Obituary: Paul Rogers Bishop

Longtime accompanist for Claremont Colleges, Christ Church Episcopal organist

Paul Rogers Bishop, church organist and longtime performance accompanist at the Claremont Colleges, died June 17 at the age of 68 after suffering a heart attack while visiting his brother Rick in Vista, California.

Mr. Bishop was born September 19, 1948. He was raised in Monrovia, California, the first of three sons to Ervill and Elinor Bishop. He was an honors student in high school before completing his bachelor’s degree in music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with additional studies at Claremont Graduate University.

He was an organist at Christ Church Episcopal in Ontario, and a longtime performance accompanist for Scripps and for the Joint Music Program of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges.

He was an accomplished pianist, organist and harpsichordist who relished in collaborating with students, many of whom kept in touch decades after graduation. He also maintained many friendships from his years as a piano teacher at Ralph Pierce Music in Pomona, and as organist at Church of the Transfiguration in Arcadia, California during the 1970s.

Charles W. Kamm, associate professor of music at Scripps, noted that in 42 years of accompanying voice lessons and choirs, Mr. Bishop played for more than 3,000 students in recitals and concerts. Choir directors relied on him to lead sectionals and play in concert, and voice faculty valued his expertise in a repertoire spanning four centuries in German, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin and English.

For many years he was piano accompanist at the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, under the direction of Scripps emeritus professor and dean of faculty Michael Lamkin.

Mr. Bishop is survived by his brother Rick of Vista; brother Tom and his wife Suzy of Omaha, Nebraska; and by his nieces and nephews, Sam of Cupertino, California, Alex of San Diego, and Tim and Jeff of Omaha.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 5 at Christ Church Episcopal in Ontario. A memorial concert will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 1 in Balch Auditorium at Scripps College.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Paul R. Bishop Memorial Award in Choral and Vocal Music at or by mail to the Office of Institutional Advancement, Scripps College, 1030 Columbia Ave., #2009, Claremont, CA 91711.


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