The family and friends of Patricia Kelby, 73, of Cumberland, are saddened to announce the passing of our dear Pat, on March 20, 2011. Pat was born January 20, 1938 and raised in Canton, Ohio, daughter to William Kelby and Edna Guertal. She had one brother, Ronald.
Pat was an artist who lived a full and loving life. After her childhood in Ohio, Pat moved to Philadelphia and was a diplomat of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts under full scholarship. While there she was a featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy, the Bucks County Playhouse, and National Educational Television’s productions of Opera Theatre and Portraits in Music, and sang with both the Philadelphia Grand and Lyric Opera companies.
She spent the majority of her life in New York City, where she continued her studies with the renowned Marinka Gurewich, sang at Carnegie Hall and as a soloist on several occasions with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Leopold Stokowski. For many years St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine and area temples and synagogues held her as their mezzo-soprano soloist. She performed both staged and concert versions of many operas, including Aida, Don Carlos, Carmen, Cosi Fan Tutte, Cavalleria Rusticana, Samson et Dalila, Der Fliegende Hollander. She was soloist with the acclaimed Festival Choir and Orchestra of the Larchmont Avenue Church, Larchmont, New York, and in collaboration with her colleague, Judith Brown, conducted yearly choral workshops and clinics.
Pat maintained a large voice studio in Larchmont, where she loved working with students of all ages. She taught not just about singing but about spirit. She taught that voice was the window to the soul and helped her students to find their own and express them out into the world. She was also active in her church’s outreach to Jews and Muslims, in an effort to promote healing, tolerance, understanding and forgiveness among the world’s great religions. Pat was not just a teacher to us, but a great friend and a quiet leader.
In 2005, Pat found her way to Cumberland, MD through the Allegany Arts Council’s Artist Relocation Program. She joined the faculty at Frostburg State University as an Adjunct Professor of Voice, where she had a number of students and was a beloved member of the choir at First Presbyterian Church, Cumberland.
Pat leaves behind her a close and devoted family, life-long partner to Judie Brown, mother to Kirstin Reed, and grandmother to Clinton Schwartz and Abigail McNaull. She was a loving sister-in-law to Emily Kelby, devoted aunt to Michael Kelby , Susan P. Weaver and Cindy Kelby, and a beloved great aunt to Aaron Kelby, Cyrilla Cass, Jessica Kelby Schifferly, David Kelby Weaver, Autumn Oberhauser, Josef Oberhauser, Jonathon Oberhauser and great great aunt to Autumn’s new baby girl McKenzie Ronel Johnson. She will be missed and loved for all eternity.
Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 11 Washington Street, Cumberland. Musical reflections and devotion will begin at 2:40 with reception to follow the service. The family suggests memorial donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church, Special Music Fund or to the Wills & Memorials Fund of Cumberland, Maryland, 11 Washington St, Cumberland MD 21502, 301-777-3700 or to the Union Rescue Mission of Western Maryland, 16 Queen City Pavement, Cumberland, MD 21502, 301-724-1585.
Scarpelli Funeral Home, P.A., 108 Virginia Ave, Cumberland (www.scarpellifuneralhomes.com) is in charge of the arrangements.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. -Helen Keller