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Charles L Byrne (born June 18, 1929 in Minneapolis, Minnesota; died October 6, 2004, St Paul, MN), the eldest son of Raymond and Gladys Byrne. He had two sibling brothers, Richard and Robert Byrne with whom he shared musical interests supported fully by their parents who actively worked in the Minneapolis school system. Chuck and Dick took to the brass instruments early on playing trombone and French Horn respectively in their Minneapolis Elementary School and Central High School Bands. They were well qualified to participate in Father Byrne’s All-City Saint Lawrence Band. Both brothers became important music educators and leaders in the Twin-Cities. [Dick taught music and humanities courses at the University of Minnesota and for 16 years was the Director of the Archdiocesan Choir.]
Charles Byrne majored in Mathematics and Music Education at the University of Minnesota where he arranged some music for the University Band. While in the Service, Charles played in the Army Band. He worked for awhile at the Bureau of Statistics and did some testing of pilots during his summers.
Following his army service, Charles Byrne taught Band in the Public Schools of Zumbrota, North Branch, Biwabik and Hinckley, Minnesota, before pursuing graduate studies at the University of Minnesota.
He received his Masters degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Minnesota where he became a Music Professor. Later on he was also an administrative assistant in the University’s Music Department. Professor Byrne’s expertise in the field of music and his gifts as a teacher inspired his students and colleagues and greatly enriched the community. He himself wrote the music theory textbook which he used in his classes entitled, Music Fundamentals. He contributed significantly to the University fulfilling its vital educational and public service mission.
Charles Byrne was also a liturgical music director and put his compositional skills to good use as a composer, writing music for the Liturgy. He served Minnesota Catholic churches in Biwabik, Assumption Church in Richfield, and lastly, Our Lady of the Lake Church in Mound. Msgr. John Sweeney hired him for this last post which became expanded to also being parish administrator. He was at Our Lady of the Lake for 21 years.
Charles Byrne was a great and sensitive director. He had a keen understanding of, love for and wonderful appreciation of the Church’s liturgical music tradition, especially for the Mass. Its richness and beauty was reflected in the choice of music he used and/or composed for the choir. A most humble man, he was more comfortable being called “Chuck” than Dr. Byrne by his choir members and was also full of fun, enjoying their frequent post-rehearsal pizza choir-outings.
Chuck was a dedicated and gentle man—a gentleman in every sense of the word, with a great sense of humor and a spiritual blessing to all who knew him.
His liturgical music repertoire includes hymns, anthems, psalm settings, masses, and liturgical acclamations which are published by Alliance Publications, Inc.

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