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Stafford Wing
Professor Emeritus Stafford Wing

The Department of Music is saddened to announce the recent passing of Professor Emeritus Stafford Wing. Professor Wing served on faculty as a voice professor for 40 years from 1969-2009.

As described in his obituary, “he was chair of the voice area for 32 years and former founder and director of the UNC Chamber Singers. Stafford received a Faculty Research Grant for study in New York in 1975, was a recipient of the Amoco Foundation Award for Inspirational Teaching of Undergraduate Students in 1976, and was a Pogue Foundation Grant recipient in 1982. He was a member of the UNC Speakers Bureau during the university’s bicentennial celebrations, touring throughout the state of N.C.”

Upon his retirement, Professor Wing remarked,

“I am nurtured by music every day. I am grateful for my life and my profession as singer and teacher. The opportunity to teach while continuing to sing has been an incredible gift. My students and colleagues are an inspiration to me, not only my own students, but also others throughout the department. Music will always be an essential ingredient in my life.”

Music was the foundation of Professor Wing’s life and career, as his obituary richly details:

“Stafford’s career embraced a wide range of both classical and non-classical repertoire performing extensively in the USA, England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, as well as in Greece and Macedonia. He had more than one thousand performances at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, as well as performances at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He toured Italy with the Vienna Festival Ensemble and also recorded performances with the Vienna Symphony and Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra. His performance activities wove together venues in opera, music theater, stage, radio, major network television (CBS, NBC, ABC), oratorio, Broadway, and recording (Vox and Decca labels).

It should be said that Stafford knew how to live well. He kept many friends close, maintaining numerous friendships through the decades. Stafford’s former students were always welcome visitors or guests in the Wing’s home. The post-concert receptions that Stafford and Janice hosted were legendary. Stafford exemplified the best in being true to one’s personal values, keeping life-long commitments to church, family, friends, students and colleagues. Stafford honored an open-minded approach to living life fully, appreciating the beauty found in looking at the details of life, and in honoring all manner of diversity of spirit and being.”

“Our dear friend and colleague Stafford passed peacefully on Christmas Day. I visited frequently with him in the hospital in these last 2 months, and he was delighted to be able to reconnect with so many of you by phone in the past weeks,” noted Dr. Terry Rhodes, close friend and colleague of Professor Wing. “Music was his life and the departmental relationships he formed through the years meant the world to him. His legacy will certainly live on.”

As noted in his obituary, funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at 10:30 AM at The Chapel of The Cross Episcopal Church, 304 E. Franklin St. Chapel Hill. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to the department’s voice fund. To donate online click here.

Read Professor Wing’s full obituary and leave a message in the guest book here.

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