Dr. Pearl Yeadon Dies Suddenly
The local arts community and the Missouri State community have suffered another loss this week with the death of MSU Music Professor Dr. Pearl Yeadon. KSMU's Randy Stewart has more.
RANDY: Dr. Yeadon suffered a cerebral hemmorhage in her office on campus Monday (Jan.29) and died Tuesday (Jan.30). Dr. Yeadon was a Professor of Applied Voice, and longtime director of the University's Opera Workshop. I talked to Music Department Head Dr. Roger Stoner about how the Department will cope with the loss of a friend and valued colleague--and what Dr. Yeadon's death will mean to the Opera Workshop program she worked so hard to build over the years.
DR. STONER: Her death is a devastating loss to Missouri State and to the Springfield community. She was very outgoing, enthusiastic and energetic; and always was interested in the students, in having the best experience for them and their well-being and nurturing. She just was inspiring all the way around to our students. I mean, trying to cope with this loss is going to be really difficult, but we'll have to do it some way. She's irreplaceable, but the Opera Workshop will go on. However, out of respect for her and to honor her, I will be cancelling all of the spring activities that she was coordinating, which would be the Opera Workshop production in May, and then we had an event in February. But we will be resuming all of these things when we have a chance to regroup and figure out what we can do.
RANDY: They'll have to be re-assigned to a different faculty member, I'm sure.
DR. STONER: The Applied (Voice) students, yes. But we're going to cancel the Opera Workshop class itself, because most of the people--I mean, if they needed it for credit we're going to do something with independent study. But this performance was supposed to go on in five weeks, and with all the problems of re-assigning faculty to be able to do this at this late moment, and to grade the class and so forth... it's just best NOT to do this.
RANDY: How many students are involved?
DR. STONER: There are about 25 that were enrolled in the class.
RANDY: But you'll make accomodations for them.
DR. STONER: Oh, absolutely, yeah. I met with the class (Tuesday night) at its regularly scheduled time, and none of the students have any kind of a problem with the decision and how we're going about it. In fact, they all agree that this would be the best thing to do. There are a couple of people that really thought that Pearl would want to continue with the opera, but at the same time...
RANDY: The logistics just don't work out.
DR. STONER: Right. And it would just be better to honor her, and out of respect for her, not to do this. And then when we do something, we can honor her in a very appropriate way and do it right.
RANDY: I guess you're planning on some kind of memorial concert in honor of her later in the semester.
DR. STONER: That's correct. I'm working with Pearl's daughter Pam, who is from California. And Pam will be coming back to Springfield sometime later this spring, and then we will coordinate an official event for the Music Department, and we'll invite the greater community as well as the Missouri State community, and do this performance. I have no idea what format it will take, but we'll have student participation, we'll have faculty participation, we'll probably have people talk. And we will have a really appropriate kind of celebration of Pearl's life and what she brought to this department.
RANDY: There will be a memorial service for Pearl Yeadon Saturday (Febrary 3) at 1:00pm at Gorman-Scharpf Brentwood Chapel, 1947 East Seminole.