Music director, vocalist Don Brakebill dies at 87

Betsy PickleObits

Widely respected and beloved music director and teacher Don Brakebill of Maryville passed away Sunday, June 9. His life will be honored with a service at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at First United Methodist Church, Maryville. Receiving of friends will be at 4 p.m.


Mr. Brakebill, 87, was reared on a farm in Rockford and received his bachelor’s in music at Maryville College and a master’s degree in voice and conducting at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. During his career, he served as choir director at First Baptist Church of Maryville, Trinity Methodist Church in Knoxville and New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville. He was a Cantor at Temple Beth El in Knoxville for several years.

He taught vocal music in the Alcoa school system and also organized the Chilhowee Singers, which he directed for three years. In addition to maintaining a full-time roster of private voice students, he performed as a soloist in oratorio and opera performances at the University of Tennessee, Maryville College and Knoxville Opera.

Mr. Brakebill is survived by his wife of 37 years, Charlotte Barker Brakebill, children Greg Brakebill and Traci Topham, step-children Michael Kull and Christine Vossler, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

More details are available in his obituary.

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