Mary Ruth Caldwell
CMI Board Member
The Church Music Institute mourns the passing of one of its founding members and ardent supporters, Mary Ruth Caldwell. Church musician, teacher, mentor and friend to countless instrumentalists and singers throughout her life, this woman of deep faith died in her home on November 2, 2013, the evening before the Festival of Church Music at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. M.R. was key in establishing the Resource Library of CMI, helped facilitate CMI workshops for clergy and musicians, and handled logistics for choirs in the Dallas Festivals in 2008 and 2010 in her capacity on the CMI Board of Directors.
Her service will be Saturday, November 23 at 2:00 p.m. at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, 9800 Preston Road in Dallas. Church music friends are invited to sing in the choir, with rehearsal beginning at 12:45 in Emmanuel Hall.
M.R., whose first musical experiences began in her family, graduated from Southern Methodist University and taught instrumental music in the Dallas Independent School District before giving her life to church music. A member of the Mesquite Civic Chorus and the Dallas Symphony Chorus, M.R. directed the Chancel Choir at Walnut Hill United Methodist Church in Dallas for many years and served interim positions in several north Texas churches. She, along with her husband Philip R. Caldwell, sang in the Chancel Choir of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas for the past ten years and participated in the American premier of Bob Chilcott’s St. John Passion in early October, 2013.
M.R. believed deeply in the value of music in worship and ministry in the Christian church, treasuring both text and music as expressions of faith. Church Music Institute deeply appreciates M.R.’s dedication to the core values of CMI and to the nurturing of musicians and the legacy of church music. Those wishing to honor M.R.’s memory with a gift may do so to the Music Ministry of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, the American Cancer Society, The Mesquite Civic Chorus, Walnut Hill United Methodist Church Music Ministry or Church Music Institute.