Margaret J. Guchemand, music teacher

February 22, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Margaret J. Guchemand, a voice teacher who had been chairman of the music department at then-Essex Community College, died Feb. 15 of breast cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care.

The longtime Mount Washington resident was 70.

Margaret Josephine Kelso, the daughter of a civil engineer and a homemaker, was born and raised in Knoxville, Tenn.

After graduating from Bearden High School in 1957, she earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1961 from the University of Tennessee.

She went to work after college in Macon, Ga., where she was a Social Security Administration caseworker until being transferred in the 1960s to the headquarters in Woodlawn.

While working for the SSA, Mrs. Guchemand, a mezzo soprano, studied voice at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and earned a master's degree in music from what is now Towson University in the 1970s.

She was hired as a vocal instructor at Essex Community College and was later named music department chairman, a position she held for 29 years, until retiring in 1999.

In addition to her college work, Mrs. Guchemand was a private music instructor.

For about a decade, she also served on the board of the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra, where she participated in selecting conductors and fundraising.

She and her husband of 39 years, Jerry R. Guchemand, a retired instrumental and music teacher who taught in city public schools, enjoyed traveling to the Southwest, where they studied Native American cultures. The couple were also collectors of the works of Baltimore painter Raoul Middleman.

Plans for a memorial service to be held in the spring were incomplete.

In addition to her husband, surviving are a son, John E. Guchemand of Hamilton; and two grandchildren.

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