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Constance Baxter Bittner ’34

Constance Baxter Bittner ’34, August 20, 2003, in Longview, Washington. Constance attended Reed for three years; an experience, she later wrote, that provided the discipline and concentration necessary for professional music study. She received a BA in piano from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. From the university she also received a Bachelor of Music in 1937 and a Master of Arts in 1939 in music theory and composition. After completion of these degrees, she returned to Portland, taught piano, and performed as an accompanist—her primary focus for 50 years. In 1942, she married Francis W. Bittner. In 1943–45, she was a "traveling Army wife," and took employment in various locations, including at the Remington Rand Ordinance Plant in Denver. In 1946, the couple moved to Eugene, where she taught piano in conjunction with the University of Oregon School of Music, and received state and national certification. Constance served as state president of the Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA) from 1982 to 1984. She was president of the Eugene District OMTA; of the Mu Phi Epsilon Eugene alumni chapter, and of the Chapter AY of P.E.O. In addition, Constance was active in the Congregational Church, in the Washington State Music Teachers Association, and served as state adjudicator for the OMTA in piano performance. She enjoyed knitting, reading, and traveling. Survivors include two sons and three grandchildren, a half-brother, and a half-sister. Her husband died in 1991.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2003

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