Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: David E. Craighead

Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: David E. Craighead

Article excerpt

David E. Craighead, 88 years old, March 26, 2012. Born January 24, 1924, in Strasburg, Pa., where his father was a Presbyterian minister, he showed interest in music at an early age and received his first music lessons from his organist mother. The organ became his favored instrument and he studied at Santa Ana (Calif.) Junior College with Clarence Mader. At age 18, he became a pupil of Alexander McCurdy at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he received the BMus degree in 1946. During his four undergraduate years, he served as organist of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.

In 1944, Craighead was accepted as a touring recitalist by Concert Management Bernard R. LaBerge, now Karen McFarlane Artists, making his first transcontinental tour shortly after. In his last year at the Curtis Institute, he joined the faculty of Westminster Choir College. The following September, he was appointed organist at Pasadena (Calif.) Presbyterian Church; among his duties were biweekly organ recital broadcasts and the accompanying of numerous oratorios and other musical performances. From the summer of 1948 through 1955, he taught in the music department of Occidental College, Los Angeles. From 1955 until retirement in the summer of 1992, he was both professor of organ and chair of the organ division at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, N.Y. At the same time he was appointed organist of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Rochester, where he continued to serve until 2003, a total of 48 years. In retirement he taught at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Lebanon Valley College, Annville, Pa. …

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