April 15, 1924 - September 5, 2011
McKee, William, age 87, of Tulsa OK., left this life on September 5, 2011. He was born in Bay Shore, Long Island, NY on April 15, 1924 the son of Elmer W. and Ethel (Helm) McKee. At the age of 18, He enlisted in the Marine Band in April of 1942, and served 4 Â½ years overseas in Saipan, Okinawa, and other pacific locations. On returning to the states he attended Syracuse University on the GI Bill, graduating in three years, magna cum laude, in French horn and Music Education. While playing in the Syracuse Symphony he met and married oboist, Margaret Ruby. Having enough remaining credit on the GI bill, he attended Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, earning a Masterâ??s degree in French horn and Music History. At that time, the Eastman orchestra performed a double performance of Stravinskyâ??s “Rite of Spring” playing the entire piece before intermission and repeating it after intermission. (This was because of the difficulty of the music that it was seldom heard live, even by professional orchestras). While at Eastman, he also became Assistant principal horn of the Rochester Philharmonic, directed by Dr. Howard Hanson. Â In 1950 both he and Margaret were invited to travel to New York City to audition for H/ Arthur Brown, as a principle horn and English horn players in the Tulsa Philharmonic. This was a half-time position in the orchestra, the other half salary earned by his teaching of Horn, History of Music, and “Team Teaching” music in a Humanities class along with professors who taught Art and Literature. This class was required of every student who attended Tulsa University, whether in the business school, petroleum, engineering or athletics! Â In the summer of 1955 he began his studies for his doctorate at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, earning his PHD in 1958. He later served as the Director of the school of music for TU for eight years while also teaching graduate classes. After his retirement he continued his love of music by teaching horn and playing in the faculty brass quintet for a total of 50 years. Â An Authority on the life of early composer, Florentio Maschera (1540-1584) organist at the Cathedral of Brescia, Italy, the first composer to write church music for instruments other than the organ, Dr. McKeeâ??s biography of Machera appears in the 20 volume “New GROVE Dictionary of Music and Musicians”. Â He was the principle horn of the, then, Tulsa Philharmonic for twelve years and wrote the concert program notes for a number of years. Â Bill was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Robert McKee and his wife, Catherine of Sayville, Long Island, NY. He is survived by their two daughters and families, his brother James McKee and wife, Ingrid and their children, his sister Sarah Hofmeister and her husband Robert and their children. He is also survived by his former wife, Margaret (Marty) McKee, of Broken Arrow, OK. Â He is also survived by his four children, son (William) George McKee of Houston, TX, son Jonathan McKee of Newton , KS, son Timothy McKee of Springdale, AR. And daughter, Robin McKee and husband Tim Day of Mill Valley, CA. and their two children, Britton and Ruby Day. Â He was a member of Windycrest Sailing Club and owner of CAT-22., the National Horn Club, the retired TU faculty Poker Club and a certified instrument pilot and a former member of the Oklahoma Airman Flying Club and Indian Springs Golf Club of Broken Arrow. He was a regular supporter of the Tulsa Symphony, The Signature Symphony, The Tulsa Opera and the Tulsa Youth Symphony. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Tulsa Symphony or the University Of Tulsa School Of Music. Â AÂ Memorial Service will be held 3:00 PM onÂ Sunday, Novemebr 6, 2011 at Floral Haven Funeral Home ChapelÂ to celebrate his life.
McKee, William, age 87, of Tulsa OK., left this life on September 5, 2011. He was born in Bay Shore, Long Island, NY on April 15, 1924 the son of Elmer W. and Ethel (Helm) McKee. At the age of 18, He enlisted in the Marine Band in April of 1942,... View Obituary & Service Information
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