YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Marcellene Hawk Mayhall passed away on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at her north side home, surrounded by loving friends and with her family’s love in her heart.
She is best remembered as a musician of great versatility and sensitivity. She performed regularly as pianist, harpsichordist, as well as forte pianist in solo recitals, as soloist with orchestras, as duo-pianist, as chamber music performer and collaborative pianist. Marcellene recorded songs of Obradors and Klaus Roy with soprano Penelope Jensen and the Sextets for piano and winds by Karal Husa and Albert Roussel with the Dana Woodwind Quintet. She appeared in many recitals in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Florida and California, a three-day residency at Bradley University with her husband, flutist Walter Mayhall and performed several Mozart and Bach concertos with The Orchestra of the Academy on the Oval.
Marcellene was born on November 15, 1932 in Randolph, Ohio and was raised in Akron, graduating from Garfield High School. She was a graduate from Baldwin-Wallace College and earned a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas. Her teachers included Dalies Franz, Theodore Lettvin (who she gives credit for putting the soul in her music), Robert Casadesus and Clifford Curzon.
She was Director of Music Emerita of The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Cleveland where she founded its annual Bach Festival. She was principal keyboardist with the Youngstown Symphony and a member of the piano faculty of Youngstown State University for many years.
Marcellene and her late husband, Walter S. Mayhall, collected an extensive library of over 16,000 items, including a bibliography of more than 31,500 citations devoted to the life, works and performance practice of Johann Sebastian Bach, his family, students and his time. The collection now resides at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China.
Marcellene was president of the Midwestern Historical Keyboard Society (now the Historical Keyboard Society of North America and performed the complete manuscript version of Bach’s Kunst der Fuge on fortepiano in Beloit, Wisconsin.
Locally, Marcellene was active in the North Side Citizen’s Coalition and the North Side Historic District.
She was the primary pianist at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown.
Her last concert was as part of a YSU Faculty Chamber recital with Misook Yun, Sean Yancer and Alice Wang on October 27, 2019. They performed several pieces including an original work, Hyperion in the Red Forest with Karen Walwyn, composer, present.
Marcellene was preceded in death by her husband, Walter S. Mayhall and her sister, Dorinda Hawk, with whom she shared a lifelong love of piano.
She is survived by her stepchildren, Douglass Mayhall of Cleveland Heights, Ohio and Deborah (Tom) Bradshaw of Valle Crucis, North Carolina, as well as her many friends and students who loved her dearly.
Marcellene was a pragmatist, facing adversity without flinching, who believed in living in the moment. Her favorite saying was “It is what it is.” Marcellene wrote this about her life: “What seems to define me as much as anything is my life as a musician. It has brought me ideas and connected me to people that would have never happened otherwise.” Thank you, Marcellene, for all the beauty your music brought into our lives.
Memorial donations can be made in her memory to a charity of the donor’s choice.
A Virtual Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, April 11, at 10:30 sponsored by the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown. Instructions to connect with this can be found on the website uuyo.org https://uuyo.org/virtual-sunday-services-2-2/
Arrangements by Cremation & Funeral Service by Gary S. Silvat, Inc. Share memories or send condolences by visiting: www.cremateohio.com.
A television tribute will air Monday, April 13, at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.