On June 2, 2008, longtime UP music professor Philip Cansler passed away after a brave battle with brain cancer. He came to UP in 1980 and quickly became well known for his trumpet playing, but of course he was particularly remembered for his performances at Pilot basketball games as he conducted the pep band. Phil’s purple wig seemed to take on a life of its own as the normally affable, mild-mannered professor morphed into a frenetic, maniacal character who would taunt opponents, lead cheers, and energize Pilot fans and players alike with his contagious zeal. In addition to directing the University’s concert band he also taught courses in the fundamentals of music and the core offering in the introduction to the fine arts. Phil was a kind-hearted, student-centered man who gave himself over completely to his art and the University’s mission and its students, and we miss him still.
For more stories from UP’s past see the University Almanac at www.up.edu/almanac.