Jan 242020

Charles Gaines ’53 ’54 died Nov. 11, 2018. He was 86. Charles studied music at Illinois Wesleyan, where he was active in many music-related organizations and professional societies, and earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at IWU. He taught elementary school music and managed church music programs in Illinois and, later, New York, while he pursued a doctorate from Union Theological Society. Charles began his academic career at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, in 1965. He remained chair of the school’s department of fine arts until shortly before his retirement in 1998. He also served as director of music for the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton and the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwood, South Carolina, and founded and directed the Laurens County (S.C.) Chorale. Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford conferred The Order of the Silver Crescent, the South Carolina Legislature recognized his leadership in a proclamation, and the mayor of Greenwood later proclaimed June 15, 2012 as Charles T. Gaines Day. Charles is survived by his wife Jean (Reichert) Gaines ’53, three children, including Deborah (Gaines) Abbott ’76 and Betsy (Gaines) Bone ’82, and eight grandchildren.



 Posted by at 3:19 pm
Jan 092020

We are saddened to inform you that Dorothy Faughn (Stokes) ’47 passed away on January 5, 2020. Dorothy was the proud mother of 4 children and a legendary band director in Malden, Missouri. She is missed by former students, church friends and her children. She had wonderful memories of her time at IWU. A Celebration of Life is planned for 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at Schweitzer United Methodist Church. A reception will be held in the Memorial Hall following the service.

Read Dorothy’s full obituary here.

Dorothy Faughn

 Posted by at 3:58 pm
Dec 182019
On 21 November I performed with three others on A Guest Artist Recital of clarinet chamber works at Western University, London, Ontario, CANADA. Three of the works on the program were written for me. Invited to Arizona State University, I spoke to clarinet doctoral candidates about commissioning composers for new works and gave a master class for the clarinet students on 4 December. The next night I performed the MOTOR CITY MEMOIR by Alan Torok (US Premier), 10 autobiographical movements accompanied by powerful videos about growing up in Detroit in the 1960s.
Nov 262019

Warren J. Gitersonke ’51 reports that he reached the young age of 90 on October 24, 2019 and enjoys good health. He plays golf at least once a week and really enjoys playing his clarinet and saxophone in the South Ft. Myers Florida Big Band, which plays music of the 30’s and 40’s. Glad to hear from you, Warren!

 Posted by at 12:02 pm
Nov 192019

Dr. Jill Waldron ’58 reflects on the many things she is grateful for at IWU, including: the excellence of the education, the library, her professor of poetry Ms. Ogle, her Economics and Philosophy professors, the Art Department, the small classes, and the chance to succeed. We are grateful for her, too!

 Posted by at 2:40 pm
Nov 072019

Judith Anne McDonald Thomas-Solomon , Class of ’58, resides in Saratoga Springs, NY with her husband, Rabbi Josef Solomon. She continues to concertize solo piano in the area, and with her 4-hand partner, John Ackley of “Four Hands and a Foot”. A 50- year advocate of the Orff Schulwerk approach to group music, and past president of the organization and regular conference presenter, her articles can be read in the Orff Quarterly, “The Echo”, and in her books, such as “The Word in Play: Language, Movement and Music in the Classroom”, Thomas/Katz and more. She is the Music Director of the Saratoga Springs Unitarian church which will be presenting the complete Menotti opera ,“Amahl and the Night Visitors” in December, 2019.

 Posted by at 2:17 pm
Nov 052019

Maxine “Mickey” Drexler ’46 ’57 of Bloomington, Illinois, died Sept. 25, 2019. She was 94. Mickey earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in voice performance at Illinois Wesleyan, and received the outstanding music award at commencement in 1946. Mickey taught voice at IWU for 35 years. She additionally served as president of IWU’s Alumni Association and League of Women. She was a lifelong member of First Christian Church, where she sang in the choir, occasionally as a soloist, and for many years directed choirs. She also served as a deacon and taught Sunday and vacation Bible school. She was also active in Sigma Alpha Iota, P.E.O. International, Amateur Musical Club Board and Habitat for Humanity. She was a member of a bridge club for more than 60 years and loved golf, sewing, decorating, crafts, gardening and dinner parties. She corresponded regularly with many of her former students and colleagues. She also loved to travel with family and students. She is survived by two children.

Read the full obituary here.


 Posted by at 2:17 pm
Oct 312019

Lorraine Madison ’49 reports that she had five children, now ten grandchildren and ten great grand-children. Her husband is a Doctor of Ministry, and a retired Presbyterian pastor. After graduating, she became a minister of music in South Carolina, and continued to study for years. Lorraine also became a virtuoso organ recitalist, and performed numerous recitals. Congratulations to her!

 Posted by at 11:52 am
Oct 292019

Congratulations to Mary Selk ’43, who presented a choral program at Westminister on October 5th and conducted the opening and closing pieces. The chorus was made up of 24 BHS alumni chorus members, and IWU alumnus John Waddell ’63 sang 3 solos. She has been a fantastic music teacher throughout her life.

 Posted by at 12:06 pm