MorningStar Music is saddened to share of the passing of Marie Irene Stultz, composer, conductor, author, and music educator, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 in Havervill, MA. She was 72.
Marie’s life was devoted to developing vocal and choral excellence in the young singers and choirs she worked with. As a sought-after music educator and choral clinician, she was particularly known for her expertise in choral literature. In 1975, she founded the Treble Chorus of New England and was its Artistic Director until 2004. In 2005, she founded The Young Opera Company of New England and was its Artistic Director until her death. She led two European trips with the Treble Chorus of New England that included memorable performances in Leipzig, Germany, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Herrod’s in London, and Chester Cathedral, England.
For over 30 years, Marie was the choral consultant at Spectrum Music in Lexington, MA. Since 1991, she wrote new-release reviews for their monthly newsletter, The Choral Room.
In the 1970s, she taught elementary music in the Burlington and Wilmington public schools. From 1973-1986, she served as Children’s Choir Director at Old North Church in Marblehead, MA, and instituted the Marblehead Walk Concert Series. She was the conductor of the North Reading Choral Society from 1976-1985. More recently, she directed choirs in Lynnfield, MA at the Centre Congregational Church and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
Marie is the author of several books on the treble voice. She was the editor of The Treble Chorus of New England Sacred and Secular Choral Series, published by MorningStar. A prolific composer and arranger, Marie had her works premiered by many music organizations throughout the United States and Europe. Numerous unpublished works include chamber music, song cycles, plays, musicals, stories, operettas and opera adaptations. Her final composition before her death was To Music for Treble Voices and Organ which received its world premiere at Christ Church, Andover on November 20, 2016.
Marie had memberships in various organizations including ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), MENC (Music Educators National Conference), AGO (American Guild of Organists), Choristers Guild, and Rotary Club of Andover, MA. She received awards and citations from the State Senate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1996 & 2005), a Teacher Recognition Award from the US Department of Education (2002), and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Methuen Memorial Music Hall (2005). She was a Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
Marie was born in San Antonio, Texas on April 13, 1945. She was raised in Iola, Kansas and attended Southern Methodist University where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree in voice and Master of Music degree in music history. While studying at SMU, she met her future husband, Richard Stultz. They were married in 1973 and collaborated musically for 25 years until their divorce in 1998. Marie lived in North Reading, MA from 1976-2015 where she had a private voice studio and taught hundreds of young singers, leaving a lasting legacy.
She is survived by her mother, Betty Ruth Gard Schmidt of Olathe, KS; her sister Cathrine (Schmidt) Lust and husband Major General (retired) Larry J. Lust of Lenexa, KS; and two nephews Colonel & Mrs. Jon Lust of Alexandria, VA and Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Lust of Falls Church, VA.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, July 1 at 3:00 p.m. at the Parish of Christ Church, Andover, MA. A reception follows the service in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to Christ Church, 25 Central Street, Andover, MA to support the training of young singers.