- Vernon Gotwals
(b Eureka, CA, Aug 18, 1905; d Philadelphia, PA, June 1, 1983). American organist. A pupil of Farnam (1924–7), he made his début at Town Hall, New York, in 1926 and graduated from the Curtis Institute in 1934. His career was closely tied to three institutions; from 1927 to 1971 he was organist and choirmaster at Second (later combined with First) Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia; from 1935 to 1972 he was head of the organ department at the Curtis Institute; and from 1940 to 1965 he held the same post at Westminster Choir College, Princeton. His performances and teaching influenced many young recitalists and church musicians. His wife, Flora Greenwood, a harpist whom he married in 1932, often joined him in recitals. To a splendid innate musical ability he added the attention to rhythm, accuracy, and colorful registration that had been the special marks of Farnam’s playing. He published articles in ...