William Taylor ’50
Musician and educator William Taylor ’50 died Dec. 26, 2014, in Boise, Idaho. He was 86.
Taylor was born in Flint, Michigan, and grew up in Traer, Iowa. He earned a B.A. in music, and while at Cornell met his wife, Donna McCullough Taylor ’51.
After graduation he served in the U.S. Army as part of the special services. He toured Korea during the Korean War, and in 1953 he was the first American invited to sing for South Korean President Sigmund Rhee and his wife.
After the war he earned his master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Indiana. He went on to teach voice, opera, and musical theater at Southern Illinois University, Boise State University, Bowling Green University, and West Virginia University. He was the coordinator of the voice and opera faculty at West Virginia University, where he was named professor emeritus in 1994.
Taylor performed with Russian conductor Boris Goldovsky, and with the New Orleans Opera, Boise Civic Opera, St. Louis Opera, the Chicago NBC Orchestra, and the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh. He was a Fulbright scholar at the Rome Opera House, and he toured Italy, singing concerts for the United States Information Service and the American Embassy with occasional work at Cinemacita dubbing Italian films into English.
He is survived by his wife, four children, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.