Musical friends of the late Dr. Bill Wharton are putting together a concert to honor him Sunday, October 27. The concert or “Letzte Abendmusiken,”starts at 3 pm at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. It is free and open to the public.
Dr. Wharton, organist at St. Mark’s for 52 years, died May 19 at the age of 75. A memorial service for Dr. Wharton, featuring organist Wesley Parrott, was held July 14.
But many of his musical friends have more to say about Dr. Bill, as he was affectionately known. According to Scott Claussen, music director at St. Mark’s, “Musicians and music lovers in the community are coming together to express sweet memories of Dr. Bill in this tribute concert.”
Among the performers are soloists Gail Aveson, Debra Smith and Joe Tyler; organists and pianists Dr. Mark Higginbottom and Dr. Bill Curry; the St. Mark’s Bell Choir; a choir ensemble and flutist Mary Belle Barto, a music professor who collaborated musically with Dr. Wharton for over 50 years. The musicians have been rehearsing on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings. Other singers from the community are invited to join the group, Claussen said.
As an organist, choir director, college professor and community choral leader, Dr. Wharton enriched the lives of students, adults and community members on the Mid-Shore. He was widely credited with inspiring others to make music an integral part of their lives.