The Scott Joplin Foundation is pleased to announce Richard Dowling as our 2018 Artist in Residence. Dowling, of New York City, will be in Sedalia Jan. 29 to Feb. 1 visiting the schools in and around Sedalia.
The Artist in Residence is a component of the Local Awareness Campaign and is part of a youth based Ragtime Curriculum Package designed to introduce grade-school students to: Scott Joplin as the King of Ragtime, Classic Ragtime as the root of American music, and Sedalia’s connection to American music history. The Artist in Residence Program reaches approximately 3,000 students each year and has been sponsored by the Sedalia Rotary and local PTA’s since 1997.
Dowling gave two concerts at Carnegie Hall on April 1, 2017, exactly 100 years from the death of Scott Joplin. In the four hours of concerts, he played all 53 pieces written by Joplin, becoming the first-ever solo performer to play all of Joplin’s works in concert. Since that time, he has traveled the U.S. giving those two concerts, and has more booked for 2018. We are extremely glad to have him scheduled for the week here.
In addition, Dowling will perform for a silent movie at the Liberty Center in downtown Sedalia. The silent movie selection, “Safety Last” featuring Harold Lloyd, will begin at 7 p.m, Tuesday, January 30th. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
Tarcisio and Izilda Tamega and their daughter Gizel and son-in-law Paulo, from Sorocaba Brazil, had only one day and two nights in Sedalia, but we filled it well. They had rooms at Bothwell Hotel where I met them. Tarcisio was excited to show me photos of his collection of ragtime CDs and vinyl and how his kitchen is decorated with covers of ragtime music. He has purchased many items from our Foundation.
We went to Fitter’s for supper where Tarcisio played the piano there, even though it was severely out of tune. We met the Sedalia Mayor there and he invited them to visit City Hall the next day.
Karen Marie Hatcher Melton died, Thursday, June 29 at Mercy Hospital, St. Louis from a series of debilitating strokes.
Karen was born April 2, 1944 in Union and with her brother David Hatcher went to public school there. Karen’s parents were Wanda and Raymond “Hatch” Hatcher. She was a diploma graduate of the Research Hospital School of Nursing program and she earned her nursing license in 1965. Her forty-five-year ministry of care-giving included nearly ten years at Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia, Missouri and almost thirty-five years at Mercy Hospital, Washington. She retired in 2012 as a nurse in the Ambulatory Care Unit.
Karen and her husband Larry co-founded the first Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri in 1974. It has become a long-running annual event. Karen was also active in the First Baptist Church, Washington.
Lucille Salerno has been a champion of Ragtime music and its place in American Musical History for almost thirty years. For several years, she served as a Board Member of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, commuting from her home in Columbia. A recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Lucille has served MU as a psychologist, researcher, grant writer, Peace Camp Director, and an instructor and Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in MU Extension’s Division of Continuing Education.
Albert Wiltjer, passed away recently at the age of 94 on April 29, 2017. He was a huge fan of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival and attended for over 10 years with many of his children and other relations. In lieu of flowers the family has asked people to make donations to the ragtime festival.
Al was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 6, 1922, son of Albert and Harriet Wiltjer, and brother to Phyllis (Wiltjer) Grey. He is preceded in death by his loving wife Bernie, wife of 66 years. Al leaves behind four children, twelve grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Big Al graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology, followed by three years in the United States Navy. He served as a communications officer in the Atlantic during the Second World War. Following the war, Al accepted a job working for Union Carbide, where he spent the next forty-five years. Al and his family eventually settled in Chappaqua, New York for 25 years.
Bernie's final years were spent in Sedalia close to his beloved daughter Susanna and son in law John who both provided wonderful care and support.
Al was a unique man of many varied skills and interests. An avid and competitive golfer, skilled gardener, and voracious reader, Al had a special passion for music; jazz, big band and ragtime among his favorites. He was a man of principle and integrity who took great pride in his family. Big Al was truly loved and admired. As one of a kind, he will be forever missed.