William Lusk Brice, who was born October 1, 1931, died January 14, 2012. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday in October of 2011.
A Native of Knoxville Tennessee, Bill, as he was known to almost everyone who knew him, earned a B.S. in Pre-Med from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.; A Master of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he studied with Marilyn Mason. He did his Doctoral work in Choral Conducting at The Julliard School in New York City where he studied with Harold Friedell. He also studied Anglican Chant and Plain Chant Interpretation and Conducting with Ray Francis Brown at General Theological Seminary also in New York City.
Bill was an Organist and Choir Master for over 50 years. His credits include several Cathedral Churches in Knoxville, TN, Decatur, GA and Tulsa, OK. He was a known recitalist, organ designer and recording artist of both organ and choral works with RCA. Dean of the American Guild of Organists: Knoxville Chapter and Memphis Chapter. During his life, he was an active member of both the American Guild of Organists and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.
Profiled in The Tulsa World Entertainment Section in September of 1993, the headline read “Music for the Masses.” Staff writer James Watts Jr. called Bill’s concert series of English Cathedral Music “…more than a concert – it is a call to arms.” Bill fought to save Classical Church Music from the ever increasing influence of “Pop Culture” and instant “feed-me-entertainment” so prevalent in modern church worship today. Tim Stanley wrote in the January 19th, 2012 “Our Lives” section of The Tulsa World, quoting his wife “Strive for the highest, don’t reach for the lowest" – that was Bill’s philosophy, not only in church music, but in life.
Bill was survived his wife Mary, step-son Robert, sister Nancy Greeley and brother Gerald Brice.