William Montgomery 1934-2023

Dr. William “Bill” Montgomery was a prominent member of The Flute Society of Washington serving as its president, providing support and experience for many events including the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, Student Honors recitals, and teaching and judging student activities. He was awarded the FSW President’s Award in 2016.

William Montgomery was born on March 28, 1934 in Waco, Texas. His parents were Layton E Montgomery and Faye Ruth Montgomery. At the age of 14, he left Texas to follow his flute teacher to Illinois. He eventually went to Cornell College in Iowa where he met his wife of 25 years, Kathleen Ann Lewis.

William studied the flute with Richard Morse at Cornell College of Iowa where he earned the B.M.E. degree in music education. He also studied the flute with Marcel Moyse at the Marlboro School and with William Kincaid at the Curtis Institute. He studied chamber music with Marcel Tabuteau at the Curtis Institute and with Adolph Busch at the Marlboro School. He was awarded an M.M. degree in flute performance and music theory and a Ph.D. degree in historical musicology by the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. His Ph.D. dissertation is an extensive study of the life and musical works of the French flutist, Francois Devienne.

William Montgomery was a professor of flute, chamber music, and wind pedagogy at the University of Maryland from 1965 until his retirement in 2016. At the university he served as chair of the University Senate, Director of Graduate Studies in Music, Chairman of the Summer Senior Scholars Program, and Chairman of the Wind & Percussion Division. His unique genre-oriented Flute Master Class was presented at the University of Maryland every summer for over 35 years. His former students hold positions with many universities, conservatories, and orchestras in the United States and Europe, and they have been selected as prize winners in many national and international competitions.

William was the solo flutist with the Theater Chamber Players, the director of and soloist with the Montgomery Chamber Ensemble, and he appeared as soloist or chamber musician with many musical organizations such as the New York Philharmonic Octet, the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, the Guerneri String Quartet, and the Cassatt String Quartet. He made his New York City debut in a solo recital at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1960 and subsequently performed numerous solo recital tours in the United States and Europe. Dr. Montgomery performed as principal flutist with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the National Gallery of Art Orchestra, the Washington Opera, the Washington Chamber Orchestra, and the U. S. Marine Corps Band.

Dr. Montgomery’s biographical notices appear in the 2008 Who’s Who in America, International Who’s Who in Music, Who’s Who in American Music: Classical, Who’s Who in the East, the National Social Directory, Outstanding Young Men of America, and others.

Dr. Montgomery was the producer of the weekly Friday Noon Concert Series at the historic Arts Club of Washington where he presented over 500 concerts. He also served for many years as a trustee of the endowment at the Arts Club. He served one term as president of the National Flute Association (an organization of over 4000 active members) and was the program chairman for the NFA conventions in Atlanta and Denver. He was a member of the board of directors of the Marcel Moyse Society, president of the Flute Society of Washington, a contributor to the New Grove Dictionary of Music, a member of the board of advisors for Flute Talk magazine, a contributing editor and member of the board of advisors for Instrumentalist magazine, and an author of dozens of articles on the flute and flute playing. He was a member of the Arts Panel for the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts, served as a consultant to the Music Division of the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C., and was a member of the U. S. Fulbright Selection Committee in Music.

William was physically active his entire life. He enjoyed sailing, swimming, jogging, biking, and skiing for much of his life. At various points he took up hang gliding, sky diving, held a small plane pilots license and enjoyed motorcycle trips.

William is predeceased by his partner of 25 years, Carolyn Thomas. He is survived by his 3 children: Layton Howard Montgomery (Janaki Gharti-Magar) of Melbourne, Australia; Scott Lewis Montgomery (Jodie Montgomery) of Lutz, Florida; and Claudia Cathleen Hays of Nelson, New Zealand; and 6 grandchildren: Samuel Montgomery, Sarah Kate Wilder (Gannon Wilder), Susan Smith (Cody Smith), Matthew Hays, Emily Hays, and Kai Gharti-Magar; and 2 great grandchildren: Hunter Smith and Hazel Smith.

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