Betty Carol Patterson Willauer Spalding
1947 - 2021
Betty Spalding, taught in conservatories and music departments in Canada and the Caribbean since 1969, following graduation from Andrews University. A violinist, she received two violin performance scholarships from the Alberta, Canada, government and other scholarship awards from AU while doing her undergraduate work.
Betty was born on January 9, 1947, in Berrien Springs, Michigan, to Robert and Etta Patterson. She attended Andrews Academy and Andrews University, where she graduated with a B.Mus.and married Robert Willauer at the time she graduated in 1969. They moved to Alberta, Canada, where she taught lessons at Red Deer College and played violin in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.
Betty established the Patterson Conservatory in Kamloops, Canada, and formed an orchestra in association with Red Deer College, as well as a youth orchestra while residing in that area. She was also conductor of the first pops orchestra in Kamloops and the Animato Chamber Orchestra during that time. She was pivotal in starting the Suzuki violin Program in Central Alberta. After a return to Andrews, and completion of an M.Mus. in 1987, she moved to British Columbia, Canada to teach violin.
Patterson, now married to Arthur W. Spalding, taught at Antillian Adventist University in Puerto Rico, and then at Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica, beginning in 2003. In the latter, she conducted the University Choir and the Symphonic Choir, which included both students and faculty, and was Assistant Director of the National Adventist Choir. While working with the NCU, she and the choir assisted Sandi Patti when she visited the island and gave two concerts in 2003.
While at NCU, Spalding, using the Suzuki approach in teaching strings, developed a string program and started a chamber orchestra, The Philharmonic Violins. In her last year at NCU (2005-2006), she also founded and directed the Jamaica Young Persons Orchestra in Kingston, an outreach program open to all string players in the region.
Following the death of Arthur, Betty taught in Jamaica at NCU and then later in Boston before retiring to Woodinville, Washington. She was living in Lexington, Kentucky, when she died on September 6, 2021. Betty is survived by her siblings, Leroy, Alberta, and Julie; three children, Erik and Mark Willauer, and Shelley Szekeres, and five grandchildren.
Sources: Information provided by Betty Spalding in 2004; Andrews University Alumni Today Directory, 2013, A63; Obituary in the Fall 2021 Andrews University Focus Magazine, 33; Online sources.