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Paul Joseph Gallagher

Paul Joseph Gallagher, 58, of Madison, N.J., died on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. Visitation is from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, at Studio Yoga, 2 Green Village Rd., Madison, followed by a service there at 5 p.m. Paul was an innovative contributor to classical new music and expanded the genre with a unique approach to intonation. The recipient of several grants and fellowships, Paul composed numerous pieces for voice as well as tone poems and symphonies. His work has been performed in New York City, Copenhagen and elsewhere. His creative innovation also permeated his many paintings, set designs, and other artistic expressions of nature and spirituality. Paul, a talented tenor, was also a sought-after private vocal instructor whose students included many who attained district, state and Eastern U.S. recognition from the N.J. Music Educators Association. He also coached other professional vocal artists with whom he collaborated and sang in a variety of performances that he composed and directed. Studying under Morton Feldman and Heinz Rehfuss, Paul received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in composition and voice at SUNY Buffalo. Born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, he received his bachelor’s education at Penn State. Paul will be deeply missed by his grieving family and friends. He is survived by his devoted wife of 26 years, Theresa Rowland of Madison; his mother, Lorraine Gallagher of Monroeville, Pa.; brothers, Tim, Steve and Pat Gallagher; sisters Janet Rubinson, Colleen Gallagher and Laura Protzman, and many nieces and nephews. Condolences and deliveries may be sent c/o Studio Yoga, 2 Green Village Rd., Madison, N.J. 07940.

Independent Press

Obituary: Paul Joseph Gallagher, composer, vocal coach, has died at 58

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 5:14 PM Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 5:22 PM

Paul Joseph Gallagher, 58, of Madison, died on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011.

The service was held on Thursday, Jan. 5, at Studio Yoga, 2 Green Village Rd., Madison.

Paul was an innovative contributor to classical new music and expanded the genre with a unique approach to intonation. The recipient of several grants and fellowships, Paul composed numerous pieces for voice as well as tone poems and symphonies. His work has been performed in New York City, Copenhagen and elsewhere. His creative innovation also permeated his many paintings, set designs, and other artistic expressions of nature and spirituality.

Paul, a talented tenor, was also a sought-after private vocal instructor whose students included many who attained district, state and Eastern U.S. recognition from the N.J. Music Educators Association. He also coached other professional vocal artists with whom he collaborated and sang in a variety of performances that he composed and directed.

Studying under Morton Feldman and Heinz Rehfuss, Paul received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in composition and voice at SUNY Buffalo. Born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, he received his bachelor’s education at Penn State.

Paul will be deeply missed by his grieving family and friends. He is survived by his devoted wife of 26 years, Theresa Rowland of Madison; his mother, Lorraine Gallagher of Monroeville, Pa.; brothers, Tim, Steve and Pat Gallagher; sisters Janet Rubinson, Colleen Gallagher and Laura Protzman, and many nieces and nephews.

Condolences and contributions to the Paul Gallagher Memorial Fund may be sent c/o Studio Yoga, 2 Green Village Rd., Madison, N.J. 07940.

© 2012 NJ.com. All rights reserved.

Daily Record

Paul Joseph Gallagher of Madison, known as a voice instructor and for his contributions to microtonal music, died Dec. 30. / Photo courtesy of the Gallagher family

Written by Lorraine Ash

MADISON — In a service that blended the local yoga and music communities here, 350 people gathered Thursday to honor the life of Paul Joseph Gallagher, a noted composer and vocal teacher, who died Dec. 30.

The gathering for Gallagher, who was 58, also drew family members, including Gallagher’s six siblings. It took place at Studio Yoga, owned and directed by his widow, Theresa Rowland.

John Welshons, longtime meditation teacher at the yoga school, led the service in the spacious third-floor loft where Gallagher staged recitals for his voice students. That night it was aglow with votive candles and adorned with flowers and picture boards.

Musically, the service featured many styles, including the Tryambakamantrah, a Sanskrit death-conquering chant; “Close Your Sleepy Eyes,” a Gallagher composition; and “Hey God” by Vince Gill. Though diverse, the mix reflected the passions of Gallagher and Rowland as well as the spirit with which he nurtured the unique talent of each of his students.

That philosophy harkened back to Gallagher’s days at the State University of New York at Buffalo, according to Bunita Marcus, also a composer. There, in the late 1970s and early ’80s, the two friends earned their doctorates in music composition and voice under the tutelage of Morton Feldman, one of the most influential experimental composers of the 20th century.

“Morton didn’t want everybody to write music like him,” Marcus said. “His goal was always to get the composers to write their own music. Paul was always into just intonation and using the overtone series.”

In 1987 Gallagher’s “The Way of the Hopi” was performed at Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan as part of the American Festival of Microtonal Music.

“He was writing about the ancient beginning of humanity through the Hopi perspective,” said Johnny Reinhard, festival director. “Paul came out of nowhere with this incredibly fully evolved piece. That was a big, interesting thing in 1987 — to have an orchestral piece based on Hopi Indians in just intonation.”

In 1998, Gallagher’s dreamscape opera, “Six Blind Men and the Moon” was performed at The Kraine Theater in Manhattan. The production featured dancers, a cappella singers, electronics, and artwork Gallagher had created.

“He was one of the first people to do these things as far back as 1980,” Marcus said. “There were no instruments that could play what he wrote outside of stringed instruments and maybe some trombones. Initially, he just cut tubing that produced the sound he wanted and did a concert based on that.”

Gallagher, a tenor, also produced CDs of original work he wrote and sang, including “Round the Great Circle” in 1987 and “Prowling the Interior” in 1995.

In a tribute to her husband, Rowland said all his musical compositions and visual artwork were an expression of his spiritual life.

“Paul had a lot to offer the world, especially in his teaching,” she said. “His students meant a lot to him. They gave him focus and hope even when his suffering was at its peak.”

The feeling was mutual. In dozens of testimonials, some tearfully rendered, Gallagher’s students called him a generous, sensitive, loving teacher. Ranging from children to working professionals, they recalled their lessons with him as the brightest time in their week.

During lessons, they said, they sang, developed confidence, and learned how to live authentic, happy lives.

Student Natalie Duffy, now at Berklee College of Music, performed “Dream” in Gallagher’s honor and said that he taught her, “You’ve got to take every note, and every day, carefully, and give it your all.”

The service ended with Welshons sounding a singing bowl three times. The notes rang through the loft.

“Let it be one more sound,” he said, “in the symphony Paul has written in our hearts.”

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Lorraine Ash: 973-428-6660; lash@njpressmedia.com