Marshall C. Anders - Jr. - Retiree Tributes - McDonogh School

Marshall C. Anders, Jr.

For the last um-teen years, Mr. Marshall Anders has occupied a small studio in the basement wing of Allan Building, teaching and playing the piano. He always looks like he is a very happy man. And he is, because he’s been doing what he loves for 47 years--teaching music to McDonogh students.

Most of you only know Mr. Anders as the pianist who accompanies seniors in the Stewart Recital and lower schoolers during Peace and Light celebrations. But let me tell you how special he is.  

Mr. Anders is an extremely talented musician. He has accompanied some of the most famous entertainers in the music business. At age 89, he still plays in a band, the Sentimental Journey Orchestra.

Mr. Anders used to play a lot of late-night gigs, which was why he only wanted to teach part-time when he came to McDonogh in 1964. You know what? He got hooked. Before long, he was directing all the choruses and bands, giving piano lessons, and running the music department. When he retired from full-time teaching in 1988, it took several teachers to replace this one man.

No one can truly replace Mr. Anders. He has an amazing ability to tap the potential of each piano student through encouragement and patience. As a result, he has created wonderful relationships with McDonogh families over the years. And he treasures those connections. He has kept a memory book containing all the cards and letters that students, parents, and colleagues have sent him.

He is delighted when asked to play their weddings and honored to perform at funerals.

Mrs. Lidston once said that Mr. Anders “has meant the world to three generations of children.” With complete joy and unending kindness, he has taught pre-firsters how to play the kazoo, trained students to become concert pianists, and everything in-between.  

The day after playing the organ for an alumni weekend event, Mr. Anders ended up in the hospital. He’s still recovering there. But he asks his family daily about his students--everyone from Amaya Cunningham in Mrs. Irving’s class to Erin Fitzhugh, a senior.  That’s just how he is. His students mean the world to him. Mr. Anders is counting on watching Erin play in the Stewart recital on June 3.

Please join me in honoring our longest-tenured faculty member, Mr. Marshall Anders, on his well-deserved retirement and in wishing him a speedy recovery.