Browse Record

First Name: Jean
Last Name: Cantwell
Bio: Jean Cantwell was elected recording secretary at the first meeting of the International Double Reed Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan in August, 1972. Jean said, "The vision of the officers of IDRS has raised the level of performance, increased the literature and has encouraged the sharing of ideas and techniques as well as fostered the improvements of equipment for oboists. This has been accomplished through the programs, conventions and publications of The Double Reed and The Journal of the International Double Reed Society. The discipline and the successes I have had as an oboist, the association with my musical colleagues and the reputation of oboists in general have shaped all the succeeding events and situations of my life." Jean Cantwell received both a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music from Northwestern University. While there, she studied with Francis Napolilli, Florian Mueller and Robert Mayer, all members of the Chicago Symphony. She jobbed with symphony members throughout the Chicago area, often substituting for Mueller, Mayer and Jerry Sirucek. She played with the Chicago Women's Symphony at Orchestra Hall and with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia. She also studied at the University of Southern California with Ingolf Dahl and Lloyd Rathbun at MGM Studio. At Interlochen, she studied with Andre Andraud of the Cincinnati Symphony. At Chautauqua, she studied with Dick Nass of the New York Metropolitan Opera. At the age of seven, Jean began saxophone lessons with Theodore Paschedag and later with John Sauter of the Ambassador Theatre in St. Louis. It was Paschedag who insisted she play the school oboe when she was eleven. No professional oboist ever changed any of the musical concepts taught by this exceptional, highly praised band director in West Frankfort, Illinois. When he decided to remain as conductor only for the high school band, Jean was offered the job as conductor in the junior high and elementary schools. Even with first place state ratings, in two years, she accepted the opportunity to return to her role as a symphony oboist and to be a member of the faculty at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Jean received the Special Achievement Society Award in West Frankfort in 1992. On marrying Clay Cantwell, attorney at law, they moved to Branson, Missouri when there were no music theatres in town; however there were fine musicians at the School of the Ozarks, now called the College of the Ozarks, which allowed her to continue as a soloist and to play in the James Trio. She also traveled to Springfield, Missouri to play in the symphony. She recorded Jean Cantwell Plays Student Oboe Solos. When the Missouri State Council on the Arts, now called the Missouri Arts Council, was formed, Jean was a member of the first Advisory Board, assisted with drafting the fundamentals for the operation of arts councils and was the first replacement on the board of M.S.C.A. She was chairman of the Dance Committee. In 1992, she received the Missouri Arts Award from the Missouri Arts Council. Jean was the first secretary of the Bonniebrook Historical Society and also of the International Rose O"Neill Club and later served as president. She was the organizing president of the Trio Lakes Community Theatre, the Taney Arts Council, (which has evolved into the Branson Arts Council) and Blossoms of Branson. The influence and strength of these organizations continue to grow. She received the Branson Arts Council Award in 1996. Although her participation and interest in the fine arts continued, with the birth of three children, Jean became a member of all the local alphabet and school groups (P.T.A., L.W.V., A.A.U.W., P.E.O., D.A.R. Ralph Foster Museum Board, Jean Cantwell Scholarship Committee, Rose O"Neill Scholarship Committee, Shad Heller Scholarship Committee) and also served as Elder and choir member in the Presbyterian Church. She taught private oboe lessons at the School of the Ozarks, Southwest Missouri State University and Evangel College. Creativity turned to writing. She wrote a series of twenty-nine stories, called "Teaching Oboe Skills."They were published in Woodwind, Brass & Percussion magazine from its first date of publication, January-February, 1981 to its last, March, 1985. Additional stories were printed in The Double Reed and The Instrumentalist. She wrote The Loves of Rose, a musical comedy in collaboration with Lloyd Norlin; a television show, Who Was Rose O"Neill; a radio series on O"Neill and about twenty stories on O"Neill and the Kewpies. She speaks on many subjects for local and state programs. Jean Cantwell was interviewed by Barbara Walters on The Today Show and appeared on To Tell the Truth and numerous news and talk shows. Jean is the immediate past state president of Missouri Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood and served on the state board for seven years. Cantwell is a member of the Advisory Committee of the College of Arts and Letters at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. Jean and her husband, Clay Cantwell, received the Mary Award for service to the Branson and Lakes Area in 1991. Branson has progressed from a regional tourist area to a worldwide entertainment destination. Of the seventy shows in town, many hire accomplished, trained musicians, Jean's kind of people. This town that boasts of its 3,706 population is the home of familiar personalities such as Andy Williams, the Lennon Sisters, Charlie Pride, Tony Orlando, Bobby Vinton and numerous others. Jean's current activities are directed toward enhancing the blossom landscape beauty of the community and the improvement of city facilities, particularly streets and signage through the Transportation Committee of the Branson/Lakes Chamber of Commerce. As a member of the Branson Blossoms, C of C committee, she is assisting in planning an annual spring promotion for the area.
Source: Double Reed 21/1 (1998)