Gene Marie Green
Gene Marie Green, accomplished musician and gifted teacher whose career in Skidmore’s
Music Department spanned nearly four decades, died May 1, 2010, following a battle
Born July 2, 1938, in Guilford, Conn., Gene Marie graduated from Guilford High School in 1956. She earned a B.M. degree at the Oberlin College Conservatory and also studied at Yale University and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
Tom Denny, professor of music and chair of the department, said, “She and I shared a special fondness for Austria. I have warm memories, going back to my early years at Skidmore, of the glow that would come over her face whenever we spoke about what she called her second ‘Heimat’ (home).”
Gene Marie met her husband, George C. Green, at a summer chamber music festival at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he was a member of the violin section (she played the oboe). He invited her out after the first rehearsal and six months later, on Jan. 23, 1961, they married. They raised their two sons and daughter in Ballston Spa, while both worked at Skidmore. She also taught oboe at Schenectady County Community College.
Starting in 1971, when she was named a lecturer in the Music Department, Gene Marie taught oboe, coached the woodwind chamber ensembles, gave private lessons to students, and often played with the Skidmore College Orchestra. Patte Hadfield, a longtime accompanist in music, said “I’m going to miss her greatly, and I know she’s made a lasting impression on all of her students, especially Jeremy Clayton and Ryan Klein. Jeremy is making a living as a musician thanks, in part, to Gene Marie. And she inspired Ryan enough for him to change his major to music—he’s now getting his master’s at Mannes.”
Denny also recalled Gene Marie’s teaching skills. “She was the kind of person who could gently transform a student’s life through wise and humane guidance, on both musical issues and life issues. She could do the same for her colleagues.”
Continued Denny, “In recent years, as she battled various health issues, she continued to remain fully invested in the musical and personal growth of her students. Her courage and her strong will to continue living life to the fullest, including giving everything possible to her students, was inspirational. Just six days before she went into the hospital, and less than two weeks before her death, Gene Marie was in Zankel to witness the beautiful recital by two of her senior students, oboist Madeline Warner and bassoonist Audrey Wronski. She had to sit during the reception in the lobby, but she was there for her students, warm and giving as ever.”
Gene Marie played the oboe with the Albany Symphony for 22 years and also was a member of the Schenectady Symphony for nearly 40 years. In 1992, she performed oboe in the Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat Major by Joseph Haydn with the Glens Falls Symphony. George Green performed on violin, and their son Michael performed on baroque bassoon. Their daughter Kathryn was a member of the violin section.
Gene Marie was predeceased by George, who died in 1999. Her survivors include sons Michael of Stamford, Conn., and Marshall of Garwood, N.J., and daughter Kathryn Kinisky of Voorheesville, N.Y.; eight grandchildren, and many devoted friends.