Music Director Fort Branch Director Derek Barton passes away in Princeton

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The community of Fort Branch, Indiana, is grieving the loss of Derek Barton, a cherished resident and the beloved director of Fort Branch Community School’s English handbell choir, the Bells of Harmony. Derek’s passing was announced through a heartfelt social media post, expressing the profound impact he had on the lives of those he touched through his passion for music.

Derek Barton, a native of Pike County, dedicated many years to directing the Bells of Harmony, a musical endeavor he considered one of his proudest achievements. Born from his family’s influence, especially his mother Sue Ellen Barton and grandmother Ruth Swain Atkinson, Derek’s love for music blossomed at a young age. His musical journey included piano lessons, inspired by family members, and the support of his grandfather, Lestle Atkinson.

In addition to his role at Fort Branch Community School, Derek Barton’s musical contributions extended to Broadway Christian Church in Princeton, where he led worship and served as a bass guitarist in the pit orchestra of Gibson Southern High School. Derek continued his musical endeavors, playing the saxophone and contributing to the local band Styll Country.

Throughout his career, Derek Barton was a source of inspiration, mentoring, and encouragement to many. Rosemary Harbison introduced him to tone chimes during his student teaching years, marking the beginning of his journey with handbells. In 1989, Barton introduced tone chimes to his bell choir, later transitioning to Malmark English hand bells in 1993.

Under Barton’s direction, the Bells of Harmony achieved various milestones, winning first place in the Snowflake Christmas Parade and featuring on WNIN. His dedication to uplifting hearts and ears through music was evident in the choir’s performances at school events, parades, and community celebrations.

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Beyond his musical pursuits, Derek Barton’s interests included reading, golfing, traveling, and returning to the University of Southern Indiana to pursue a degree in history. His love for the hymn “Amazing Grace” reflected his deep connection to music.

Details regarding Derek Barton’s obituary and funeral arrangements will be shared by the family at a later date, allowing the community to come together to celebrate the life of a man who left an indelible mark through his passion for music and mentorship. Derek Barton will be remembered with love and gratitude by those who had the privilege of being a part of his musical journey.

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Source: ASIA EDU

Madhuri Shetty
Manoj Gadtaula

Manoj Gadtaula is a young Indian man from Mangalore who is constantly on the lookout for new things and loves to explore. Madhuri has a great passion for helping others and motivating people. She researched the careers, biographies, lifestyles, and net worths of celebrities..

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