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Robin Fellows

Elizabeth Marshall | December 2015

    Dr. Robin B. Fellows died October 20, 2015 from multiple myeloma. Born on June 21, 1949, he grew up in Lockport, New York. In high school, he began flute lessons with Robert W. Mols, professor at SUNY, Buffalo. In 1972 he received a B.M. from the Crane School of Music at SUNY, Potsdam. After serving for three years as principal flute of the Official U.S. Coast Guard Band, he began lessons with Joseph Mariano. Fellows’ father had died the year before, and he commented that Mariano “helped me get on the right track, helped my playing become more directed. I appreciate what he did for me – he and his wife. About every other lesson they had me over for dinner. They were both very good to me.” Fellows went on to receive a M.M. in 1978 from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Maurice Sharp. In counterpoint class at CIM, he met his future wife, pianist Katherine Howard. They moved to Tennessee, where Fellows was assistant professor at Tennessee Technological University. In 1981 Fellows accepted a graduate assistant position with Walfrid Kujala at Northwestern University, receiving his D.M. in 1988.
    Fellows’ greatest legacy was his 26 year tenure as professor of flute at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In addition to teaching 15-18 students each semester, he reached hundreds of young flutists as director of the UW-Whitewater Flute Camp. He was principal flutist of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Summer Woodstock Mozart Festival, and second flute/piccolo with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra for 15 years. In 2002 he released a CD, 20th Century Music for Flute, and his beautiful tone can also be heard on three recordings as principal flute with the WCO.
    In 2009 Fellows was awarded a sabbatical to study the Paris Conservatory collection housed at the Research Bibliothèque Nationale de France, which led to his edition, Celebrated Works for Flute by French Composers.
    Fellows’ diligent daily routine always included flute practice, exercise, and healthy food. He enjoyed reading, meditating, and playing music with his friends. He touched many lives and will be greatly missed. Fellows contributed to Flute Talk from 1992 through 2000.