Louis A. Skinner, 74, taught music, made reeds

August 22, 1993

Louis A. Skinner, a music teacher and maker of bassoon reeds who once played in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, died of heart failure July 27 at Down East Community Hospital in Machias, Maine.

Mr. Skinner, who was 74, had lived in Jonesport, Maine, since 1972.

"He taught music and supplied reeds -- which he made almost his entire adult life -- to hundreds of music students worldwide," said his son, Gregory Skinner of White Hall.

He played with the BSO and Baltimore's Municipal Band.

From 1984 to 1986, he conducted a seminar in reed-making at Towson State University. Health problems forced him to stop teaching.

"He was internationally known," said Dr. Eugene Griswold, a music professor at Towson State and Mr. Skinner's student for nearly 30 years. "He had students from Europe as well as the U.S.

"Several leading bassoonists -- [including Roland Small of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and John Miller of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Symphony Orchestra] -- in the country studied under him. I'm not sure exactly how many students he had, but they must have numbered in the hundreds."

The native of Peoria, Ill., graduated in 1936 from Pekin High School. He was a sonarman in the Coast Guard during World War II.

He studied the bassoon at the Peabody Institute from 1947 to 1949.

He was a member of Local 40-543 of the Musicians Association of Metropolitan Baltimore and an honorary professor at York University in Toronto.

His wife, the former Elizabeth Anne Hilton, whom he married in 1944, helped in his reed-making business. She died in 1990.

In addition to his son, he is survived by a sister, Lillian Schmidt of Rome, Ill.; and two granddaughters.

At his request, no service was conducted.

The family suggested donations to the Jonesport Ambulance Service or the Jonesport Fire Department, Jonesport, Maine 04649.

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