Name: Baker, Maudell Gentry (1913-2019)

Historical Note: Maudell Gentry Baker was born on August 25, 1913, in Henrietta, Texas, where the family lived on a farm. As a pianist, she earned the first Bachelor of Music degree offered at what is now the University of North Texas, graduating in 1934. A Denton Record-Chronicle article from May 30, 1934 noted that "The degree was authorized five years ago, but the requirements for it were so rigid that not until this spring were they fully completed by a student." While at North Texas, she studied piano with Mary Anderson and performed with Floyd "'Fessor" Graham and pianist Mrs. W.R. Vivrett Jr., among others, and she was elected to the Kappa Delta Pi honor society. After graduating, she taught in the Fort Worth school district and later lived in Nocona and in Paris, Texas, but spent much of her life in Gainesville, Texas after marrying Hank Baker. She continued teaching piano and organ, authored instructional materials for teaching music to very young children, and played piano for the Grand Avenue Baptist Church and the Gainesville State School. She was also an avid painter, painting scenes from nature and ranch life in Texas in watercolor and oil, and teaching lessons. Maudell Baker died in Gainesville, Texas on June 28, 2019 at the age of 105.

"New School Building Is Dedicated," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 3, 1936, page 9, via

"Miss Gentry to Be Heard in Recital, Denton Record-Chronicle, May 4, 1934, page 5, via

"136 Graduates of Teachers College Receive Degrees at Commencement Program," Denton Record-Chronicle, May 30, 1934, page 1, via

"Couple Married Here Saturday," The Paris News, October 22, 1939, page 2, via

"T.C. Pupils Give Recital Thursday," Denton Record-Chronicle, May 20, 1932, page 3, via

"Maudell Gentry to get first piano degree," The Campus Chat, May 3, 1934,

"In Memoriam: Maudell Gentry Baker (BM '34), first recipient of music degree of NTSTC," University of North Texas College of Music,

"Maudell Baker | Obituary," Gainesville Daily Register,

"Maudell Baker," Gainesville Area Visual Arts,

Note Author: Maristella Feustle

Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Baker, Maudell Gentry

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