Victoria Markowski, long-time CSU-Pueblo music professor, passed away Jan. 26 at the age of 83.
After receiving her degree in piano from Wyoming Seminary, in Pennsylvania, Markowski went on to earn a bachelor’s in music form Boston Conservancy. Her talent in her profession led her to be an accompanist, instructor, vocal coach and professional musician.
Eventually, she became an artist in residence in 1969 at Southern Colorado State College, which eventually became Colorado State University-Pueblo. Markowski officially retired in 1999 but remained an adjunct instructor until last year.
She acquired a list of credentials including Master Teacher Certificate, International Who’s Who in Music, World Premier, Delta Omicron’s International Competition For Women Composers, appointment by the governor as an Ambassador for the State of Pennsylvania,, a concerto for one-piano-4 hands, Baldwin Artist, Concert Artist Guild award winner and the Outstanding Woman Faculty Award from CSU-Pueblo
“Markowski and her former husband, Frank Cedrone, were renowned pianists who began their lives and musical careers together as students at the Boston Conservatory of Music,” said Cora Zaletel, spokesperson for CSU-Pueblo, in a news release. “Favorable reviews of their debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1957 led to tours throughout the country.”
Markowski released the duo’s CD, “Two Piano Magic” in 2000.
Retired professor Michael Beck, owner of Elledge Music, recalled affectionately that Markowski was quite a task masker, but her students loved her.
“She was loved by her students and many were quite successful,” Beck said.
Beck explained that Markowski “brought attention to the medium of two-piano-four-hands and one-piano-four-hands literature” in which the duo each played their own piano or both would sit side-by-side and play on one.
“We were both interested in fishing before she married Rod Townley. We shared many fishing stories, too” Beck said.
“She was a classy lady. We’re going to miss her,” Beck said.
Memorial gifts in Markowski’s honor will be donated to the CSU-Pueblo music department, according to Rachel Vigil of Montgomery and Steward Funeral Directors. At her request, no service or viewing will be held.
Jennifer Moreno, one of Markowski’s last music students at CSU-Pueblo, will miss her greatly.
“She was cute. People would help her walk into the building because she weighed all of 90 pounds. We were worried that the wind would pick her up,” Moreno said.
Every music major that went through CSU-Pueblo’s program had to take Markowski at some time or another.
“I would not have graduated if it wasn’t for her,” Moreno said. “She was incredible, absolutely a wiz at playing and teaching.”
Although Markowski was loved throughout the music community, she was not always an easy teacher.
“She was hard and strict but an outstanding teacher. You always strived to do your best because you didn’t want to disappoint her because you loved her,” Moreno said.
Barbara Beck is trying to organize a recital in Markowski’s honor.
“I hope there is a recital, she deserves to be remembered,” Moreno said.