Royce Campbell Twitchell

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Royce Campbell Twitchell
Royce Campbell Twitchell was a renowned and sought after composer. She is best known for composing the music for the Primary song, "Did Jesus Really Live Again." Throughout her extensive career, she was a vocal coach, played the piano in the pit on Broadway, and judged new musical submissions to the National Music Theatre Network (NMTN).

Early Life

Royce was born on November 11, 1939 in San Jose, California to Raymond Campbell and Maxine Brewer-Campbell.

After graduating from Vallejo Junior College, Royce attended the School of Music at Brigham Young University where she was a much sought after pianist and accompanist. While attending BYU, she played for concerts and operas. In addition, she also played for the Utah Valley Opera Association. In 1961, she met the love of her life, former Delta High School graduate, Noel E. Twitchell. They became very attached to each other while working on operas at BYU and the Utah Valley Civic Opera Association. They were married in the Manti Temple on September 8, 1961 for time and all eternity.

Career

While living in North Salt Lake, Royce and Noel started and raised their family of three daughters, Amanda, Hilary and Heidi. Royce was also an accomplished pianist in North Salt Lake, with talents that took her to the former Valley Music Hall in 1965. Royce was also hired to play and coach at University of Utah Opera, Promised Valley Play House, Pioneer Memorial Theater and Tri-ad Theater among others.

Royce also spent 12 years accompanying the Salt Lake Oratorio Society. Noel and Royce were charter performers for the Utah Opera Company. There, Royce coached soloists, trained choruses and stage managed many opera performances as well as traveling the state with the company.

In 1987, Noel and Royce moved to New York City where she played in the pit orchestras on Broadway. Royce’s many talents took her on tours within various traveling production companies throughout the south and east coast. For 9 years, Royce was employed at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts, training young actors in the art of auditioning for musicals. She also arranged, played and occasionally composed incidental music for the students’ final plays. In 1999, Royce was forced to retire from all active accompanying when an eye disease she had been fighting for 30 years, finally took her eyesight. Royce was directed to The Lighthouse for the Blind. There she discovered a music school where she met Tony Demarco. Tony trained her to compose music using piano and computer. With this new “toy”, Royce’s creativity found new depths. Royce composed hundreds of compositions and is a published composer. One of her children’s and grandchildren’s favorite songs is published in the Primary Children’s Song Book.

Personal Life

Royce was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She also served in numerous callings as Stake Young Women’s President, Relief Society President and Relief Society Teacher, all while doing so without her sight. Royce and Noel served as temple workers in the Manhattan Temple up until the Summer of 2010 when her health begin to fail.

Royce passed away Wednesday, June 27, 2011 at her home in New York City after a courageous four year battle with cancer. Sheis survived by her loving husband, Noel E. Twitchell of New York City, Amanda (Douglas) Bush, Clarksville, West Virginia, Hilary Martin, Highland, Utah, Heidi (Lance) Erickson Pocatello, Idaho, 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandsons and many loving nieces and nephews.

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