PRESENTATION – A $2,500 grant has been awarded to the Shiawassee Arts Council from the Gerald Gilbert Memorial Endowment Fund administered by the Shiawassee Community Foundation.

This grant will provide arts instruction to individuals with developmental disabilities at the Shiawassee Arts Council in partnership with The Arc Shiawassee. Gathered were (from left): Piper Brewer, Executive Director of the Shiawassee Arts Center; Linda Ruehle, SAC Arts Education director; SCF Executive Director Carol Soule; and SCF Chairman/President Don Levi.

Mr. Gilbert was an inspiration to students for 25 years as a vocal music instructor at Owosso High School. He was regarded by his colleagues in the Michigan School Vocal Association (MSVA) for his ability to develop and inspire members of Owosso High School’s renowned A Cappella Choir to consistently win highly prized state honors.

Most of all, Gilbert is remembered by Owosso High School alumni for his passion for music and his example of striving for excellence. Born in Traverse City, Michigan, Gilbert graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree and from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago with a master’s degree. He was the director of the Michigan Honors Choir and voted Outstanding Music Teacher of the Year by the MSVA in 1970. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from Owosso High School in 1978 and passed away at the age of 63 in 1988.

This endowment fund was established by Charles “Chas” Lyons who grew up in Owosso and graduated from OHS in 1964. He earned a master’s in Journalism from Michigan State University. He began his newspaper career as a reporter for The Argus Press in Owosso. Lyons worked for the Washington Post Company for 19 years, serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Post-Newsweek Media, Inc. division. He was president of the A Cappella Choir in 1964 and inducted into the Owosso High School Wall of Honor in 2013, citing Gilbert as a major influence in his life while growing up in Owosso. He currently resides in Oxford, Maryland.

Lyons said: “I know there are many OHS alumni like myself who would like the memory of Gerald Gilbert to live on. By contributing to this fund much good can be accomplished for students and his life’s work will be memorialized.”

Tax-deductible donations may be made to the fund by sending them to the Shiawassee Community Foundation at Post Office Box 753, Owosso, MI 48867. Persons are asked to note that the donation is to be added to the Gerald Gilbert Memorial Endowment Fund. For more information, persons may contact Carol Soule at the Shiawassee Community Foundation, (989) 725-1093 or (Courtesy Photo)

Grant Awarded to SAC was last modified: November 23rd, 2015 by Karen Elford