Helen Caruthers loved classical music. It was one of her life’s callings. (Another was being devoted to her family.) After graduating with a degree in Music Education from Mississippi State College for Women, she was a music educator the rest of her life.
She was involved in music teaching and performing in Tennessee, Georgia and Colorado before arriving in Little Rock in 1977. Once she arrived in Arkansas, she made her mark here. As someone who had served as a church organist and sung in many church choirs, it was no surprise that she created and led the children’s choir at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
But liturgical music was not her only interest. She was interested in many kinds of music, but especially classical. She taught piano to several generations of students. Along the way, she instilled other lessons into the students such as the value of practice, concentration, diligence and doing your best.
Helen was a tireless volunteer for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Chamber Singers, the Little Rock Musical Coterie, and countless other musical organizations. She was also a member of the Aesthetic Club. She pursued all these endeavors with a gentle voice and a graceful poise that charmed all who knew her. Even as she endured a six year battle with ovarian cancer, she would attend as many musical events as possible to show support for the musicians and to enjoy the music.
The photo on the right (which was used for her obituary) captures the essence of Helen Caruthers. She holds a musical score in her hands, while pausing by the door with purse and keys. She is either on her way out or on her way back, but in either case – you can tell she was a woman on a mission. But she also is glad to pause for a second to smile graciously and gracefully for the camera. It is helpful to remember to take those pauses in life. Much like in a musical score, rests are essential to help us enjoy the rest of the music.