The Indianapolis Star
By Rob Schneider
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Page B4, columns 1-3
A LIFE LIVED: JAMES EDINGTON, 1921-2006
He Loved to teach, perform music
Shelbyville's music man. On occasion, he played in touring Broadway shows and
once conducted the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.
"Music was his whole life,"
Beth Bean said of her father, who died
Feb. 19 at age 84. "He enjoyed playing and entertaining people."
Mr. Edington grew up in Columbia City in northeastern Indiana, where he began
taking violin lessons when he was in the fourth grade. By the time he got to
high school, he was learning one instrument after another, including the
saxophone and clarinet.
While in high school, the band director would let him lead practices.
After graduating from high school, Mr. Edington studied music at Butler
University's Jordan College of Fine Arts. He served in the Navy during World
War II and then continued his study of music at Indiana University and Oberlin
After the war, he met
Elizabeth Baker when both were assigned to a musical
gig, and they married in 1948. She played the keyboards and drums, among other
The family chose Shelbyville as a good place to raise a family, said his son,
Arthur Edington. The elder Edington taught generation after generation of
aspiring musicians at various Shelby County schools and operated a music store
in downtown Shelbyville from the 1950s to the late 1960s. He continued to give
lessons at a store his son opened in Shelbyville.
Bean recalled seeing Broadway shows in Indianapolis in which her father
performed with the orchestra. After one such show, she remembered meeting the
conductor, Leonard Bernstein.
During Mr. Edington's music career, he also served as conductor of the Carmel
Symphony in the late 1970s and early '80s and other orchestras in the
Mr. Edington and his wife also used to go to restaurants and perform as
strolling musicians. He would play the violin, and she would play the
accordion. Even after his wife's death in 1995, he continued to perform at
area restaurants playing the violin.
While he retired from teaching in the late 1970s, Mr. Edington never lost his
interest in giving lessons.
"People retire so they can find time to do those things that make them
happy. I found that teaching music was the thing that made me happy," he
said in an interview with The Indianapolis Star four years ago.
He never lost his interest in music, Bean said.
Mr. Edington was always doing
something with music and was giving lessons up until he broke his hip in
December, she noted.
In the newspaper interview, Mr. Edington talked of his hopes to continue
teaching for years to come. "How can anyone be sad or tired when their
lives revolve around music?" he asked.
The family conducted a private funeral service.
Freeman Family Funeral Homes,
Carmony-Ewing Chapel handled arrangements.
Copyright 2006 IndyStar.com. All rights reserved
The Indianapolis Star
James A. "Jim" Edington 84, of
Shelbyville, died Sunday, February 19, 2006, at Heritage House Convalescent
Center. Born Aug. 19, 1921, in Albion, he was the son of Curtis Clark and Nellie
Base (Logan) Edington. He married Elizabeth M. Baker
in April of 1948, and she
preceded him in death on Feb. 8, 1995. Survivors include one son, Arthur C.
"Art" Edington of Shelbyville; one daughter, Beth Ann Bean
(husband, Richard) of Reno, NV; and four grandchildren, Sherri R. Bean,
Bean, Joanna M. Bean and Andrew C. Bean. He also was preceded in death by three
brothers, Nelson Edington, John Edington and Walter Edington: and one sister,
Irene Houtzer. Mr. Edington had been the owner and operator of Edington Music
Store from the late 1950s to 1996. He was a former teacher at Addison Township,
Manilla, Fairland and Taylorsville schools, Holy Name School in Beech Grove, and
retired June 1, 1977 from Shelbyville Central School. He also gave private
lessons in Shelby County and Indianapolis. He had played for several ice shows
including Holiday on Ice, Hollywood on Ice, Ice Capades and Sonja Heinie Ice
Show; touring Broadway show including Kismet, Carousel, Oklahoma, Sound of
Music, Bartered Bride and others. He served as conductor for Carmel Symphony and
Athenaeum Turners Orchestras and augmented Fort Wayne and other orchestras
throughout Indiana from 1951 to 1968. Mr. Edington graduated in 1938 from
Columbia City High School and in 1946 from Butler University Jordan College of
Fine Arts, with a bachelor of music degree, and attended Indiana University,
Oberlin College, in Oberlin, Ohio, and Interlocken Music Camp, in Interlocken,
MI. Mr. Edington was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II as well as a member of
the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra, Carmel Symphony Orchestra, American
Federation of Musicians and the Scottish Rite Orchestra. Private services will
be conducted. Freeman Family Funeral Homes, Carmony - Ewing Chapel is handling
February 24, 2005
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming