Thank goodness for Christmas carols. When teacher Ruth Kiess
Artman '41 faced her first eighth-grade students, she could
not envision that first Christmas program in the school gym before
their delighted parents-and the students' pride in singing the familiar
carols plus one new carol she had written just for them.
"It was an occasion I shall forever cherish," recalls
Artman. "That evening I made a pledge that teaching music would
be my life's profession. That was when I knew I could teach forever."
"Forever" isn't much of an overstatement for Artman. The
Angola, Ind., native excelled in orchestral competitions as a young
girl, studied music education in college, taught for 26 years in
Illinois and Indiana, and now, 18 years past her official "retirement,"
she continues to direct choirs and write music.
Artman, a well-known choral arranger who has published scores of
musical pieces, has had four compositions featured on Robert Schuller's
"Hour of Power" international television ministry. Children's
choirs have performed "I Never Touched a Rainbow" and
"Can't Sit Down"; the Cathedral Choir has sung "At
the Edge of Tomorrow" and "A Joyful Noise."
She is currently completing two new scores: "The Voice of My
Beloved (Song of Solomon)" and "I Know the Lord has Laid
His Hands On Me."
Artman's love for music is overshadowed only by her love for family.
She and her late husband, Bob, were married 53 years and had four
children. She has six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Most of the family lives in central Indiana and shares interests
in music, art, travel, outreach ministries, and volunteering.