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Willis Memorial Is Nov. 21

November 16, 2004

A memorial service for Thomas C. Willis, a former School of Music faculty member, will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21 at Alice Millar Chapel. Rev. Edward Townley, senior minister at Unity Church in Chicago, will preside.

The service will be a musical celebration of Mr. Willis’ life with contributions from many different musical genres performed by music faculty members and guest artists.

Paul Berliner, professor of music studies, will present an mbira (an African percussion instrument) tribute. John Evans Professor of Music Performance Studies and pianist Ursula Oppens will perform “Ardenklavier,” a composition by Luciano Berio dedicated to Mr. Willis and the world premiere of a work that was specially written by Augusta Read Thomas, professor of composition, in gratitude for his life.

Alumnus L. Stanley Davis will give a gospel performance.

A reception in the Guild Lounge at Scott Hall will follow the Nov. 21 service.

Mr. Willis, who had a long career as music and arts critic and arts editor at the Chicago Tribune, taught music history, managed Pick-Staiger Concert Hall and served as executive assistant to the former dean at the School of Music.

Mr. Willis died Sept. 23 at Manorcare nursing home in Wilmette.

Topics: People