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date: 20 April 2021

Mechem, Kirkelocked

  • Tom Wine


(b Wichita, KS, Aug 16, 1925). American composer and conductor. His father was a writer and Director of the Kansas Historical Society. His mother, a concert pianist, began teaching her son at an early age. After completing high school, Mechem served two and a half years in the army during World War II. In 1946 he enrolled as an English major at Stanford University “because they had the best tennis team,” which he later captained. He took a theory course taught by the choral director Harold Schmidt, which led him to a music degree and a career in composing. Mechem earned a master’s degree at Harvard in 1953, where he studied composition with walter Piston and Randall Thompson. He served as assistant choral director at Stanford (1954–6), then traveled to Vienna, Austria where he studied for three years (1956–7, 1961–3). He became composer-in-residence at the University of San Francisco in ...

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