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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Anklan

Rest in peace, Mr. Adam

William Adam, 96, of Bloomington, Ind., died on Nov. 25, 2013, at the Indiana University Health Hospice House.

Bill was born on Oct. 21, 1917, in Kansas City, Kansas, to Andrew Walker Adam and Wilda Blose Adam. He grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado, graduating from Fort Collins High School at the age of 16. Bill began taking trumpet lessons at the age of 7 from Ben Foltz (third cornetist with the John Philip Sousa Band). When he was 11 years old he hitchhiked from Fort Collins to Denver twice a week to study trumpet with John S. Leick, who was the 1st trumpet player in the Denver Symphony Orchestra.

Bill left home at the age of 16 to play professional trumpet in California in the Hal Kemp Orchestra with Skinny Innis; he also played for the Lucky Strike Hit Parade, the Los Angeles Civic Orchestra and played numerous radio shows. During the years he was in California, he attended Pasadena Jr. College and the University of California in Los Angeles. In the summers he played at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco with Skinny Innis and played with the Joseph Serpico band at the Yellowstone Grand Canyon Hotel.

He returned to Ft. Collins to join the Army at Ft. Logan during World War II. Due to a previous injury, he was unable to pass the physical for active duty, but worked at the Remington Arms Munitions Factory for 6 months. Bill then attended both the University of Colorado at Denver and Colorado State College in Ft. Collins, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Trumpet Performance.

His first teaching job was Band Director at Rifle High School in Rifle, Colorado in l940. He was there for one year and then took a job as Band Director at Englewood High School just outside Denver so he could play professionally. On the weekends he played at the Brown Palace Hotel; he was 1st trumpet for the KOA (radio) orchestra and played with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. During the summers, he attended Eastman School of Music earning Master’s Degrees in Music Theory and Composition from 1947-1948. He taught at Englewood High School for three years, where he met the love of his life, Dorothy Tiemann. They were married in February of 1945. Bill took a job at the Indiana University School of Music (now the Jacobs School of Music) in the fall of 1946. He taught trumpet at IU for 42 years, retiring in 1988. After his retirement, he continued to teach trumpet privately at his home through Oct. 14, 2013.

Throughout his career he earned numerous awards including: the Robert A. Phillips Service to Music Award: 2002: Mentor of Trumpet Players World Wide; the James B. Calvert Outstanding Music Educator Award: 2004 from the Indiana Wind Symphony; and received the Lifetime Trumpet Teaching Award from the International Trumpet Guild in June of 2004.

He is survived by his three children and their spouses, Donald Walker Adam and Rita Hambidge Adam, Diane Adam Davis-Deckard and Donald L. Deckard, and William Walker Adam and Pam Faith; five grandchildren, William Lee Davis, Andrew Walker Adam, Haley Summer Adam, William Alexander Adam, and Malcolm Walker Adam; one great-grandchild, Graham Bertram Davis; a sister, Elizabeth Adam Ward; a niece, 2 nephews, 2 cousins and their families; and hundreds of devoted trumpet students. He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant son, William Alexander Adam.

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