Keister, Elwood (1920-2003) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Keister, Elwood (1920-2003)
Variant Name: Elwood "Woody" Keister

Historical Note: Dr. Elwood "Woody" Keister (1920-2003) was born in Canton, Ohio in 1920. Keister was a veteran of World War II, having served in the army. Following his service, he received his bachelors degree from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, his masters degree from the Eastman School of Music, and his doctorate from Columbia University. After graduating, Keister taught at Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of North Iowa), East Carolina Teachers College (now East Carolina University). In 1957, he became a professor of choral music at the University of Florida, a position he held until his retirement in 1980. Soon after arriving in Gainesville, he became a founding member of the American Choral Directors Association in 1959. Keister would eventually serve as the first secretary-treasurer, first vice president, and the second national president of the organization. In addition to his pedagogical work at the University of Florida, Keister sang with the Robert Shaw Chorale. He also served as the music director of the First Methodist Church of Gainesville, Florida. Keister died in Gainesville in 2003.
Note Author: Nolan Vallier

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