Perhaps you saw the article a few days ago, titled “Music professor retires after record-breaking 67 years.” The person who had the honor of serving the longest in the University of Michigan history was organist Marilyn Mason, who just retired after teaching there for 67 years. She apparently joined the faculty while still a student, and spent her entire teaching career there.
Well, guess what — in 2007, she came to Hawaii to give a concert at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu and to reunite with two of her former organ students, the late John McCreary and Samuel Lam.
Here’s what was said about her program: Sunday afternoon, January 14, Marilyn Mason, university organist and professor of music at the University of Michigan, presented a program of music by Bach, Buxtehude, Mozart, and Rinck as part of LCH’s Abendmusiken concert series. In addition to her spirited organ performance, Ms. Mason, who has been called one of “the most important influences on the American organ scene in the second half of the 20th century,” also entertained the audience with stories from her long and storied career. She began at the University of Michigan as an instructor of music in 1947 and has been active in all areas of organ music ever since. Among her many students over the years are Honolulu organists John McCreary and Samuel Lam.
We also had her over to dinner, along with John and Sam, as you can see by the photo below:
Marilyn had not seen John since his college days, and I remember the first thing she said to him was: “What happened to your hair, John? It used to be brown!”
P.S. There have been reports swirling around town that the writer of this blog, namely moi, has or is about to retire from teaching. I wanted to assure you that these rumors are entirely false, and if someone is spreading this gossip, it’s news to me! But to teach for 67 years?! I haven’t even been alive for 67 years!