Donald Shrimpton

Donald D. Shrimpton

1938 - 2020

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Obituary of Donald D. Shrimpton

Donald D. Shrimpton Musical Director/Pianist Donald D. Shrimpton, 82, of Lewiston ,NY passed away on August 23, 2020. He was born on September. 2, 1938 the son of Frederick & Violet (Crossett) Shrimpton of Niag-ara Falls. Donald began playing piano at the age of four. While growing up in the fifties, he stud-ied piano with Livingston Gearhart, Ned Rorem, Carlo Pinto, and at Freddie Jones’ Dance Studio. He accompanied dance classes at Natalie Piatov Dance Studio. Don graduated from Niagara Falls High School in 1956 and went on to earn his BA in mu-sic education from the University of Buffalo. Beyond this he has more than 80 gradu-ate credit hours in conducting, piano accompaniment and composition. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Navy School of Music. In the late 1950s, he traveled extensively through New England doing equity musicals as part of a twin piano team with Stan Keene. His theatrical background includes shows with Howard Keel (Carousel), Steve Lawrence (Pal Joey), Kathryn Grayson (Showboat), Ann Blyth (King and I), Jayne Mansfield (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), Buster Keaton (Once Upon a Mattress), and John Kander (Chicago) to name a few. In the 60’s and 70’s, Don played at John’s Flaming Hearth with his trio that included Danny Palazzo, and Tony Grasso. He played at the Alps Restaurant, Parkway Inn, The Glass Bar, Treadway Inn,The Whirlpool, Red Coach Inn, Monte Carlo and other area clubs. He played with many fine musicians: Johnny Barbara,Tony Scibilia, Sal Paon-essa, Joe DePetro, Joe Leo, Jerry D’Amico, and Joe Calato to name a few. His choral background includes work with Fred Waring, Don Besig, Robert Wagner, and Brock McLeheran. In 1977 he directed Amahl and the Night Visitors for the New England Opera Associates in Boston, Massachusetts. In the late 70’s and 80’s while living in Old Forge, NY he taught music at Town of Webb School, was organist and choir director at St. Niccolls Church and founded the Old Forge Community Chorus. He played piano at Rocky Point Inn and ballet classes for Suzanne Farrell, from the New York City Ballet Company, at her home on 4th Lake. Locally, he has been a musical director at Artpark, Niagara Falls Little Theater, NCCC, Buffalo Seminary, Melody Fair, Quad Productions, Niagara Fine Arts Program, Retired Men's Service Club Chorus and was the conductor and founder of the Rainbow City Philharmonic. He has been accompanist for the Niagara County Music Educators As-sociation Jazz Choir Festival and accompanies various school concerts and recitals. For the past 30-plus years, he has been accompanist for Shawnee Press Musical Workshops and Festivals. In 1997 he was Teacher of the Year and his biography was published in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. He retired as the vocal music teacher at Lewiston Porter Middle School in 2000 with his final choral concert being held at Artpark in Lewiston. He was a member of NYSSMA, NY State Teachers Associ-ation, Music Educators National Conference, American Guild of Organists, and the Musicians’ Uniion. In his spare time, he taught piano and was the musical accompa-nist for voice classes at Niagara County Community College as well as Niagara Uni-versity. Don was the first musical director at Niagara University (NU), directing the Fantasticks (1966) and Mame (1969) with Brother Augustine Towey, C.M., and was director and founder of the NU Glee Club. In 2003, he returned to NU as the musical director for its theater program, where he founded the NU Show Choir/Theatre Chorale. In April 2010, he was musical director for Anything Goes at the opening of NU's new theater and the first NU Alumni production of The World Goes 'Round by Kander and Ebb In 2007, he adjudicated piano and choral groups for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA). Also in 2007 he proudly founded and directed the Lewiston Choraleers, a community chorus with 50+ members who performed yearly concerts in area churches. Most notably is their Easter Cantata, Spring Concert and Christmas Program as well as their annual performances at the Lewiston Arts Festival, Peach Festival and Harvest Festival. In 2010 several members of the group traveled to Ireland to perform three concerts under the direction of composer, Joseph martin. In the fall of 2011, the group sang at Walt Disney World in Florida for the Disney Magic Music Days, with Donald directing. Don toured with composer Joseph Martin and Harmony International to Washington, D.C. accompanying the 200-plus American Tapestry Choir at a concert in Constitution Hall and also on a tour through Ireland where they performed at Kylemore Abbey, Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. He was the Minister of Music at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Niagara Falls, N.Y. for 20 years and retired in 2019. Don continued his love for music by direction the Lewis-ton Choraleers from 2007 to his passing. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sandra Shrimpton(Holihan), daughters, Michelle Hidalgo (Scott Bonime), Long Island NY, Megan Shrimpton (Jamie Bamford), Hanover PA and Marcie Dimond, Old Forge NY. Grandchildren: Christopher & Gabrielle Hidal-go, Aric, Aron, & Kaitlyn Dimond and Jake Bamford. Brother-in-law Jack Holihan (Weedsport NY) , Nephew; Jack II (Kelly) Holihan (Folsom CA), Nieces; Colleen (Lee) Huber (Spartanburg SC) ,and Sherrill (CY )Ellis (Weedsport NY) as well as many great nieces and nephews. A private service will be held at Riverdale Cemetery with his family. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. If desired, donations may be made to the Lewiston Fire Company. Arrangements entrusted to HARDISON FUNERAL HOMES INC
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