SOSU Mourns the Passing of Dr. James Wintle

wintleThe Southeastern Oklahoma State University Music Department mourns the death of longtime composer, SE professor, and arts activist Dr. James Wintle who passed away last week.  Please join us in extending our expression of profound sorrow and peace to Betty, Jamey, Anne, and their beautiful family.  

Services will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Friday, November 22nd at 2pm.  Reception to follow afterwards in the Parish hall. 

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Dr. James R. Wintle Music Scholarship through the Southeastern Foundation.  Donations should be sent to:

Southeastern Foundation
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
1405 North Fourth Avenue  PMB 4187
Durant, Oklahoma   74701-0609

Dr. James Ray Wintle, a well-known composer, stalwart advocate for the arts in Oklahoma, and Professor Emeritus of Music at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, died in his home in Durant, Oklahoma, early Saturday morning. He was 71 years old.

Born in 1942 in Pittsburg, Kansas, the son of Jack and Daisy Wintle, his love of music and his immense talent as a pianist was recognized early through lessons with Will Humble, who was a highly influential force on the young man as both a teacher and musician, representing a lineage of piano instruction traced back to Ludwig van Beethoven. Dr. Wintle was educated entirely in his home state, earning a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from the University of Kansas, where he studied with John Pozdro. Later teachers included Douglas Moore and Norman Dello Joio. Dr. Wintle’s compositions have been performed on four continents and were commissioned and performed by many major chamber ensembles, including The American Brass Quintet, The Chestnut Brass Quintet, The Chester String Quartet, Voices of Change, Hexagon, The Orion Ensemble, The Chelsea Chamber Ensemble, The Aspen Wind Quintet, The Verdehr Trio, The Walden Piano Quartet, The Whitman Quartet, The Dorian Wind Quintet, The American Piano Quartet, and others. He received grants and awards from Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Oklahoma Arts Council, the Organized Research Fund of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, the Everette Foundation, the Delius International Competition, the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association and the Burlington Company. His work was also recognized by the State of Oklahoma with the Governor’s Arts Award for Community Service.

As a beloved professor of music theory and composition, for over forty years, Dr. Wintle influenced the lives of thousands of students, serving on the faculties of Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas (1969-1971) and Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma (1971-2010). In 1973, he created the Musical Arts Series, which provided free public concerts on the SOSU campus performed by many of the world’s finest classical musicians. He was the longtime musical director of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, served for many years on the Red River Arts Council and was a member of Touring Program and Project Assistance Advisory Panels of the State Arts Council of Oklahoma. He was director of the Steger Piano Institute, developing programs for cultural exchange with China and was active as a guest composer and adjudicator in many international events including the Gustav Mahler International Piano Competition in Jihlava CZ, the Akai Piano Competition in Osaka, Japan , the Luciano Gante European Piano Competition in Pordenone, Italy and the Chinese Youth Competition in Beijing, PRC, and events at the National Conservatory in Seville, Spain, the Chopin Academy in Warsaw, Poland, and Festival de Nancy in France.

In 1965, he married his college sweetheart, Betty Jane Emerson, who he loved beyond all measure. He is survived by his wife and their two children, Anne Catherine (Wintle) Ortega, her husband Junar and their daughter Olivia of Erie, Pennsylvania, and his son James Emerson Wintle and his wife Jennifer of Alexandria, Virginia, and by a large and loving extended family.

A Service for Dr. Wintle will be held on Friday, November 22, 2013 at 2pm, at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 515 West Beech Street, Durant, OK. Funeral arrangements were made through Holmes-Coffey-Murray Funeral Home, Durant, OK.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages friends to honor Dr. Wintle’s years of dedicated teaching and arts advocacy by sending donations to the Dr. James R. Wintle Music Scholarship at the Southeastern Foundation ,1405 N Fourth. PMB 4187, Durant, Oklahoma 74701-0609. Gifts to the Dr. James R. Wintle Scholarship are deductible charitable contributions.




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