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Carolyn Bremer, associate director of Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, dies at 60

Bremer was devoted to her students and her music.

A+memorial+is+placed+in+front+of+the+Bob+Cole+School+of+Music+sign+to+honor+the+passing+of+Associate+Director%2C+Carolyn+Bremer.+
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Carolyn Bremer, associate director of Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, dies at 60

A memorial is placed in front of the Bob Cole School of Music sign to honor the passing of Associate Director, Carolyn Bremer.

A memorial is placed in front of the Bob Cole School of Music sign to honor the passing of Associate Director, Carolyn Bremer.

Ryan Guitare | Daily 49er

A memorial is placed in front of the Bob Cole School of Music sign to honor the passing of Associate Director, Carolyn Bremer.

Ryan Guitare | Daily 49er

Ryan Guitare | Daily 49er

A memorial is placed in front of the Bob Cole School of Music sign to honor the passing of Associate Director, Carolyn Bremer.

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Carolyn R. Bremer, associate director of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, accomplished composer and beloved faculty member died unexpectedly on Sunday. She was 60.

A memorial service celebrating her life will be held on Friday Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. in the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

“Her death was very sudden, and it leaves a huge hole in our hearts and in the Conservatory, as well as the campus as a whole,” said Lianne Bremer, Carolyn’s sister. “There were so many things she was looking forward to this year, not the least of which was teaching her favorite class, Instinct and Intellect.”

Photo courtesy of CSULB Leadership Fellows Program

According to Lianne, Carolyn had been dealing with a rare autoimmune disease.

“She was dealing with an unusual skin disease and a rare blood condition that lead to the development of blood clots, and ultimately to her passing,” according to a statement on the conservatory’s website.

Carolyn began her career at Long Beach State in August 2001 as a lecturer, eventually working her way up to the position of associate director. In her 17 years of working at the university, she has served as an inspiration to many students.

“Although she was a fantastic professor, Dr. Bremer was beloved by students who never even had her as a teacher because she knew their names, she knew what kind of music they played, sang or wrote, and she genuinely cared about their success as future performers, educators and people,” said Jonathan Talberg, director of choral, vocal and opera studies. 

She received her Ph.D in composition and her MA in Composition and Musicology at University of California, Santa Barbara. As a composer, she was most known for her composition Early Light, which has been performed by the Houston Symphony, the California Philharmonic, and “The President’s Own” Marine Band. She has around 100 original compositions in her name.  As a musician, she was known for playing the double bass.

“I would urge people to visit, meet and listen to what [Carolyn] was doing,” said Luke Armstrong, an alumnus of the Conservatory. “I really hope they took me up on that suggestion and shared in the experience she brought to our world.”

Her dedication to the school helped her receive the honor of Most Valuable professor in spring 2011.

“She believed her most important work was helping students reach the best and healthiest potential, whatever that looked like for the individual,” Lianne said.

To the students, faculty and staff at Bob Cole and CSULB as a whole, know that you are a huge part of our family,” Lianne said. “Carolyn loved each of you more than you know.”

This story was updated on Sept. 5.

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