Philip Astor Prince, 89, of New Haven, died early Wednesday, February 5th, at the St. Raphael Campus of Yale New Haven Hospital. Born January 5, 1931, in Evanston, Illinois, to Methodist minister John W. Prince and Helen Duda Prince, Philip attended the Taft School before entering Yale with the Class of 1952 as a resident of Timothy Dwight College. He earned his B.A. in Latin, subsequently studied musicology in the Yale Graduate School, but completed an M.Mus. from the Yale School of Music in organ-playing under H. Frank Bozyan (1959). Philip was drawn to the Anglo-Catholic liturgy celebrated at Christ Church, New Haven, and became associated with the music program there, succeeding Richard Donovan as Organist and Choirmaster in 1966. He became respected among colleagues for his elegant English-language arrangements of Gregorian chants and psalmody and for his tasteful hymn accompaniments. He published scholarly articles on Max Reger’s organ music and a performing edition of a sonata di chiesa of J.G. Walther. He also taught organ students at Wesleyan University, where he served as University Organist for nearly 30 years and played annual recitals. In 1988, he joined the choirs of St. Mary Church, New Haven, and the St. Gregory Society, and he continued singing with them well into his 80s. A familiar figure in the Broadway neighborhood and on the Yale campus, Philip became an Associate Fellow of Ezra Stiles College in 1974 and was a longtime member of both Mory’s and the Elizabethan Club, as well as the American Guild of Organists and the Association of Anglican Musicians. Philip was a passionate supporter of the Yale Swimming Team, and for many years he refereed at swimming matches and tournaments. A respected and mild-mannered gentleman, he will be remembered for his faithful devotion to Yale, music, liturgical worship, and New Haven.
Hawley Lincoln Memorial, 424 Elm St., New Haven is in care of arrangements. There will be no calling hours, nor is a formal service planned at this time. Interment plans are yet to be decided.
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