Dr. Delbert “Del” Disselhorst

Dr. Delbert “Del” Disselhorst

Dr. Delbert “Del” Disselhorst

Iowa City

Dr. Delbert “Del” Disselhorst, 81, of Iowa City, Iowa, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 1, from natural causes.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 123 E. Market St., Iowa City, with a greeting time held prior to the service from 10 to 11 a.m. Inurnment will be held at a later date in Hamilton, Ill., at Oakwood Cemetery. The service will be live streamed for those who cannot attend. To watch the livestream, visit Gloria Dei’s YouTube Channel at youtube.com/c/GatheredByGrace.

Delbert was born on Nov. 3, 1940, in Keokuk, lowa, the son of Earl August Disselhorst and Bertha Greenslaugh Disselhorst. He attended the public schools of Hamilton, Ill., graduating from Hamilton High School. Delbert enrolled at the University of Illinois, where he graduated as a Bronze Tablet Scholar in 1962. He received a Fulbright Scholarship for study in Germany. From 1962 to spring 1964 he was a student of the prominent Bach scholar/performer Helmut Walcha in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. He returned to the United States in 1964 and earned a Master of Music degree in organ from the University of Illinois the following year.

Delbert taught at Hastings College in Hastings, Neb., from 1965 – 1968. From that teaching position he went to the University of Michigan and graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ in 1970. He also received the Palmer Christian citation as a distinguished graduate of the organ department. Delbert was Professor of Organ at the University of lowa from 1970 until his retirement in 2008.

As a concert artist, Delbert was affiliated for many years with Phyllis Stringham Concert Management in Waukesha, Wis. He played recitals and gave masterclasses throughout the United States and in Germany, France, Denmark, and Korea. He was guest artist at numerous international festivals and concert series including the International Organ Days at Trier Cathedral in Germany, the Freiburg Munster and the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. He played at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists and served as visiting professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame for the 2011-2012 academic year. Delbert also recorded on the Arkay and Pro Organo labels. His two volumes of the chorale preludes of Helmut Walcha recorded at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois were released by the Naxos label in 2013. Recordings of an all-Bach recital which Delbert played in 1999 at Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus are available at www.kaltura.com/tiny/03760.

In his free time, he volunteered for the Crisis Center and Free Lunch Program and served on the board of directors for Iowa City Early Keyboard Society. Delbert was a long-time member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City before joining First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City, where he was a current member at the time of his death.

He was respected statewide and nationally among the musical community but more important to Delbert were his students who he considered family. “Dr. D” leaves a legacy of generations of organists he taught and shaped during his 38-year career at The University of Iowa School of Music.

He leaves behind several extended family members as well as numerous students, colleagues and dear friends who will miss him greatly.

Delbert was preceded in death by his parents, and his beloved cat who passed away just two weeks before his death.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Delbert may be made to support the Frederick T. Rahn Jr. Memorial Fund at The University of Iowa College of Music, payable to the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244, or Bethel Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ill.

Please share photos you have of Del at www.tributeslides.com/up/26573185633671.

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