Bill Irwin, well-known organist, pianist, arranger, educator, and Mesa resident passed away February 1st following abdominal surgery.
During his long career Bill performed pop organ concerts throughout the USA, Canada, England, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. His many books of organ arrangements and organ courses sold in many countries throughout the world. His articles on music have appeared in music publications internationally, including, most recently, a recurring column in the ATOS journal, Theatre Organ.
Bill wrote the following about himself on his page on LinkedIn:
With no father and a single mother to support, I had to leave school and get a job. After taking piano lessons for about two years, I started earning spending money playing gigs with small groups. I later studied with a well known teacher and paid for my lessons with the music money I was earning. Started teaching as a young boy and kept up my playing and self-study. No degrees, but I have taught teachers with degrees and have lectured in several countries around the world, using interpreters in my four visits to Japan. On my Web site: http://theatreorgans.com/uk/irwin/ you can see the result of decades of arranging and writing study books. In the Library of Congress, I have seven completely recorded courses for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. No print or Braille. Just my voice and performance on the recordings.
As a member and friend of the Valley of the Sun Chapter, Bill served as M/C for our three day Desert Windsevent in 2004, and shared his talent as a performer with us at our meetings many times. When I last saw Bill two years ago, he was physically spry, mentally sharp and could easily have passed for a man 15 years younger. Bill was 92 when he died.