Music Teacher Leaves Bequest to Music

When Alice Saunders passed away in 2018, she had lived a remarkable 91 years. A concert violinist, music teacher, and avid orchid enthusiast, Alice was also a passionate supporter of education.

Alice combined her love of music and education and left a significant bequest to the SOU Music Program. “The miraculous gift of music is shared with the entire world but an amazing gift to provide for music is even a more precious bestowment,” said David Humphrey, Director of the Oregon Center for the Arts and SOU.

“The Alice Saunders bequest has been a glorious benefit to our Music Program. It is providing our students and faculty the means to learn, perform, and create music which is enjoyed by the community and virtually across the globe. We are most grateful for this high level of consideration and the humble desire to see others personally develop from the financial success of one’s own exquisite life,” concluded Humphrey.

Originally from Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Alice and her family moved to Nebraska when she was a child. She attended Nebraska schools, finished high school in 1941, and applied to the University of Nebraska where she was accepted into the music department.

After graduating with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music and music education, Alice began her 26-yearteaching career in a small town in Nebraska. She also taught in Kansas and Iowa before relocating to Medford in 1960 to teach in the instrumental department in various schools throughout the district.

Alice played the violin in the Rogue Valley Symphony for 20 years and was a member of the Rogue Valley Orchid Society for some 30 years. Alice received a number of blue-ribbon awards from the Rogue Valley Orchid Society and two special awards from the American Orchid Society.