CONCORD — Sylvia “Dawn” Taylor received the gift of life on Sept. 1, 1954, and the gift of eternal life on May 10, 2014.
She was born in Elizabethtown, North Carolina and Educated in the Bladen County School System. She was a member of the first graduating class of East Bladen High School in 1972.
Dawn is survived by her brother Reid Shaw Taylor and his wife Rebecca of Waynesville. She was preceded in death by her parents, the late Byron and Kate Taylor, and a sister, Joy Taylor.
In 1976, she received a Bachelor of Music in Applied Clarinet and a Bachelor of Music Education from Mars Hill College. Dawn was a member of the Mars Hill College Band where she was Student Conductor her senior year. She was also a member of the Mars Hills College Choir. She was a piano accompanist for student recitals and was a member of the Brevard Music Center Staff in 1975. She was also a member of the Hendersonville symphony orchestra and in 1976 received the John Crisp Medal which is awarded to the outstanding music major.
From Mars Hill, she went on to Michigan State University where she received a Master of Music in 1978. She was a clarinet student of Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr and a conducting student of Kenneth Bloomquist. She was also a conducting student of Dr. William Revelli at the University of Michigan.
After completing her education, she began her career as a teacher. Her first position was at Burns Jr. and Sr. High Schools in Lawndale, North Carolina, where she was the associate band director. From there she transferred to Charlotte-Mecklenburg where she was the director of bands at Northeast Middle School and J.M. Alexander Middle School. Her bands were consistently awarded superior and excellent ratings at contests throughout her career. She also taught fifth grade bands at seven different schools in the north area of Charlotte for two years.
Dawn was affiliated with several professional organizations: A.S.B.D.A., N.A.F.M.E.; N.C.B.D.A., and S.C.B.D.A. She was awarded The N.C. Stanbury Award, the Southeastern U.S. recipient for the Stanbury Award, she was named Outstanding Personalities of the South, Outstanding Women of America, and was a member of Delta Omicron.
Dawn performed as a freelance artist on clarinet, as a singer, pianist, clinician, band adjudicator, member of the Charlotte Oratorio Singers, and The Chamber Ensemble of The Oratorio Singers. Following her retirement she taught at The Cannon School in Concord, North Carolina. Dawn commissioned works for her bands composed by Dr. Francis McBeth, John Zedechlik, Jared Spears, Dr. Robert Palmer, Ed Kiefer, and Mekel Rogers. She was a member of Central United Methodist Church in Concord, North Carolina where she was a member of the chancel choir.
A very special word of gratitude is extended to Dr. Jerome Nymberg; not only an outstanding physician, but my friend who always supported me and consistently went the “extra mile”. To Amy Beaver, Parish Nurse, advocate, and friend in Christ, that walked this journey steadfastly with me; I offer thanksgiving for her loving compassionate services. Also my gratitude is expressed to the staff of the Hospice House, Bayada, Avenue, and Dr. Chris Connelly. To my dear friend Pam Espinosa, there are not enough words to express what her friendship meant to me prior to and throughout my illness. She was a fierce advocate always seeking the utmost level of competent caring professionals on my behalf. My brother Reid, with his wife Rebecca at his side, was my rock and fortress. No sister has ever possessed a treasure as valuable he was to me. Rebecca’s sacrifice of time and all of the miles traveled with Reid to make my journey from this life to the next as peaceful as possible, were exceeding great expressions of love for me and for Reid.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, May 17, at 11 a.m. at the Allen Cemetery in Dublin.
No flowers please; if you wish, you may make donations to the Holy Angels of Belmont or the charity of your choice.