Fary W. Anderson, age 94, of Kent died at home Monday, October 19. Mrs. Anderson, widely known as a studio piano teacher in Southwestern Virginia, began the study of piano when very young in her home town of Dublin, Virginia. She graduated from Radford University and completed further piano studies at Hollins College and general musicianship at the St. Louis Institute of Music. She also traveled to Europe several times, particularly visiting Poland and France for studying the music and life of Chopin.
Mrs. Anderson retired in 2006 after 55 years of piano teaching. She was widely known in Virginia through the Farydyll ("Fary’s Dream") Piano Studio she built in Dublin, Virginia, in 1969. The beautiful brick building, especially designed as a piano studio, contained a polished hardwood stage with a grand piano along with a sizeable auditorium and several smaller rooms for teaching piano and organ. For many decades hundreds of students were presented in recitals at Farydyll. Farydyll also became the site of meetings for the Highland Chapter of the Virginia Music Teachers Association and the venue for professional artists from throughout the world performing in Southwestern Virginia.
Before leaving Dublin for Kent in the early 1990s, Mrs. Anderson donated land to establish the Charles and Ona B. Free Memorial Library. She also donated land attached to the library for the Wyrick-Anderson Park and the large Farydyll family garden which she had earlier donated to the Town of Dublin for community musical events and other gatherings.
In Kent, she continued to teach piano for a number of years, along with performing piano duos with her daughter, Fay Ann Sebaly, for Cleveland’s Musical Art Society. She also continued her devotion to flower gardening in Kent by developing yet another Farydyll garden on a vacant lot located on Wilson-Harvey Street.
Mrs. Anderson’s distinctive approach to teaching piano included the writing of plays about composer’s lives with students assuming the roles of various characters and performing pieces of the composerís music. In this way students learned about the historical and cultural context of the music they performed.Her plays included "The Life of Edward MacDowell," Mendelssohn’s "Song Without Words," Beethoven’s "Bridge of Stars," Grieg’s "Selections from the Peer Gynt Suite," "The Silver Goblet–Scenes from the life of Frederic Chopin," The "Merry Master" based on Franz Haydn’s life, and "Candlelight Time in Old Vienna" focusing on the life of Mozart. She also helped students learn to perform in their churches. Hundreds of her students participated in "Hymn Festivals" which she organized in Virginia, contributing significantly to the improvement of the quality of church music in the region.
Mrs. Anderson served as President of the Pulaski Music Club of the Virginia Federation of Music Clubs, and District Chairwoman of the Virginia Federation of Music Clubs. In Ohio she was a member of the American Association of University of Women, the Musical Art Society of Cleveland, the Kent Women’s Club, the Scandinavian Club, Delta Omicron (Zeta), and the Kent Garden Club. She was also a lifetime member of the Dublin United Methodist Church, and associate member of the Kent United Church of Christ.
Mrs. Anderson, whose husband, W. M. Anderson, died in 1986, is survived by a brother, Walter P. Wyrick of Tacoma, WA; a daughter, Fay Ann Sebaly of Kent; a son, Dr. William M. Anderson of Aurora; five grandchildren, Amy Rumrill of Monroe Falls, Annandee Sebaly of Kennesaw, GA, and Abigail Sebaly of Chicago, David Anderson of Royal Oak, MI, and Grant Anderson of Cincinnati; and four great- grandchildren, Chad, Cassidy, and Connor Pittman of Monroe Falls, and Alex Anderson of Cincinnati.
A service of remembrance for Mrs. Anderson will be held at the Kent United Church of Christ on November 14th at 1:30PM, and will be followed by burial at a later time in the old Dublin Cemetery.
Memorials may be sent to the Dublin United Methodist Church (Music Ministry), P.O. Box 577, Dublin, VA 24084, or the Thursday Morning Music Club (Roanoke), c/o Edward Boley, 2114 Pelham Dr., Roanoke, VA, 24108-2726.