Mexican Traffic Accident Claims Life of Roslyn Tobey,
Concert Pianist and Beloved Teacher
A Memorial Service will be held
at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck on Wednesday, August
14 from 11am-1pm and from 5pm-7pm.
(July 25, 2002) Flamboyant, accomplished, nurturing,
"a vibrant and loving presence in the lives of all who
had the privilege to know her." That's how family and
friends describe Rosalyn Tobey, the pianist and teacher
killed in a car accident in Mexico on Sunday, July 20th.
Married for almost 53 years to noted artist Alton Tobey,
she met her husband in the late 1940's when she was studying
music at Yale and talked her way into the art class. During
their long marriage, the two interwove their careers and
often performed together in "A Marriage of Music and Art
For their fiftieth wedding anniversary, Alton prepared
an almost complete portrait of Rosalyn wearing her dramatic
black eyeglasses and a flaming red outfit. On the day
of the anniversary celebration he whipped out a brush
and finished the portrait by painting in the wedding
ring on Rosalyn's finger.
With both Tobeys teaching and practicing their crafts
at home, their personal and professional lives mixed
freely. A student or visitor to their Murray Avenue
home would hear the story of the art class or the wedding
ring and many of the other colorful moments of the Tobeys'
long life together as one or both Tobeys provided a
tour of the large, dramatic portraits and paintings
covering the walls of the living room and piano studio.
Rosalyn's studio with her two grand pianos was home
to her dual career as performer and teacher. A distinguished
concert pianist, Rosalyn received a BM degree at Yale
University School of Music, an MA at Columbia, and took
post-graduate studies at Mannes College of Music. She
performed throughout the tri-state area and in Mexico
and was active in numerous music associations for 48
years as past president of the Westchester Musicians
Guild, the Associated Music Teachers League of New York,
chairman of New York State Music Teachers Association
# 4, and Piano Teachers' Congress.
are many in Larchmont, though, who know her best as
a supporter of their own potential piano careers. In
June she would pack her studio with parents and students
for the annual Father's Day concert where each student
from the youngest beginner to the most mature, advanced
player would have an opportunity to perform "in concert."
In a note to Mr. Tobey, the LeBlanc family of Larchmont
point out, "She was far more than simply a piano teacher
to their children. They looked up to her and embraced
her as an adopted grandmother." They remember that Rosalyn
"always made them laugh and she nurtured their self-esteem.
And she helped them create such beautiful music... music
that fills our house and provides a wonderful contrast
to the chaos of each day."
In addition to her husband, Rosalyn is survived by
her son David and grandchildren Andrew and Elizabeth
of New Rochelle, her daughter Judy of Chicago, a sister
Martha Namerow of Hamden, CT, and hundreds of students
and dear friends.
The Rosalyn Tobey Scholarship Fund to support music
students has been set up in her honor. In lieu of flowers,
contributions may be made out to Westchester Musicians
Guild c/o Teresa Wager 66 Crawford Terrace, New Rochelle,
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