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    MSU Alumni Dr. Charles and Marlene Johnson donate a "Gift of Music" to MSU

    MSU Alumni Dr. Charles and Marlene Johnson donate a "Gift of Music" to MSU

    On Oct. 27, 2009 at 8 p.m., Murray State University honored Dr. Charles Johnson ’56 and Mrs. Marlene Rann Johnson ’57 for their generosity to the MSU Department of Music. The community was invited to the dedication of the Allen organ donated by the Johnsons.
    Marlene explains, “As a product of the music department at MSU, I am happy to be able to give back,”. The dedication included a short concert by guest artist Rolland Martin, organist and Director of Music at St. Joseph University Church in Buffalo and Music Director of the Freudig Singers. Outside of the nearly 100 works that Martin has published, he received the Buffalo and Erie County Arts Council Award for Outstanding Individual Artist in 2008. He is currently on the faculties of the Buffalo Seminary, Daemen College, Canisius College and the University at Buffalo.

    The Johnsons’ gifts of music includes the carillon bells that ring through the campus, the establishment of the Dr. Charles and Marlene Johnson Outstanding Music Faculty Award and the Dr. Charles L. and Marlene Rann Johnson Music Scholarship and now the new organ for Lovett Auditorium,. “When we were making the gift of the carillon bells, we asked the music department what they needed and the organ idea came up.” Marlene said. “We knew they used Lovett for many concerts and such, and we felt like this was going to be a perfect opportunity for us to do something more for the university.” Her husband agreed. “We were pleased and honored to be able to make a contribution back to MSU because it was there for us when we were students, it gave us an education and a way to make a good life for ourselves, along with the love for the arts so it is a privilege to provide these gifts,” he explained..

    Charles holds a B.S. in social studies and Marlene holds a B.M.E. in music. The Johnsons are both retired from education careers and reside in Carrier Mills, Ill.. Both graduated from Carrier Mills High School and were married in 1954. At Murray State, Charles was a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and the International Relations Club. Marlene was a member of the Vivace Club and the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.

    “Everyone has a purpose on this earth and we are all supposed to leave this world a little better than it was when we got here, as we hope to do with MSU,” Charles said.