In Memory of Dr. C

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In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:05 am

I thought it worthy of its own post outside of the "let the band play" thread.

Dr. Philip Cansler passed away this morning (June 2, 2008) around 1 AM. Dr. C had been diagnosed about 7 months ago with a stage IV brain tumor.

That's really all the information we have at present. I know there will be a memorial planned after school resumes in the fall, but have not heard anything further.

Often known for his purple trumpet, purple suit, and crazy antics at basketball games, Phil was one of those people who put his heart into what he did. He loved having fun and the opinions of others about his antics never really bothered him. It is likely that without his encouraging I wouldn’t have stuck around and played concert band, pep band, or anything else. He’s part of the reason I still play...six years later.

I’ve lost a friend, the world has lost a great trumpeter and person.

UPDATE: His memorial service will be on Sunday, June 15th at 4:00 PM at First Baptist Church - 909 SW 11th Avenue - Portland, OR 97205


Last edited by PilotNut on Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:37 am; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Memorial Service Information)

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotNut on Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:07 am

A sad day for everyone... my thoughts are with him and his family.

Dr. C was a great man, a great teacher, and a great representative of the University.

May you rest in peace, Dr. C.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:57 am

From Dr. Michael Connolly (Music Department Chair):

Musicians and Friends at UP,

Dr. Philip Cansler died early this morning at his home with his wife by his side. We are thankful for his twenty-eight years of service to the University of Portland. Funeral arrangements are pending. Requiem in aeternum.

MC
--
Michael Connolly, D.M.A., Chair, Dept. of Performing and Fine Arts

From Fr. Beauchamp:
To the University of Portland Community:



Please remember in your prayers the repose of the soul of Dr. Philip Cansler, Associate Professor of Music, who passed away early this morning. The University community will always be grateful to Phil for his years of singularly dedicated and unique service on The Bluff. I know I express the feelings of all in the University of Portland community when I say that he will be deeply missed.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.

Father Bill
(Rev.) E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C.

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RIP Dr. C

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:32 am

Sad, sad news. He will definitely be missed.

I found some photos of him from the Facebook group "Prayers for Dr. C" created by students for him. Hope they don't mind me posting them, but they were too good not to put up. Definitely got some good smiles remembering him at the games:













RIP Dr. C.

I was just thinking... it would be a nice tribute if they kicked off next season's opening game with a ceremony remembering him and inducting him to the Hall of Fame. I think that would be a very fitting tribute to a man who was truly an institution at UP basketball games for a very long time.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:36 am

One thing I hate about that last photo with the band from last year - it was over a break - the rest of the students weren't able to be there.

I like your idea, stoney.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotNut on Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:49 am

Stonehouse wrote:I was just thinking... it would be a nice tribute if they kicked off next season's opening game with a ceremony remembering him and inducting him to the Hall of Fame. I think that would be a very fitting tribute to a man who was truly an institution at UP basketball games for a very long time.

Great idea.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:57 am

After I got Drummer's message, I got to thinking the same thing. Who fits the description of meritorious service better?

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:13 pm

Here are a couple new photos of Dr. C that I think really show him in all his glory:







Hey mods... would it be possible to put a photo collage/memorial thing for Dr. C on the front page? If so, I'd be happy to put something together.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotNut on Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:58 pm

Great pics, Stonehouse. They capture the essence of his presence at the games. He will be missed. Whether you liked him or thought his antics were silly, you cannot deny he was an institution at UP over many many years.

I am looking for the best way to put together a memorial for Dr. C here, but I am wondering if it is better to keep it as a thread here on the forum so people can add their own photos and/or memories, etc. easily. (With a mention and/or link from the front page...)

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In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotNut on Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:06 pm

Please post your thoughts, memories, photographs and condolences here for Dr. C.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotDrummer on Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:13 pm

Hey, stonehouse, that second one of Dr. C playing...is that the full size?

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:45 pm

No... it was resized for the forum. I can forward the original to you - just send me your email in a PM.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotNut on Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:56 pm

I am not sure if everyone knows that Dr. C wrote the music for the UP fight song, while Fr. Oddo wrote the lyrics; sadly, both have now left us.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:19 pm

The Fight Song!

Pilot Nut, that reminds me of something I've been wanting to post for a while now:

http://www.portlandpilots.com/fightsong.asp

That's right... you can listen to the fight song performed live by the Purple Pride Pep Band, and you can download it too. WooHoo!

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by DaTruRochin on Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:07 pm

Sigh.... Oh the wonderful memories that song played a soundtrack to.... Dr. C will most definitely be missed.... I think we owe him nothing less than to represent that song to the fullest next year down at the WCC tournament... get your arms moving back and forth Stonehouse, there's a fight song freight train coming through....

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotDrummer on Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:01 pm

Just so everyone knows, his memorial service will be on Sunday, June 15th at 4:00 PM at First Baptist Church - 909 SW 11th Avenue - Portland, OR 97205.

I updated the first post as well.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by wrv on Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:32 am

Our world will be less colorful, less purple. There will be less anticipation, by me anyway, for a game. We will remember him in moments he would have appeared on the court in full regalia, and feel a certain poignant longing for his brand of craziness.

The clock should be forced to stop during a home game next year to remember Dr. C., maybe a trumpet should play, his purple hair should be on display.

How many of us have come to accept his antics as part of the atomosphere at a Pilot home game? How many of us have wondered, while smiling, whether his musical talents left him a brick shy of inhibition?

I agree that Dr. C will be missed. My prays for his family.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:33 am

Here's a very nice article about him from UP's website:

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - The University of Portland community is mourning this week the loss of one of its most colorful and endearing figures, music professor, band director, and trumpeter Philip Cansler, who passed away Monday at the age of 54 after being diagnosed with brain cancer last fall.

A memorial service for Cansler has been scheduled for Sunday, June 15th at 4;00 PM. It will be held at First Baptist Church, on 909 S.W. 11th. The service will be followed by a reception there.

It is anticipated that there will also be a memorial service for Cansler on campus in the fall after the students and faculty return.

Dr. Cansler came to the University in 1980, and over the years became a popular professor and mentor to hundreds of students enrolled in his Concert Band class, and fundamentals of music and introduction to fine arts courses.

The composer of the University fight song, "University of Portland Victory March," and a regular trumpet performer in his church and the community, he was affectionately known on campus as "Dr. C." Off campus, he performed locally in choirs and enjoyed playing in a band at the annual Pendleton Round-Up rodeo.

Eventually, he became a favorite at basketball games, directing the pep band, wearing a purple wig, dancing and prancing with his trumpet in hand.

"My first nine years, I was a typical pep band director," Dr. Cansler was quoted in a 1999 feature in The Oregonian newspaper. "I'd go to meetings with other band directors and they would always be complaining that the worst job they had was directing the pep band. I decided life was too short to do anything I didn't enjoy."

Dr. Cansler moved west after graduating in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in music from Washburn University of Topeka, Kansas. He earned a master's degree and doctorate in music, both from the University of Oregon. His area of expertise at the University of Oregon was in trumpet performance and music history.

Phillip Cansler's first job as a paid musician came while he was attending Washburn University in 1974 and answered a call for auditions for two summer pit orchestras at the Worlds Of Fun Amusement Park in Kansas City. He got the job, beating out more than 40 others and worked four shows a day, starting at 10:00 AM and learned the value of Carmex lip ointment to ease the pain of sore lips.

"That summer, hot as it was and sore as my lips were, gave me the confidence to try to be a professional musician," he wrote in 1998 in a memoir in the University's Portland Magazine, "and I am that rare trumpeter who can say that he began his career in an amusement park."

Dr. Cansler carried that spirit and enthusiasm with him throughout his career, earning praise from former students and co-workers, and, of course, throughout his years with the University's 30-member pep band.

"In their course evaluations, students consistently praised Dr. Cansler's enthusiasm in the classroom," said Michael Connolly, chair of the department of performing and fine arts.

The purple wig and purple suit that Dr. Cansler wore were only a few of his props at basketball games. He would wear a white glove while the band played a Michael Jackson tune or a straw hat for a Beach Boys song. At other times, he wore an Indiana Jones hat, a big top hat or a Mohawk haircut wig.

"I thought the band members would feel my energy," he told The Oregonian. "I thought if I had a good time and the kids sensed it, the band would play better and have a good time too." He added that the band's music could also help spur on the basketball team.

"Sometime's when it's a close game," Dr. Cansler noted, "I'll say, ‘Band, it's up to us.'"

Survivors include his wife, Annette, two step-children, a brother, Joel, and a sister, Myra.

http://www.up.edu/shownews.aspx?id=3585

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:19 am

Hey everyone, I also just found this, a blog written by Dr. C's brother Joel that has some very touching posts and photos:

http://orgs.up.edu/blogs/cansler/

One piece of info I saw was that Dr. C donated $150,000 to UP for an endowed music scholarship. How great is that? What a terrific guy.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotNut on Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:45 am

"Band, it's up to us."

That's classic... I love it!!

Anyone have any pull with the Portland Magazine or the Oregonian, to get links to the articles noted above? I looked online, and neither archive goes back that far.

The more I find out about Dr. C, the more I realize what an amazing man he was and how lucky we all were to have him touch our lives.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotDrummer on Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:10 am

I'm working on writing a piece about Dr. C - a lot of what's been written echoes what I want to say. Especially "Band, it's up to us." How many times have I heard that over six years.

It's funny - I'm getting married on the 14th and we're supposed to leave for the Gorge on the 15th. I think we've both decided that we will postpone our departure long enough to attend the funeral.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:13 am

PilotNut,

I'm working on it right now. Don't know if I'll be able to track anything down, but it's worth a shot for sure. Would love to see that Oregonian article.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:22 am

OK, seriously... I'm a genius. Found the Oregonian article:

PILOTS' PEP BAND PROVIDES LOONEY TUNES
Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) - January 26, 1999
Author: KEN WHEELER of the Oregonian Staff

Summary: Band director Philip Cansler and his charges create a wild and zany atmosphere at University of Portland basketball games
There he comes, running from the north end of the arena looking like he just extracted his hand from a light socket. He pulls up at midcourt, hoists that trumpet to his lips and the "William Tell Overture'' floods the Chiles Center as the Portland Pilots stream onto the court.

"It-t-t-t-t-s-t's Dr. C!,'' the public address announcer blares as the prancing, dancing, purple-clad ringmaster who will share the evening with the basketball team barrels into his mission.

"My first nine years, I was a typical pep band director," Philip Cansler says. "I'd go to meetings with other band directors and they would always be complaining that the worst job they had was directing the pep band. I decided life was too short to do anything I didn't enjoy."

And a metamorphosis took place. Because of Cansler , the 30-piece Portland pep band, which shares the stage with the basketball team, is a show unto itself, what with Cansler jumping and gyrating and making a fool of himself just like he had scored a touchdown in an NFL game.

"I think he does a great job," said Portland coach Rob Chavez, seemingly not at all concerned about sharing the stage. "He's got a lot of charisma. He's got a lot of energy, and does a great job of keeping the band and the crowd enthused. He and his band are a positive part of our game."

Cansler didn't really figure it would be this way, not back when he and his wife Jeannine loaded everything they had into a U-Haul trailer, hitched it to the back of their 1965 Ford Fairlane in Kansas City, Mo., and headed for graduate school at the University of Oregon.

They figured they would return to Kansas City some day, but their folks weren't so sure they would ever see the kids again. Oregon? That place on the edge of the map? Probably either be lost in the wilderness or drive that Fairlane right off the edge of the earth. But they made it and they stayed.

"Until you get here," Cansler says, "you can't believe the beauty of the place."

The Canslers got their advanced degrees and ended up with the Pilots on The Bluff. It's been 19 years now and the music -- and the show -- keep rolling on.

"I thought the band members would feel my energy," Cansler says of his dancing bear role. "I thought if I had a good time and the kids sensed it, the band would play better and have a good time, too. The basketball games are to entertain the crowd. The band and I are entertainment, too. We play great music and we entertain the crowd."

Cansler did not arrive with the act intact.

"About three years ago," he says of the purple suit, "the athletic department had that suit made for me. They came to me and said, 'If we make it, will you wear it?' I said, 'Sure.' "

Turned out to be only a beginning. Professor Jill Hoddick, a fellow instructor in the performing and fine arts department, contributed the wig with strands of something that looks something like Christmas tree icicles. Purple, of course.

"Looked in the bag and it looked something like a pompom and it laid around here for about three months," Cansler says. "Then I took it out, wore it to a game and started shaking my head. The kids seemed to enjoy it."

That's just one of the props. There's the Indiana Jones hat, the white glove he puts on when the band plays a Michael Jackson song, the white straw hat for a Beach Boys tune. And then there is the big top hat. Purple, of course, and the Mohawk haircut wig.

He's particularly fond of the purple trumpet that Russ Schmidt of Beaverton Musical Services, a UP alumnus, found for him, and the percussion siren that's mounted in a three-foot trombone bell that Paul Barnett, a friend from church, put together. And then there's the gizmo he straps on his head that makes it look as though he has a trumpet running through his head, half of it coming out of each ear.

No question about it being entertainment, but Cansler sees it as a mission, too.

"Sometimes when it's a close game," he says, "I'll say, 'Band, it's up to us.' "

Then there will be a timeout and the band bursts into action. Maybe it will be the "University of Portland Victory March,'' with music composed by Cansler and words by the late Thomas Oddo, president of the university who was killed in an automobile accident.

Or maybe "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah'' or "Louie Louie,'' a couple of Cansler 's favorites. While the band plays, Cansler might be line dancing. Or pivoting on one hand while break dancing.

"Normally," he says, "I lose two pounds each game."

It's no one-man show, Cansler insists.

"Without a great band, I'm nothing," he says. "Those 30 members of the pep band are incredible," and he rushes into a recitation of names, people such as trumpet players Alex Richardson and Nathan Patla, saxophone players Alisha Yarish and Diane Dunham and trombone players Rob Melrose and Adam Ritenour.

And there is Davis Monroe, another UP graduate, who teaches at a junior high school in Forest Grove but comes back to campus to be Cansler 's assistant with the pep band. He's the man with the baton while Cansler is out there running around like his hair was on fire.

Band members, while not required to play while standing on their heads, appreciate what's going on.

"When the leader is the most enthusiastic person out there, you really enjoy playing with him," Yarish said. "He's always coming up with creative things."

Creative, like that high-stepping, high-fiving circumnavigation of the court. Probably only the lack of an accomplice precludes a belly-bumping finale as is in vogue among athletes today.

"He shows that he loves what he is doing," Melrose said, "and we enjoy it. Specially the fact that we're not the ones out there making fools of ourselves."

Not sure if this link will work, but here it is:

http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_product=NewsBank&p_theme=aggregated5&p_action=explore&d_place=ORGB

Type in a search for Cansler and from Jan 1, 1999-Jan 31, 1999 and you will find it.


Last edited by Stonehouse on Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:26 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PilotDrummer on Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:24 am

Wow, thanks for finding that.

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Re: In Memory of Dr. C

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:53 pm

My signature is what he would say after every game. "The band always wins!" was another old favorite.

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