Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Center for Black Music Research (Charter Member); Connecticut State Music Educators Association; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); Leisure World Kiwanis Foundation, Inc.; and Prince Hall Mason 33°. As a composer, he had recently completed an extended musical work based on the Negro spiritual, "Oh Freedom." Dr. Garner's choral compositions, which are published by G.I.A. Publishers (Chicago), have been presented by soloists and choirs worldwide.
Dr. Garner was preceded in death by his parents and eight siblings. He leaves to treasure his memory his beloved wife of nearly 60 years, Judith M. Garner; son, Kevin Garner of Rockville, MD; daughter, Darchelle M. Garner of Silver Spring, MD; sister Joan (Charles) Moss of Toledo, OH; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. A memorial service is planned for the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be sent to your favorite charity.
Published by The New Haven Register on Feb. 24, 2019.
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8 Entries
My dear mrs.Garner, today is a sad time for many because death has claimed the life of some one dearly loved and appreciated by many.Mr.Garner will be greatly missed. I wish you peace and comfort during this most difficult time.
February 27, 2019
My sympathy is extended to Kevin and Darshelle and their mother on the death of Dr. Garner. The SCSU community has lost a wonderful professor emeritus.
February 26, 2019
My sincere condolences to the Garner family. I fondly remember Dr. Garner as the Musical Director and his wife as the children's choir director at Dixwell UCC -
Dee Marshall
February 26, 2019
He is a sad loss for SCSU and the faculty that appreciated his services.
Doris Marino
Coworker
February 25, 2019
Charles and I met in 1971 when I was a freshman at Southern Connecticut. We remained friends through the years and I will always treasure my memories of his musical inspiration as I learned my instrument, his gentlemanly ways, and just plain talking about what was on our minds. His piano playing was the highlight of my wedding ceremony. Love you always, Chuck.
Tom McNamara
P.S You all should have heard him play Rhapsody in Blue with the Southern Connecticut College Orchestra in 1974. Perfection and grace.
February 25, 2019
So sorry Judy and family .What a loss to the workd
Rae Levine
February 25, 2019
My sincere condolences to his family. I had the privilege of working with Dr. Garner at SCSU and found him to be a wonderful, kind gentleman.
Carol Culmo SCSU
Carol Culmo
February 24, 2019
My sincerest condolences to the entire family. May you find comfort among friends and have peace over time. 2kings 20:5
February 23, 2019
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