- Vernon Gotwals
(b Kankakee, IL, May 3, 1885; d Ann Arbor, MI, Feb 19, 1947). American organist. In Chicago he studied with Clarence Dickinson and was organist and music director of Hyde Park Presbyterian Church (1906–9). He studied abroad with Karl Straube in Leipzig (1909–10) and with Alexandre Guilmant in Paris (1910–11) and then returned to Chicago to become organist of Kenwood Church (1911–18). After a lengthy illness, probably tuberculosis, he served for two years (1920–21) as municipal organist in Denver. From 1924 until his death he was university organist and professor at the University of Michigan.
Christian toured extensively as a solo recitalist and a performer with leading American orchestras. At Michigan he taught many pupils who were later prominent. He gave frequent recitals on the large Skinner organ in Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and also arranged performances by visiting recitalists who enriched the musical scene and widened his students’ horizons. A reviewer in ...