Nunc Dimittis

August 5, 2013

Toni Desiree Hines died January 19. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Hines worked in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia; in the latter city she was organist in residence and program coordinator at the Traverse Arts Project from 2007 to 2011, where she was the driving force of its International LGBT Arts Festival. Hines moved to Kansas City in 2011 to study at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and was appointed the Curdy Organ Scholar at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City, where she worked with the cathedral choirs as conductor, accompanist, and bell ringer. She was a member of the Greater Kansas City AGO chapter. Toni Desiree Hines is survived by several brothers and sisters, and the cathedral community.


Donald G. Larson, age 81, died February 26 in Decatur, Georgia. He received a BA degree in music from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s degree in church music from Northwestern University. Larson served as a chaplain’s assistant in the U.S. Army. For more than 30 years he was a music teacher and counselor at Georgia Perimeter College, where he was named professor emeritus in 1995. Larson also served as minister of music at three Atlanta-area churches, and as a longtime board member of the Atlanta AGO chapter. Donald G. Larson is survived by his wife of more than 61 years, Jacqueline, a son, a daughter, and four grandchildren.


Robert Eugene Ward died April 3 in Durham, North Carolina, at the age of 95. Ward studied composition with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson at the Eastman School of Music and later with Aaron Copland at Tanglewood. He taught at the Juilliard School, then at Columbia University, and worked as vice president and managing editor of Galaxy Music Corporation. Ward was president of the North Carolina School of the Arts 1967–74, and a professor at Duke University. His opera The Crucible won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1962; he composed many choral works, and Celebrations of God in Nature and The Promised Land for organ.


Randel Lynn Wolfe, age 52, died April 14 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He earned a BMus degree from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, an MSM from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, and a DMA in choral conducting and organ from the University of Kansas, with postgraduate study at Uppsala University in Sweden. Wolfe served the AGO as dean, and was a member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and Chorus America. He was on the board of the RSCM in America, and had served as an instructor at Alvernia University. Randel Lynn Wolfe is survived by his mother, two brothers, and his longtime partner, David B. Kersley.


Zella Mae Woods died March 6. She was 89. She taught music at Fresno Pacific University for 16 years, and had studied with Richard Purvis at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. She was organist at Fresno First Baptist Church for 33 years, and also played for First Presbyterian, College Community Congregational, Bethel Lutheran, and St. George’s Greek Orthodox churches in Fresno. Woods also was the accompanist for the Fresno Community Chorus, the Fresno Pacific Choral Society, and Fresno Choral Artists. She served the San Joaquin Valley AGO chapter as board member and dean, and as past president of the Fresno Musical Club, the Fresno chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the central district of the California Federation of Music Clubs. Zella Mae Woods is survived by a son, a daughter, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

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