Leonard Martin

Posted by - - 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, Creatives

One of the most recognizable ways Whitworth has honored music professor Leonard Martin is in the naming of the Leonard B. Martin Music Library, given to Whitworth by his sons L. Gilman, ’56, and David, ’62. The library houses the university’s main collection of music scores and recordings.

Martin contributed much to the study of sacred music and voice at Whitworth, having taught for 23 years before retiring in 1974. In the 1960s, he directed a college cultural series that connected Whitworth with Spokane’s musical and cultural life. He was music minister and director of the Manito Presbyterian Church choir for many years, and his background as a graduate of the world-famous Westminster Choir College, in Princeton, N.J., and as director of the Highland Park and Calvary Presbyterian churches, in Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively, added clout to Whitworth’s growing music reputation.

Martin’s wife, Lucile, who was also a vocalist, voice teacher and church choir director in the area, managed the Whitworth Bookstore. The two led many summer tours of Europe, the United States and Canada for Whitworth students and alumni, even after Leonard retired. One of his greatest thrills occurred during a tour of the Holy Land, when he led the singing of a hymn in an upper room where Jesus and his disciples may have celebrated the Last Supper.

In retirement, Martin remained active in music, continuing his work for Manito Presbyterian Church and organizing “Marathoners,” a social club at the church for retired persons “still in the race.” He also served as a delegate to the regional housing committee of the White House Conference on Aging, which made reports and recommendations to the government, and was active on the Inland Empire Presbytery’s ministerial relations committee.