Marianne Webb (1936–2013) maintained a balanced career as an internationally recognized performer and teacher. She was Distinguished University Organist at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), where she has taught organ and music theory since 1965. She built a thriving organ department and established, organized, and directed the nationally acclaimed SIUC Organ Festival (1966–1980), the first of its kind in the country. She sought funding for and designed the 58-rank Reuter pipe organ in Shryock Auditorium in 1969. The instrument is named in her honor. Together with her husband, David N. Bateman, she established the endowed Marianne Webb and David N. Bateman Distinguished Organ Recital Series.
Miss Webb was a graduate of Washburn University in Topeka, Kans., and obtained the master of music degree, with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan in 1959. Her teachers were Jerald Hamilton, Marilyn Mason, Max Miller, and Robert Noehren. In 1961, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to continue her studies in Paris with André Marchal. While in Paris she served as supply organist for the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal). Further graduate study was with Arthur Poister at Syracuse University and Russell Saunders at the Eastman School of Music.
Among her numerous awards and honors, Marianne Webb was given the AGO Edward A. Hansen Leadership Award in 2008 “in recognition of her stellar career as a concert artist and distinguished teacher, and in gratitude for her lifetime of leadership, devoted service, and extraordinary generosity to the AGO.” In 2009, she received the Avis Blewitt Award from the St. Louis (Mo.) AGO Chapter, and was selected as the Alumni Fellow by the College of Arts and Sciences at Washburn University in Topeka, Kans., for her “significant contribution as a highly regarded professional in her chosen field.”
As a concert artist and clinician, Miss Webb toured extensively throughout the United States performing at AGO regional and national conventions, and for the national conventions of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity and the Fellowship of American Baptist Musicians, as well as for local AGO chapters, churches, colleges, and universities. She recorded on the Pro Organo and Pleiades labels and was featured on American Public Media’s Pipedreams.
An active member of the AGO, Miss Webb served as a member of the national committees on Educational Resources, Chapter Development, and Membership Development and Chapter Support. She re-established the Southern Illinois AGO Chapter in 1983 and served as its dean for six years. She is a member of the Clarence Dickinson Society and founded the AGO St. Cecilia Recital series in 2007. Through this magnanimous gift to the American Guild of Organists, Marianne Webb will be remembered, in perpetuity, for her musical artistry, excellence in teaching, and as a woman of quiet strength, courage, generosity, and abiding faith.