Roger Quigley

Roger Quigley

Monday, January 17th, 1955 - Tuesday, December 8th, 2020
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Byron Petty

Posted at 05:28pm
Roger Quigley, clarinetist – a sincere musician with the highest standards, passed on December 8, 2020. My wife, Dr. Shuko Watanabe-Petty and I (pianists) performed recitals with Roger for some 15 years under the name ARDO CONSORT. Our venues included many local Universities – Roanoke College, VA, Sweetbriar, Southern Virginia, Washington and Lee, Mary Baldwin, Radford, Shepherd University, WV. Also, many performances on the Con Spirito Concert Series of Roanoke, often including premieres of new music for clarinet and piano and in larger chamber settings with strings, voice, etc. He performed with the Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke as principle clarinet and soloist in concertos. Roger and I were the same age and first met in 1967 or ’68 as members of the Roanoke Youth Symphony under the direction of Gibson Morrissey, founder of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. While I stayed on in Roanoke, Roger was fortunate to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts, studying with an exceptional teacher, Robert Listokin – who had played under Toscanini. Following a year at Julliard in N.Y., Roger studied for a 5-year period with the renowned Robert Marcellus, principle clarinetist with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. During this time, I had a similar experience with Britton Johnson (principle flutist of the Baltimore Symphony) at the Peabody Conservatory. Having both grown up in the Roanoke and gone through similar orchestral-style training, we were most compatible as friends and performers. I cannot recall even one incidence of a disagreement regarding musical interpretation between us – and that is truly a remarkable and rewarding experience! Our (including my wife, Shuko) repertoire centered on classical standards for clarinet and piano such as: Brahms Sonatas No. 1 & 2, Saint-Saëns Sonata, Weber’s Concertino, Schumann’s Three Romances and Five Pieces, and many smaller works to fill out programs including selections from the 20th century. Roger was kind enough to premiere many of my compositions involving clarinet – most of which were dedicated to him - three of which, Misdemeanors for flute and clarinet, Traveler’s Tales for violin, clarinet, and piano and Orchard of the Night Mystery for mixed ensemble and prepared cd, appear on my first CD, Traveler’s Tales. (Originally issued by Capstone Records 2007, now available on PARMA Records-Navona label in a 5-CD compilation set titled, “What are they doing to that Piano.”) His are lyrically smooth (Roger would call it “floating the sound”) and vitally vigorous performances - modern music beautifully interpreted. I should not forget to mention that Roger had a fine tenor voice with which he also performed professionally beginning in N.Y. City. In Roanoke he was a regular at the Second Presbyterian Church Choir directed by Dr. Jeffrey Sandborg (Professor at Roanoke, College.) Also Roger had a special fondness for the piccolo, upon which he was quite accomplished. All of us who performed with Roger, whether in orchestral or chamber and choral settings, will remember his professional approach mixed with the gentlest and warmest of personalities and good-humored asides. Byron & Shuko Petty

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