Magazine article The Tracker

Obituaries: ROBERTA BITGOOD

Magazine article The Tracker

Obituaries: ROBERTA BITGOOD

Article excerpt

ORGANIST, CHOIR DIRECTOR, COMPOSER, : and teacher Dr. Roberta Bitgood died after a brief illness on Sunday, April 15, 2007, at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, New London, Connecticut. She was ninety-nine years old. Dr. Bitgood, formerly of Quaker Hill, had been a resident of the Odd Fellows Home of Connecticut (Fairview) in Groton. She was also known locally as Roberta Wiersma, her married name.

Roberta Bitgood was born in New London on January 15, 1908, the only child of Grace Robinson Prentis and Robert A.T. Bitgood. She began study of the violin at age five. As a student at the Williams Memorial Institute (1920-24), she was already well known as a gifted performer on the violin and organ in local churches and school orchestras. Graduating with honors from Connecticut College for Women, she received postgraduate and conservatory training in New York, where she was awarded the William C. Carl Medal upon graduation from the Guilmant Organ School (1930), became a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists (also 1930), and earned a master's degree in music education from Teacher's College at Columbia University (1932), a master's degree in sacred music from Union Theological Seminary (1935), and later the doctoral degree in sacred music (1945), also from Union. …

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