MURPHYSBORO — Edward T. Harn, 97, of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, died Wednesday, June 5, at 8:58 p.m. at the New Mexico State Veterans Home. He was born Oct. 7, 1921, in Murphysboro. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eden “Earl” Harn and Kimmie (Snuggs) Harn.
He is survived by his wife Judith; his sister Anna Marie Harn of Montana; his daughter Diane (Harn) Moore of Florida; his son Charles Edward Harn of Arizona; his daughter Laura Kilby Blaes of Illinois; grandsons Tony Atty and Zachary Harn; and several great-grandchildren.
Mr. Harn graduated from Murphysboro Township High School in 1939. From 1942 to 1945, he served in the Army during World War II, achieving the rank of Sergeant and earning three Battle Stars. Mr. Harn resumed his studies at Southern Illinois University, earning a BS in Music and an MS in Educational Administration. He also studied at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. He always felt as if his style of music and particular “sound” were most influenced by his training at VanderCook.
He went on to work as Music Supervisor in the Murphysboro Public Schools from 1946 to 1955. From 1955 to 1961, he served as the Coordinator of Music in the Bloomington, Illinois, Public Schools.
In 1959, he founded the School Band of Americachool Chorus of America, thus leaving a legacy that far exceeds the number of years he spent on Earth. From 1960 to 1975, Mr. Harn gathered a group of exceptional musicians aged 15-22 from throughout the country. They performed in Europe to enthusiastic crowds where they were repeatedly invited to return; their music was expected to be exemplary, and it did not disappoint. They received rave reviews both in Europe and the United States, especially at the Mormon Tabernacle.
Mr. Harn conducted over 400 European and American concerts. He particularly admired John Philip Sousa; Stars and Stripes Forever and Battle Hymn of the Republic were his signature performance pieces. Those who participated in the SBACA experience continue to speak of the profound impact it had on their lives.
In his later years, he continued to create music. In his 70s and 80s he also learned to make jewelry, candy, and to express himself through fine-quality paintings.
Mr. Harn's burial arrangements were handled by Kirikos Family Funeral Home. He is interred at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.