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Retired Elon music professor dies

A longtime member of Elons music faculty, Malvin Newton Artley taught music to hundreds of young students in the community and was instrumental in developing the university’s string instruction program.

Malvin Newton Artley, a noted violinist and longtime member of Elon’s music faculty who shaped its string instruction program, passed away Feb. 4, 2017. He was 95.

A native of Newark, N.J., Artley earned his music in violin performance degree from Shenandoah Conservatory before joining the U.S. Army. He later earned a master’s degree in music in violin performance from Cincinnati Conservatory and a Doctor of Fine Arts in musicology from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University. His early career included teaching band in public schools and at Brevard College, where he started the music department. He moved to Burlington, N.C., in 1955 to start a string program in the Burlington City Schools. 

In 1965 he joined the Elon faculty as associate professor of music. While at Elon, he founded the Elon College Orchestra and served as its first conductor, held annual “Pops” concerts with the orchestra and directed annual college-community performances of Handel’s Messiah. He also developed a string instruction program for college students and organized a student chapter of the National Association for Music Education (formerly known as the Music Educators National Conference). He was promoted to professor in 1969 and though he retired in 1986, he continued teaching as an adjunct faculty member for many years. In recognition to his outstanding service to the university, Artley was awarded the Elon Medallion in 2001.

Always passionate about music education, Artley introduced hundreds of local youth to music through his work as a private instructor and assistance to the local schools. In addition, he served as national treasurer, national vice-president and national president of the National School Orchestra Association and was state president of the American String Teachers Association. He received the first Maxine Swalin award from the North Carolina Symphony in 2003 for “instilling and inspiring love of music in North Carolina’s children.”

Artley is survived by his wife of 39 years, Jean Littlejohn Artley, and their four children. A memorial service will take place Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Foley Chapel in Twin Lakes Community in Burlington. Read the full obituary for more details.

Keren Rivas,
2/6/2017 9:40 AM