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Webb, Marianne (1936-) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Webb, Marianne (1936-)

Historical Note:

Marianne Webb was born October 4, 1936, and grew up in Topeka, Kansas. Her parents were Samuel Earl and Margaret Shafer Webb who both died during her childhood. Webb had a twin sister named Peggy. She first played the organ under Richard M. Gayhart, and graduated from Topeka High School in 1954. In 1958, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. As an undergraduate, she studied  organ under Jerald Hamilton. After she graduated from Washburn University, she attended the University of Michigan, and received a Master of Music degree. She trained under Marilyn Mason, and graduated in 1959. After earning her master's degree, Webb worked as an organ and piano instructor at Iowa State University in Ames from 1959-1961. In 1961, she became a Fulbright scholar, and studied in Paris under famed organist Andre Marchal. After returning from Paris, Webb taught organ at James Mason University in Harrisonburg, VA.

In 1965, Webb joined the music faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale as an assistant professor. She developed the organ department, and obtained funding for a 58-rank Reuter pipe organ. She designed the organ blueprint, and oversaw its construction in Shryock Auditorium. In 2001, the instrument was named in her honor. In 1970, she was promoted to associate professor, and in 1977 to full professor.  From 1965-1980, Webb directed the nationally acclaimed SIUC organ festival, the first of its kind in the United States. In 1970, Webb married Business Professor David Bateman, and they endowed Southern Illinois University with funds to host a Distinguished Organ Recital Series, where internationally acclaimed organists perform at the university campus. In 2001, Webb retired from her position as a professor, but she held a visiting professorship, and was the university's distinguished organist performing at offical ceremonies. In 2005, she won a Distinguished Service Award at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for her illustrious career as a professor and music performer.

As a noted musician, Webb, toured extensively across the United States, performing classical and sacred music concerts in churches, universities, concert halls, and at American Guild of Organists (AGO) chapter meetings and their annual conferences. In 1983, Webb re-established the Southern Illinois AGO chapter, and served as its dean for six years.  In 2009, the St. Louis AGO chapter presented Webb with the Avis Blewett Award, due to her significant contributions to the field of sacred music as a teacher, recitalist, and clinician.

Webb was under contact with the Philip Truckenbrod Concert Artists Agency, who managed her professional career by booking her concerts. She recorded music with the ProOrgano and Pleiades labels and was featured on the nationally syndicated American Public Media program Pipedreams.

Sources: Marianne Webb Obituary The Southern Illinois December 9-December 10, 2013
Note Author: Joseph Valle

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