Obituaries » Dr. William Chandler Teague

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Dr. William Chandler Teague

July 8, 1922 - June 27, 2020

U.S. Veteran
Obituary Viewed 1812 times

William Chandler Teague, 97, died Saturday, June 27, 2020. Dr. Teague is survived by a son, Chandler Teague and wife, Janis Adams Teague of Shreveport, Louisiana; a daughter, Lynda Gayle Teague Deacon of Memphis, Tennessee; three grandchildren, Sandra Deacon, Clay Deacon and Hunter Deacon; four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 77 years, Lucille Ridinger Teague; his brothers, Abner Franklin Teague and Carl Edward Teague and his parents, John Abner Teague and Martha Chandler Teague. Dr. Teague was born on July 8, 1922 in Gainesville, Texas, where he began musical training at age three with his mother. At age 12 he became the church organist for a large methodist church. As a young teenager he studied organ in Dallas and entered SMU at age 16. His studies were interrupted when Dr. Alexander McCurdy sent for him to come study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. His studies at Curtis were interrupted by World War II. He joined the Army Air Force as a Chaplain’s Assistant. He returned to Curtis after the war to study and serve as McCurdy’s assistant, playing for the weekly Sunday oratorio performances. Accompanying Teague to Philadelphia was his young bride, Lucille, whom he had married during the war. They had met at a methodist camp when they were 12 years old and became great friends and later sweethearts.

After graduation from Curtis in 1948, Teague came to Shreveport, Louisiana, to accept the position of organist/choirmaster at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (now the location of The Church of the Holy Cross) and a teaching position at Centenary College of Louisiana in the organ and sacred music departments. He taught for 44 years earning the rank of full professor during his tenure. He was later designated Professor of Music Emeritus at the college. Centenary College granted him an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts. He served as accompanist as he and Lucille traveled with the Centenary College Choir to various countries including China for one of the very first cultural missions allowed in that country. He served St. Mark’s Cathedral for 39 years before being designated Organist Emeritus. During these decades, he maintained an active concert career, performing in such venues as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Westminster Abbey, Trinity Church Wall Street, the Riverside Church in New York, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and the armed forces academies. He was invited to play behind the Iron Curtain with concerts in East Berlin, Poland and other countries. He and Lucille were in East Berlin at the Wall when the first blows were struck to tear it down. During those many tours, Lucille turned thousands of pages of music and pulled countless stops. These tours took them to Japan, Australia, all over the United States and Europe and to North Africa. In addition to the solo organ concerts, Bill joined his son, Chan, in presenting music for organ and percussion in concerts across the United States.
Following his retirement from St. Mark’s, Teague was Interim Organist for churches throughout the region, making many new and lasting friends.

Dr. Teague’s teachers include Professor Dora Poteet Barclay, Dr. Alexander McCurdy, Mme. Marie Claire Alain, Harold Gleason and Catharine Crozier.

One of the legends about Bill Teague is that anywhere they went, he and Lucille were likely to run into a friend who would walk around the corner and shout, “Good heavens, there’s Uncle Billy,” as he was known in the organ world, a nickname given to him by Roy Perry of Kilgore, Texas, a giant in the organ world.

Dr. Teague was active in the American Guild of Organists, Association of Anglican Musicians, The Sewanee Music Conference and the Evergreen Summer Conference. He was a Fellow in Church Music at the Washington National Cathedral. For ten summers Teague was the summer organist at St. Ann’s by the Sea Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport, Maine. He was a founding member of The Baroque Artists of Shreveport, founded The Great Masterpiece Series at St. Mark’s Cathedral, recorded a weekly organ concert for radio broadcast for eight years, trained thousands of choristers to love and respect the beautiful liturgy and tradition of Anglican music and played for hundreds of weddings, funerals and festivals. During his long career Teague recorded much of the great organ literature including Dupré’s “Stations of the Cross”, Messiaen’s “Serene Alleluias” and Healey Willan’s “Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue”. In 1988, the City of Shreveport honored him with William C. Teague Day and the Teague Music Scholarship was established at Centenary College. The Teague-Smith Scholarship Fund for young choristers was later established at St. Mark’s Cathedral.

Teague is listed in numerous volumes of Who’s Who including the International Who’s Who and was recently honored by the East Texas Pipe Organ Festival.

A combined service for Dr. and Mrs. Teague will be held at a later date. The family suggests memorials may be made to the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, 616 Jordan St., Shreveport, LA 71101 or the Teague-Smith Scholarship Fund at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 908 Rutherford, St., Shreveport, LA 71104 or the Teague Music Scholarship Fund at Centenary College, 2911 Centenary Boulevard, Shreveport, LA 71104.

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