Mary Alcorn Taylor
August 7, 1924 – May 3, 2020
Mary Alcorn was born August 7, 1924. She was the eldest of four children, (Mary, Maurice, Carolyn, and Lloyd), born to Jesse Chapman and Maurice Alcorn. Her parents were both well-respected educators and administrators in the public school system. In fact, Alcorn Middle School is named after Mary's father.
Mary began her studies on violin at around age 9, graduated from Columbia High School, and eventually earned a B.A. at the University of South Carolina with a major in music and a performance certificate. A woman of many interests, she won a tennis championship at age 13 and later taught Physical Education one year at University High School in Columbia. She also enjoyed plants and gardening, as well as crocheting, for her lifelong hobbies.
She was active in the Jazz Bands of the day as well as a professional musician in high demand. Mary performed with such orchestras as Charlotte Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Greenville Symphony, Augusta Symphony, Asheville Symphony, Florence Symphony, and of course the Columbia Symphony and then the Columbia Philharmonic. She also arranged small ensembles for a variety of church services over many years.
She taught many private students as well through the Taylor Music Studios, the Mellichamp Music Studios, and of course at home, and she very much enjoyed helping both young and older students. She was a member of the Eau Claire Music Club for decades and participated in Morning Music Club and Afternoon Music Club events as well.
After her marriage to Alan Taylor in the 50s, she joined him in running Alan Taylor Music Company and they had two children, Mary Lee and Jacqueline (Jackie). After Alan's untimely death in 1968, Mrs. Taylor successfully raised both girls as she continued to run the music store for three more decades. She taught and played various services well into her 90s and was always available to her daughters for support and assistance.
She also was a devoted grandmother to her three granddaughters: Catherine, Jessie, and Cristina. Many Mondays were spent having violin lessons and practice at Grandma's house followed by a meal for all. Playing Christmas Eve services with both daughters as well as two grandchildren was very special to her in the last years she could play.
Finally, she was a faithful and devoted member of First Christian Church. She was active in church activities until her illness in 2019 launched her into residential care, and she absolutely loved to play cards with her friends on their Thursday social gatherings. She was instrumental in gathering information all together for the church's history project and happily worked many hours in the church offices on behalf of the church and its members whom she so loved.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Mary Alcorn Taylor
May 10, 2020
I have many fond memories of Mary and me going to music club meetings and events together, playing cards with our church group, and attending the Philharmonic orchestra concerts on her tickets. Mary always had a smile and was good company. She gave back to her church, family, and friends, and her talents will be sorely missed.
May 8, 2020
I first met Mary in 1941 when my family moved to Columbia and joined First Christian Church. Mary was 1 year older than I was so we shared many of the same expiriences. I visited in the Alcorn home and in the Taylor music store. In the last few years she was a member of the Sunday School class that I taught.
Mary was a strong , caring, talented woman that I was blessed to know. We will miss her!
May 7, 2020
Mary Taylor was a lovely and caring person, welcoming us with her sweet smile and warm greeting. I first met her in 1965 in the Alan Taylor Music Company, where she worked with her husband. She graciously shared her love of music with all and was especially encouraging to young musicians, attending their concerts and and inquiring about their music study and musical events. Mary will be greatly missed, and we offer prayers and sympathy for all her family and friends.