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Revered DePauw School of Music director Cassel Grubb dies at 88

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cassel Grubb
Cassel Grubb, 88, Greencastle, professor emeritus of music at DePauw and former director of the DePauw University School of Music, passed away Jan. 1, 2012 in Greencastle.

Grubb was a professor of violoncello and theory at DePauw from 1949 until his retirement 40 years later. He was appointed director of the School of Music in 1978 and held that post until his retirement in 1989.

He is remembered by several generations of DePauw students for his enthusiasm for teaching, as well as his bow ties and jovial laugh.

"The words 'Cassel Grubb' are spoken only in reverential tones -- not only at DePauw but at Interlochen and other places where music is revered," says Mark McCoy, dean of the DePauw University School of Music. "His talent as a 'cellist was matched only by his talent as a leader. All accomplishments in the DePauw School of Music are on his shoulders."

Born July 23, 1923, in Palmyra, Pa., Grubb was the recipient of bachelor's and master's degrees from the Eastman School of Music.

A veteran of World War II, Grubb was first cellist in the Camp Lee Symphony Orchestra and first cellist in the Army Air Force String Quartet.

Prior to joining the DePauw faculty, Grubb was a member of the Eastman Rochester Symphony Orchestra and professor of cello at Del Mar College. He also served as a member of the cello faculty and director of the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Mich., where he was director of the camp's string ensemble program 15 years and for 10 years co-directed its adult chamber music conference.

As a performing musician Grubb played for three decades with DePauw's highly respected Aeolian Trio, which performed throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States.

In 1988, Prof Grubb was the inaugural recipient of the Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Tucker Jr. Distinguished Career Award, which is presented to an outstanding senior member of the DePauw faculty.

In 1999, the Grubb University Professorship was established by the Board of Trustees.

As the DePauw School of Music began the celebration of its 125th season in September 2009, Prof. Grubb noted, "What has remained the same throughout the years in the School of Music is the emphasis on performance. Regardless of a student's major, performance is the center of his or her studies. They not only study an instrument but also participate in ensembles."

On May 22, 2011, Grubb was awarded an honorary doctorate at DePauw's 172nd commencement ceremonies.

"This is a day that I shall always remember," the professor said. "I'm especially honored because it's given from the university where I taught and performed for 40 years."

Services are pending, and have been entrusted to Bittles and Hurt Funeral Home, Greencastle.

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I will always hold fond memories of walking from Miller School to piano lessons with Mrs Grubb(Berniece) and hearing her talk about "Grubbie",,his smile will be missed, and my prayers go out to his family.....Jim Tuttle Nashville, TN

-- Posted by TNVOLTUT on Tue, Jan 3, 2012, at 7:35 PM

I shall always cherish the afternoon I surprised professor Grubb at Interlochen's Center For The Arts. I was touring with Johnny Mathis as his featured comedian and we were to do a concert at Interlochen's outdoor amphitheater. Growing up in the Greencastle music school system, I had always longed to attend the famed summer musical encampment, which wistfully never came to fruition! Yet, years later, there I was! I asked a stage tech if he could take me to professor Grubb's rehearsal studio! Like out of a movie, we pulled up and their he sat in all his glory, sporting his signature horn rimed glasses and preppy bow tie sunning himself on a bench in front of his rehearsal cabin. I stepped up and said, "Professor Grubb, Dick Hardwick!" He looked up, cocked his head to the side, paused for a second, smiled and said in a tone of voice that makes you proud, "Dick Hardwick!!!!" It was a magical moment for me! The Hardwick family sends its deepest thoughts and condolences to the Grubb family...Dick Hardwick, Fullerton, CA

-- Posted by Dick Hardwick on Wed, Jan 4, 2012, at 3:19 PM

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