posted June 27, 2007

Former Violin Instructor Wanda Nigh Rider Dies

Wanda Nigh Rider of Eugene, Ore., a former music instructor at HopeCollege, died on Sunday, May 13, 2007, at age 89.

She was a teaching associate in the department of music at Hope from 1972 to 1975 and had also been in international education programs, and had taught many of Holland's violin and viola students from the 1950s to the 1970s. Her husband of more than 60 years, Dr. Morrette L. Rider, who survives her, was a member of the Hope music faculty from 1947 to 1975 and had also served the college as dean of academic affairs.

She was born on May 27, 1917, in Perrysburg, Ohio, and graduated from the College of Wooster. She continued her education at the University of Michigan, where she received a Master of Music degree studying with the Russian violinist Wassily Besekirsky. She was also a violin student of Misha Mishakoff, concert master of the Chicago and NBC orchestras, in New York City.

In addition to teaching at Hope, she had taught at SullinsCollege in Bristol, Va.

She was a teacher for almost 70 years, and her many violin and viola students have gone on to play in major symphony orchestras and teach at many schools, colleges and universities across the country.

She toured extensively throughout the eastern, Midwest and southern states as a violin soloist and sonata team member, and she had also conducted the Bristol, Va., Symphony Orchestra. Musical compositions that she wrote for children were published in numerous educational books and magazines.

In addition to teaching, she was for many years a docent at the University of Oregon Art Museum. She chaired the Docent Council for two terms and was a lecturer on Asian art. She authored a number of papers on Japanese and Korean ceramics, music, theatre and costumes.

She was a member of Phi Beta, Pi Kappa Lambda, PEO and the American Association of University Women.

She and Morrette Rider, who is dean emeritus of the School of Music at the University of Oregon, were married in 1946. In addition to her husband, survivors include a daughter, Rhonda, who is chair of chamber music at The Boston Conservatory.

A memorial is being arranged at the Art Museum at the University of Oregon on Saturday, Aug. 18. Friends and former students interested in contributing to a booklet of remembrances of Wanda may send reflections to ridermemorial@gmail.com.