Derek Barton Obituary: Princeton IN, School Bells of Harmony Director died

Derek Barton Obituary

Derek Barton Obituary: Derek Barton, a resident of Fort Branch, Indiana, and beloved director of Fort Branch Community School’s English handbell choir, the Bells of Harmony has sadly passed away. He was announced dead through a social media publication that read “He is the reason I love music so much. He meant so much to so many and the Fort Branch Community School music program will never be the same. You will be missed so much Mr. Derek Barton.”

Who was Derek Barton?

Derek Barton, a native of Pike County, has long been the director of the Bells of Harmony, the English handbell choir at Fort Branch Community School. The English handbell choir is one of the music teachers and the eighth-grade history teacher’s “proudest achievements.” His family was the source of his passion for music-making. His mother Sue Ellen Barton and grandmother Ruth Swain Atkinson had the greatest influence on him.

They used to sing in the car, and at church, and when he was younger, he started taking piano lessons. His first piano was partly paid for by his grandfather, Lestle Atkinson. He was influenced by band directors Jim Bolte, Richard Bernhart, Jim Earnest, and Paul Metzger at Pike Central and then at Oakland City University, in addition to Glory Heyde. When he led Broadway Christian Church in Princeton for many years, his music continued to be a service. He first performed during worship.

He still leads the local Melody Makers vocalists and plays piano for the Sunday school class at Mount Tabor General Baptist Church, where he is a member of his home church. In addition, Barton was a bass guitarist in the pit orchestra of Gibson Southern High School and the local band Styll Country. Barton continues to play the saxophone, which he studied in high school.

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