Frederick Allen "Chip" DeVaney

Alton | Thursday, February 4 2016

Frederick Allen "Chip" DeVaney, 59, Principal Bassist for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, died Thursday, February 4, 2016 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, after battling prostate cancer.

Born October 1, 1956 in Alton, the son of Frederick E. "K.O." and Geraldine (Malcolm) DeVaney.

Mr. DeVaney attended Alton Public Schools and received undergraduate and Masters degrees from SIU-E, as a student of the late Henry Loew.  A superb freelance musician, member of Locals 2-197 and 301 of the American Federation of Musicians, Fred performed hundreds of concerts with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, was chosen by Leonard Slatkin as a founding member and soloist with St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and in addition to the ISO was the Principal Bassist of the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, the American Kantorei/Bach at the Sem, the Masterworks Chorale, the Ballet Orchestra of St. Louis, the St. Louis Chamber Orchestra and as a member of the orchestra of the Municipal Theater Association of St. Louis.  He began teaching bass at SIU-Edwardsville in 1992 and for 10 years taught at Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee.

Fred was a virtuoso whistler and enjoyed playing the recorder, studying Latin grammer, Baroque performance practice and 20th Century military history, tales of arctic exploration, late-night classic movies, vanilla, most things British and was a great story teller.  He good will, dry wit, beautiful sound, phrasing, and precise, rock-solid, historically informed leadership will be greatly missed.

Surviving are Pat (Marvin) Brenker, Lendell Wayne King, Colette Sawyer, and other cousins.

A Celebration of Fred's Life will be held 1 P.m. Saturday, February 27 at the 1st Presbyterian Church, 514 Alby St., Alton, IL beginning with a visitation at noon.

Memorials may be made to St. john United Church of Christ in Wood River or the Illinois Symphony Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 5191, Springfield, IL 62705-5191 or at

Marks Mortuary in Wood River is in charge of arrangements.

Obit Provided By:
Mark's Mortuary

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