WMU News

School of Music remembers one of its own

Sept. 14, 2004

KALAMAZOO--A memorial service for Ethel Adams, organized by faculty colleagues and friends at Western Michigan University, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, at Zion Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo.

A retired WMU professor of music, Adams died Aug. 6 in Batesville, Ind. She was 91. Adams joined the university's faculty in 1946 and served until her retirement with emerita status in 1973. During her tenure at WMU, Adams appeared as a guest soprano soloist in concerts and oratorios throughout the Midwest, including multiple performances with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

Two of Adams' former students will deliver eulogies at the Sept. 26 service, Dr. Dan Christian of Mattawan, Mich., who graduated from WMU in 1956, and Arvita Steen of Minneapolis, a 1959 graduate.

Musical offerings will include a recording of the WMU Vocal Quartet from the 1950s, which included Ethel Adams, Sam Adams, Elwyn Carter and Marcella Faustman. Also heard will be a 1951 Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra recording with soprano Ethel Adams and contralto Louise Baumann performing an excerpt from Verdi's "Requiem."

Two current recipients of the Sam and Ethel Adams Choral Scholarships at WMU, Adrian Rosas and Joe Curry, will sing, accompanied by Phyllis Rappeport, a retired WMU professor of piano. A student vocal ensemble will sing the benediction under the direction of Dr. Joe Miller, WMU director of choral studies, and the closing organ voluntary will be played by another of Adams' former students, Carl Doubleday, associate director of the School of Music.

Officiating at the service will be Pastor Emeritus Louis Grother of Zion Lutheran Church.

Ethel Adams' late husband, Sam B. Adams, who died in 1988, was also a member of the WMU music faculty. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sam and Ethel Adams Vocal Music Scholarship Fund through the WMU Foundation, Kalamazoo MI 49008-5403 or <www.wmich.edu/wmuf>.

Obituary for Ethel Adams

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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