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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Longtime Spokane voice teacher Marjory Halvorson dies on Christmas

Longtime vocal teacher Marjory Halvorson, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, is a founder of Spokane Opera. (Jesse Tinsley)
Marjory Halvorson, a longtime fixture in Spokane’s musical world, died Christmas Day after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 73 years old. Halvorson shared her passion for music with local students since 1972, working as a vocal instructor at North Idaho College, Whitworth University and most recently at Gonzaga University. She estimated in April she had taught thousands of students. In order to improve opportunities for Spokane singers, Halvorson and her husband, Bill Graham, launched Uptown Opera in 1986. That company grew into Spokane Opera, which went defunct in 2010 due to lack of funding. Halvorson’s own opera career spread across continents. She was educated in the United States and Germany before settling in Spokane. She was the YWCA Woman of Achievement in Arts and Culture in 1996, the same year she received the Westminster Church Music Leadership Award. She was also honored with the City of Spokane Arts Commission Leadership Award in 2003.