Music 01

Edward Henry Walters

March 8, 1946 ~ March 11, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Edward Walters Obituary

Born in Philadelphia, PA, March 8,1946 to Roland and Edna Mae (Green) Walters, Edward H. Walters was the third of a large family of six children. Ed grew up in Baltimore, MD, and in 1968 he graduated from Johns Hopkins University Peabody Institute. In 1972, while serving in the United States Navy Band’s Port Authority, he earned a Master’s degree from Catholic University in Washington, DC.  

Singularly dedicated to music, he rose to become one of a handful of highly skilled DC metro area, professional woodwind players. Ed was accomplished in clarinet, saxophone, flute, piccolo, oboe and English horn. He routinely played at the Kennedy Center, National Theater, Wolf Trap, Signature Theater, Ford's Theater, Arena Stage, as well as the Morris Mechanic, Hippodrome and Lyric theaters in Baltimore. He performed in operas, ballets, and pop concerts, as well as musicals, including “Cats,” “A Chorus Line,” “Chicago", "Motown, the Musical,” and “The Color Purple,” among many others.

For over 30 years, Edward Walters was the Musical Contractor for acclaimed musical venues including the National Theater and the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, he contracted musicians for the inaugural ceremonies of every president from 1981 - 2017, as well as noteworthy, televised events including "Christmas in Washington". During his lengthy career, Ed Walters had the honor of working with composers and performers such as Leonard Bernstein, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Johnny Mathis, Dionne Warwick, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, and the National Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.

In addition, Ed regularly performed with his sister Jeannette (a noted soprano) for the Theater Chamber Players of Kennedy Center.  The two along with accompanist, Philip Tillotson, appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall on April, 18, 1987.

Simultaneously, he retired in 2011 after 31 service years as a full-time tenured faculty member at the University of Maryland. He was instrumental and provided leadership in the rollout of the University of MD’s College Park Scholars for the Arts program.

He was a member of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, the University of Maryland School of Music Board of Visitors, and was an active member of the Montgomery County Road Runners. Ed Walters was most proud of his 2006 and 2007 Marine Corp Marathons. He was also a member of Clinton AME Zion Church, Rockville, MD. 

A life-long learner, Ed was an American History buff and most recently studied Spanish through Montgomery College, MD and was a volunteer docent for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Most recently, he experienced great joy during his monthly meetings with ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eat Out).

Ed, always adventurous and exploring, traveled extensively with his family throughout the United States and abroad.   He also greatly valued and supported extended-family members and relished in their gatherings.

On March 29,1975, Ed married Wanda Butler and together, they reared an accomplished family in Montgomery County, Maryland. He is survived by his wife Wanda Walters, their two children, Kathryn “Brooke” Walters-Conte (Matthew) and Ryan Wendell Walters, as well as two grandchildren, Avery Blair Conte and Marcus Ryan Conte, who share their grandfather’s love of instrumental music and travel. His parents and sister Jeannette preceded him in death. He also leaves behind four brothers Roland (Donna), Alfred (Ada), John (Ceires) and Daniel (Senora) as well as a host of nieces, nephews, extended family members, colleagues and friends.

Ed Walters passed away peacefully March 11, 2023, following a brief illness. His military funeral will be private.  To allow his many family members and associates to celebrate this remarkable man, a Celebration of Life service will take place Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 11:00 AM at University of Maryland’s Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, 7801 Alumni Dr, College Park, MD 20742-1521For additional information and to RSVP…click HERE.


In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for a donation made in honor of Edward Walters to The American Cancer Society, the University of Maryland Foundation, or an organization of your choice. (To make a donation to the UMD Foundation, please give online or contact Associate Director of Development David Robinson-Slemp at or 301.405.4623. Donations are payable to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and restricted to the School of Music Scholarship Fund in memory of Ed Walters).

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Celebration of Life
April 15, 2023

11:00 AM
University of Maryland Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center
7801 Alumni Dr.
College Park, MD 20742


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