Oral History Information
Charlotte Atkinson was an organist extraordinaire! Showing an aptitude for music early on, Charlotte continued with formal education earning Bachelor and Masters degrees in music. At San Diego State University, she first met her husband, William, in Howard Brubeck's theory class. In her junior year at SDSU, she and William (Bill) were married and spent the next several decades touring as the Atkinson Duo with Charlotte on piano, organ and harpsichord and Bill on flute and choir directing. They were organist and music directors of several churches and were actively involved in many service and musical organizations. They were mostly involved locally with the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad and the First Presbyterian Church in Oceanside, where Charlotte served for over 40 years. Somehow, among a myriad of other activities, they also managed to operate the Music Makers retail store in Carlsbad and the Atkinson Handbell Supply company for several years. Charlotte also had numerous opportunities to perform in Europe in many famous churches, including some where J.S. Bach had performed. Charlotte had her own pipe organ at home that Bill built for her. For many years she continued to perform and teach professionally.