Mildred M. Young died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on January 26, 2014. Mildred (Millie) Marie Minneman Young was born in Dayton, OH on December 12, 1923 to Edgar and Helena Minneman. Her musical career began at the age of four, leading the choir into the sanctuary of the church for a 4:00am service on Christmas Day. Millie quickly moved from the choir to her love, the piano, pressing her mother for lessons, and beginning studying with her mother at age five. Millie then studied with Dayton piano teacher Anna Loges from age seven. Millie continued her piano studies in high school, and added oboe to her repertoire at that time....
Mildred M. Young died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on January 26, 2014.
Mildred (Millie) Marie Minneman Young was born in Dayton, OH on December 12, 1923 to Edgar and Helena Minneman. Her musical career began at the age of four, leading the choir into the sanctuary of the church for a 4:00am service on Christmas Day. Millie quickly moved from the choir to her love, the piano, pressing her mother for lessons, and beginning studying with her mother at age five. Millie then studied with Dayton piano teacher Anna Loges from age seven.
Millie continued her piano studies in high school, and added oboe to her repertoire at that time. Following her graduation from high school, Millie spent a year teaching piano in a grade school. In 1943, she entered the University of Michigan to study music education, but after one year in the department of education, Mille switched to the music department to study piano. She also studied organ with noted organist and educator Frieda Vogan. Millie was delighted to rekindle her friendship with her teacher and Mrs. Vogan's son upon coming to Virginia later in her life, a friendship that lasted till Mrs. Vogan's death in 2013.
While at the University of Michigan, Millie met John Andrews, her first husband, who played in the U of M band. They were married upon his return from WWII, in 1946. After they graduated, Millie and John moved to Los Angeles, where Millie worked as an accompanist. In Los Angeles, they began a family, first, David, then Lynn, and finally Keith. The family moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1960, and during her two years there, Millie played for the Anchorage Community Chorus, and played two festivals conducted by Robert Shaw, who invited her to come to New York to play for him. However, she had to turn that offer down.
The family returned to North Hollywood, California in 1962, and Millie began working for the Hollywood school system as a piano teacher, later moving to the Beverly Hills school system. Following her divorce, Millie and her daughter Lynn moved to Europe in 1968, settling in Linz, Austria, where she lived for twenty years. In Linz, Millie worked for the Landestheater opera house, playing for the ballet, in the orchestra, and even on stage for some productions. She was also the accompanist for the Linzer Singakademie, a community chorus founded in 1845. In 1977 she decided she wanted a harpsichord and built one from a kit, requiring hundreds of hours to complete. During her time in Austria, Millie built 13 harpsichords and a fortepiano, and had become such an expert that the company asked her to teach at their workshops in Europe.
In 1988, Millie retired from the Landestheater, and returned to the United States to be nearer her family. She settled outside of Williamsburg, Virginia, and immediately became part of the musical life of that community. She worked as an accompanist for numerous voice teachers in the area, most prominently with Dr. Genevieve McGiffert, with whom she had a close working relationship and personal friendship that lasted until Dr. McGiffert's death in 2006. When Dr. McGiffert took over the podium of the Williamsburg Choral Guild in 1993, Millie came along as accompanist, and she served in that role until her retirement in 2012, at the age of 88. Through the Choral Guild, Millie met her second husband, Bob Young, and they were married in 2002. They had a happy time together until Bob's death in 2004.
Millie traveled widely in Europe as a choral accompanist, and following her return to the U.S. she looked forward to her annual trips back to Linz, where she had many friends and colleagues to visit. For over 25 years she supported the efforts to build a new opera house in Linz, which opened in the spring of 2013. In May of 2013, Millie gathered enough strength to make her final trip to Linz, accompanied by her daughter Lynn, and was able to see the performance of a new Philip Glass opera that opened the new Musiktheater.
In Williamsburg, Millie was a sought-after accompanist, working with voice teachers at the College of William and Mary as well with as private instructors. She delighted both in encouraging young singers and in supporting established performers. Her playing was always sensitive to the both the singer and the composer.
An avid quilter, Millie's creations were always part of the Choral Guild's annual fundraising auction, and can be found in many Williamsburg homes.
Millie is survived by her children, David Andrews and his wife, Ildi, of Dadeville, AL; Lynn Trott and her husband, Barry of Toano, VA; and Keith Andrews, of Nome AK; and by step daughters Pam Young, of Williamsburg, VA; and Adrienne Young Thomas and her husband, Jimmy, of Grand Junction, CO; and by granddaughters Kristine Andrews, of Haddonfield, NJ; Athena Andrews, of Saipan; and Eleanor Trott, of Williamsburg, VA; and step-grandsons Henry Randolph, Owen Randolph, Calvin Thomas, and Peter Thomas.
A memorial service will be held later in the spring. Memorial contributions may be made to the Williamsburg Choral Guild, P.O. Box 1864, Williamsburg, VA 23187.