Music 01


James M. Hart

November 8, 1927 ~ January 31, 2018 (age 90)

James M. Hart, age 90, of Alpena passed away Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at Mid-Michigan Medical Center of Midland. James was born on November 8, 1927 in Grinnell, Iowa to the late Clarence James “CJ” and Stella (Upchurch) Hart. He married Mary Louise Evans on August 26, 1951 at The First Presbyterian Church in Centerville, Iowa.

He was graduated in 1951 from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with a B.A, majoring in music and history. In 1954, he obtained a Masters in Music Education from University of Iowa.

He had served in a special-forces unit of the U.S. Army during the occupation of Italy in 1946-1947.  During his time in Rome, he developed his love of opera.

He was an active member of First United Methodist Church and the director of its Chancel Choir from his arrival in Alpena in 1956 through Christmas Eve service 2017. The years of his service were a true labor of his love for sacred choral literature.

After teaching five years in Iowa, Jim taught music in Alpena Public Schools from 1956-1986. He was a board member of the Thunder Bay Arts Council and Alpena Community Concert Association. Jim directed the Thunder Bay Arts Council’s community chorus for 27 years. He supported Alpena Civic Theater and Thunder Bay Theater and appeared on stage in several musicals. Jim was always a proponent of music education and incorporated interesting facts about composers and music as he delighted the community with spring and Christmas concerts.

Jim and Mary Louise met in high school when Jim auditioned for the choir for which she accompanied. It was the beginning of their partnership in music that spanned seven decades. Jim was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He touched the lives of many people through the years as an educator and director. His mission was to bring music to the entire community. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

James is survived by, his loving wife/accompanist of 66 years, Mary Louise, and their three sons: Thomas (Martha) Hart, Steven (Liz) Hart, and Bruce (Hollee) Hart, his four grandchildren, Allen, Ashley, Michael and Christopher (Eva) Hart and one great-grandchild Elise Hart, his brother Cullen (Mary Ellen) and many nieces and nephews.

James was preceded in death by his two sisters, Mary Caroline Robinson and Margaret Leslie Mohr.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Jim Hart Music Scholarship, care of the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, PO Box 495, Alpena MI 49707.  The scholarship will be established to support Alpena High School vocal music students who attend a summer music camp of their choice.

Visitation will take place at the Bannan Funeral Home on Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and continue Monday at First United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. until the funeral service at 11 a.m. with Rev. Eugene Bacon officiating.

Donations may be made to:

Jim Hart Music Scholarship-c/o Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan
PO Box 495, Alpena MI 49707