Carp leaves service, music legacy to campus
Published: Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 21:04
Professor Emeritus of Music Gilbert Carp died Oct. 23 at Volunteer Community Hospital in Martin. He was 85.Carp was a professor of music and composer-in-residence at UTM, and was on the faculty from 1969 to 1992. He taught music theory/composition and clarinet. Carp also served as the clarinetist for the University Trio from 1971-1988.
A memorial service and celebration of Carp's life was held at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Martin where Carp, his wife, Rella, and their family attended.
At the service, friends and family remembered Carp for his dedication to teaching and students and for his laughter.
Carp received a bachelor of music education at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, and a bachelor of music and master of music at Converse College, Spartanburg, S.C. He also studied clarinet and composition at Florida State University with Edwin Gerschefski.
While at UTM, Carp received the Tennessee Music Association's Composer of the Year award in 1972.
Of his numerous compositions, Carp helped write "The Tennessee Witch," an opera parody of the Bell Witch legend. Carp conducted the premier of the opera at UTM in the mid-1970s.
Carp retired from the university in 1992 after 23 years of teaching.
Carp gave back to the community in many ways, including work at the Jewish Community Center in Union City.
Harry Gorman, a friend of the Carps from the center said that the Carps played for the services for many years.
"Gil served the Jewish Community Center as a lay rabbi, meaning he conducted the services when we didn't have a rabbi," Gorman said. "He was outstanding when it came to knowing Jewish prayers and services. He was also very knowledgeable when it came to music as it applied to Judaism."
Carp was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Force and served in World War II.
Carp was born April 9, 1923, in New Orleans. He is survived by his wife, Rella Anderson Carp of Martin; two sons, David Carp of Katy, Texas, and Donald Carp of Jackson, Tenn.; two daughters, Susan Carp of Martin and Sharon Carp Watkins of Columbia, Tenn.; and three grandchildren.