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Arthur Brown

Teacher and musician;

Born: January 26, 1920; Died: October 13, 2012.

ARTHUR Brown, who has died aged 92, was a gifted teacher and musician who devoted much of his life to the service of amateur operatics in the west of Scotland.

An accomplished organist, he played in many churches over the years, most notably St Columba's Gaelic Church in Glasgow, Kilmacolm Old Kirk and Thomas Coats Memorial Church in Paisley.

Arthur Thomas Millar Brown was born in Elderslie and gained his love of music from his parents. As a child he played the piano while his brother, Ronald, played the clarinet.

He went to school at John Neilson and Paisley Grammar before attending Glasgow University. Though he had studied maths (and qualified as a maths teacher), he also earned a degree in music at the same time. In 1944 he took a post as music teacher at Camphill High School, the start of a professional association with the Paisley secondary that was to last until his retirement in 1983, by which time he was assistant head teacher.

Mr Brown was still in his 20s when he first took an interest in amateur operatics. His association with Paisley Music and Operatic Society (PMOS) began when its annual show was held in the old Victory Theatre in Smithhills Street, Paisley. In those days the accent was on Gilbert and Sullivan but, appointed musical director, he helped the society to broaden its scope and break into stage musicals.

At the time of his death Mr Brown, who was honorary president of the society, was looking forward to receiving a medal from the National Opera and Drama Association to mark his 65-year association with PMOS and the part he played in it achieving a reputation for excellence.

Mr Brown and his wife, Cissie, who married at Thomas Coats Memorial in 1947, had two children, Rhona and Hamish. The family home was in Elderslie. Though he and Cissie travelled extensively overseas, they were never happier than when they visited their holiday home on Millport.

A keen golfer, he was a member of Elderslie and Millport golf clubs. His musical talents were often called upon for events at both clubs. Elderslie made him an honorary member.

Mr Brown is survived by his wife Cissie, daughter Rhona, son Hamish, and two grandchildren, Andrew and Lindsey.

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