McFarland - Anthony "Tony" Barresi passed away on Friday, December 22, 2017 at Agrace Hospice Center, surrounded by his family. Born in Silver Creek NY on July 11, 1934 to Josephine (Paglia) and James Vincent Barresi, Tony spent the early years of his life in Fredonia, NY. Tony was married to his wife Virginia for 57 years. They have one daughter, Regina (Gina).
Tony graduated from Fredonia High School in 1952 and then entered the State University College at Fredonia, NY where he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in music education with a performance area in voice. After his graduation from Fredonia State, Tony entered the graduate program at the University of Michigan graduating in 1958 with a Master of Music degree in music history and voice. Upon graduating from Michigan, Tony returned to the Fredonia area and taught choral and general music in Brocton Central School and East Aurora Middle and High School.
In 1964 he was invited to join the faculty of Fredonia State College as an assistant professor of voice and conducting. While at Fredonia Tony began doctoral studies in music and education at the University of Michigan attaining a PhD degree in 1973. That same year Tony accepted a position as director of choral music in the Oswego NY High School, a position he held until he accepted a professorial position in choral music education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1978. While in that position Tony served also as the chair of the music education program for seven years, conducted the University Choir, and was the Associate Director of the School of Music for two years prior to his retirement in 2000.
Throughout his 41 year career, Tony was active as a choral conductor, secondary school teacher and as a professor for undergraduate and graduate students. He was also active as an author-researcher having published several books, a nationally distributed instructional DVD, and numerous research articles that appeared in a number of professional research journals. Tony was often invited to guest conduct community, college, and secondary school choral festivals throughout the US and Canada. One of his greatest joys was conducting the All-University Chorus at the UW-Madison. He frequently was a guest lecturer at colleges and universities on topics related to public policy and the arts and music instruction. Over the term of his years in Wisconsin Tony, at various times, taught in and directed the academic year program in Florence, Italy sponsored by the Wisconsin, Michigan, and Duke Universities. He was also the founder and director of the University of Michigan summer Florence music and art program from 1998-2004.
Since his retirement, Tony has volunteered numerous hours at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. He also has had numerous hours of pleasure working in his wood shop and traveling with his family.
Tony is survived by his beloved wife Virginia, his daughter Regina (Tom) Barresi-Spalla and his granddaughter Alessandra.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at Cress Funeral Home, 5801 Highway 51, McFarland, Wisconsin, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held on December 27, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Christ the King Church, 5306 Main Street, McFarland. Family and friends are invited to a meal following the services at church.