West Seattle musician Monty Carter mourned after river accident

An accomplished musician who lived in West Seattle is mourned tonight by family, friends, and colleagues. Chelan County authorities say 43-year-old Monty Carter drowned on Sunday after wading into the Wenatchee River to cool off after a day of hiking. The Seattle Times (WSB partner) reports on the drowning, and on some of Mr. Carter’s background, including his work at The Northwest School, coaching basketball and teaching music over the years, which is also mentioned in this Wenatchee World story. Paul Dolejsi, pastoral assistant for music at Holy Rosary in Seattle, tells WSB that Mr. Carter worked for him as an accompanist until 2006, and remembers him as “an incredibly gifted pianist (who) was always kind and helpful with our singers and musicians.” He adds, “It is a terrible tragedy that someone so kind and talented should slip from our grasp at such a young age. He will be greatly missed.”

AUGUST 5th NOTE: Received word today:

His students and friends are getting together to pay tribute to him at 3 pm today(Aug. 5).The service and reception will take place at St Nicholas Hall at the upper campus of Lakeside School.

42 Replies to "West Seattle musician Monty Carter mourned after river accident"

  • Morgan July 9, 2012 (7:41 pm)

    Monty also sang in the Seattle Opera chorus, and was beloved by the staff he worked with there and his fellow chorus members. He will be dearly missed.

  • T July 9, 2012 (8:10 pm)

    Monty was an amazing basketball coach, mentor and friend. He was always happy and upbeat, he made everyone smile. He taught me to love basketball and was always there for me when I needed him. Monty, we all love you and miss you. Take it easy coach. -T

  • Jim Sisko July 9, 2012 (8:21 pm)

    Monty was simply one of the kindest, most positive people I have known. His contributions to the Northwest School, and the Seattle music community in general were significant. I will never forget your smile Monty. Rest in peace..

  • Amber July 9, 2012 (8:48 pm)

    My co-worker at The Northwest School who is also an alum, said Monty was the first person who told her she could in fact sing. She went to see Billy Bud at the Opera, thought Monty was delightful and the show, not nearly as delightful. We’ll miss him.

  • WTF July 9, 2012 (9:01 pm)

    This breaks my heart. So sorry. Dang it all.

  • Kristin July 9, 2012 (9:47 pm)

    I had the privilege of going to high school with Monty. He was an amazing signer and pianist. What made him so special was his kindness and his sense of humor.

  • Karen July 10, 2012 (5:56 am)

    I am in shock. Monty was one of the most kind, caring and generous person you could have ever met. He was always upbeat, worked hard and incredible talented. He was always willing to share his gift and talent with others. My heart goes out to his family. My prayers are with you during this tragic accident.

  • SFS July 10, 2012 (6:48 am)

    I just so happend to be walking in the park along the river when Monte was pulled from the water. Everyone nearby was pulling and praying for him to survive. The EMT’s worked so hard to bring him back. So tragic. May he rest in peace.

  • Kathleen July 10, 2012 (9:41 am)

    “I Love a Piano” is the last time I had Monty play for me at an audition, he sold the audition. He was a talented young man and a friend that will be greatly missed. Heaven has a talented piano player indeed…missing you. K

  • Kate July 10, 2012 (10:45 am)

    Monty was our piano teacher. My twin 7-year-old daughters adored him. He was one of the most amazing talented and generous people I’ve known. There is a large community of families whom he touched in this way. We were devastated to hear the news. He will be deeply missed.

  • Greenlakeslover July 10, 2012 (3:00 pm)

    Monty sang with the Seattle Opera Chorus–mostly the big summer Wagner shows–for many years. His first opera was the 1994 Lohengrin. In 2010 he appeared in the solo role of the NVA Soldier 2 in the Seattle Opera premiere of Amelia. I was fortunate to have him as an accompanist on several occasions. He was a wonderful pianist and I will always remember his patience and supportive encouragement as well as his gentle and steady way of being. I along with many colleagues at Seattle Opera are deeply saddened by his loss. Monty may you be in peace and joy wherever you are.

  • Paula July 10, 2012 (7:53 pm)

    musician, teacher, mentor, friend, coach, son, traveler, pure sweetness, smiler, athlete, lives on in our hearts.

  • Alexis NWS alum July 10, 2012 (9:01 pm)

    Monty was a choir teacher and friend at the Northwest School. He taught both myself and my little sister and brother. We are deeply saddened by his passing. He embodied all of the qualities of an amazing teacher and mentor. We’re praying for Monty and his family. Rest in peace, dear Monty. <3

  • katie July 10, 2012 (10:14 pm)

    Monty- you taught me how to shoot. and all though that seems like such a little thing you made such a big impact on my life. I saw you Thursday and this just seems like some horrible screwed up dream. I can’t believe that I will never see your smiling joking face at basketball anymore or around Northwest. When I had to call my sister and tell her you had died I could barely get the words out of my mouth. it just didn’t seem true. today at basketball we talked about you a lot, and many tears were shed, but we still played because we knew that’s what you would have wanted us to do. Monty you will always be in my heart, and I will think about you every time I step onto that court. I would never have made Varsity without you constant guidance and support. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done and assure you, you are missed by the entire Northwest community, even the ones who were not privileged enough to be coached or taught by you. I miss you like hell and I don’t think I will truly believe that you are gone until there is someone new coaching J.V. basketball at northwest next winter. I wish I had asked you what that tattoo meant I always wanted to know. it’s not fair that you’re no longer part of this world. I don’t want to end this because if I do I fell as if it’s me accepting that you’re gone. I miss you Coach. <3

  • breezygirl July 11, 2012 (1:36 am)

    Oh this is sooo sad, I just don’t even want to believe it!! I’ve known Monty and his elderly mother for several years as regular (and favorite) customers of mine. He was always so kind and sweet and he always made me laugh. He will me missed by so many.

  • David July 11, 2012 (7:10 am)

    Monty accompanied me twice at state solo/ensemble… one of the nicest, most stand-up guys I knew. A real pro.
    We’ll miss you Monty.

  • Beth Kirchhoff July 11, 2012 (10:35 am)

    I know that I speak for many at Seattle Opera when I say how heartsick we are to hear of Monty’s passing. As the chorusmaster for the opera, I looked for opportunities to hire Monty, not only because of his incredible musical skills, but also his leadership and teaching ability that he gave so willingly. He was a shining spirit in the group, always looking for the best in everyone and smiling through all of it.
    I can’t believe such a short, tragic event could happen to our friend, and we will hold his family dear in our hearts.

  • Darla (Walden) Marshall July 11, 2012 (3:23 pm)

    I met Monty when he was in 5th grade at Cayuse Prairie. We lived in the same trailer court. He was an incredible talent and every kid in school hated the talent shows because no one could compete with him. It doesn’t surprise me at all to find out he went on to be even more talented than we all expected. He was a great person. My deepest sympathy to his family.

  • wesley rogers July 11, 2012 (3:41 pm)

    i met monty shortly after i moved to seattle almost 14 years ago. i immediately recognized him as a genuine and compassionate person. he was so giving and supportive as a colleague. over the years i had the pleasure of working with monty several times. just to know that i will never run into monty’s gentle and smiling soul again……is such a profound loss. bless you monty. you were a great person. and you will be greatly missed.

  • Kerrie July 11, 2012 (5:11 pm)

    Can someone please post info here regarding any memorial service for Monty? I have known Monty for years, but am not in contact with his family or current friends. Would love to be able to attend a service if there is going to be one. Thank you!

  • Anna July 11, 2012 (7:41 pm)

    A memorial service is being planned. We hope it will be held sometime in early August. The Lakeside School has generously offered their auditorium for our use. Once we have a date/time confirmed, we will post it here in addition to NWS and Lakeside school since we are families there. Please forward the information to all other communities. Monty was connected with so many groups that we don’t want to leave anyone out.

    A Memorial Fund was just set up to help defray costs for the family.

    Donations can be deposited to any Key Bank branch or mailed to:

    Key Bank
    1329 Fourth Avenue
    Seattlle, WA 98101

    Monty Noboru Carter Memorial Fund
    Account # 471661025968

    More info to come. Please check back on this blog. Thank YOU!

    • WSB July 11, 2012 (7:44 pm)

      Anne, thank you. Also if there is a formal obituary written for Monty, we publish obituaries free of charge on WSB by request, when sent by family (photos too), so we extend that offer if desired – editor@westseattleblog.com – we are so sorry about this, he sounds like he was a wonderful person. – TR (WSB editor)

  • Anna July 11, 2012 (8:08 pm)

    WSB-Thank you for your offer. I’ll check with his family.

  • Barbara Wilson Carter July 11, 2012 (10:46 pm)

    My thoughts and prayers are with Monty’s family and friends. I attended high school with Monty. I’m deeply saddened that he’s been taken so suddenly and far too soon from the many lives he’s been pouring his heart, time and talents into. My heart hurts for all of you who’ve lost him. Reading all the comments, how much he brought and meant to so many people, is an amazing tribute to his character and personality.

  • Nancy July 12, 2012 (7:06 pm)

    I’m heartsick. And devastated by the fact that he won’t be back. I remember clear as day the first time he crossed the bridge to his new piano student’s house. He was almost skipping. Joy emanated from his being, like light. And as he began talking with Audrey he said, “I’m not a piano teacher. I teach music.” And yes he did. I also remember the last day he crossed that bridge. Not to teach music, just to stop by because he was in the neighborhood. Not many people do that these days. It was almost a year ago. We stood on the porch and watched the Blue Angels scream by. If the sound bothered his refined hearing he didn’t say. But then he didn’t say much about the one time I heard him play music at a piano recital that was so extraordinary it made me cry. His ability to create music and take listeners to another place was genius. And now he’s in another place – undoubtedly as lovely as he was. Long live his memory!

  • Karl Reyes July 13, 2012 (10:21 am)

    Almost 20 years ago, I met Monty at Seattle Opera. I immediately gravitated to his calm presence, wit that doesn’t miss a beat and the assurance that everything can be remedied. I especially enjoyed sharing the dressing room and the stage when we premiered new roles in Amelia. I will miss your facebook comments, your energy and especially your smile.
    I miss you already dear friend.

  • Karl Reyes July 13, 2012 (10:25 am)

    Holy Rosary in West Seattle will honor his memory this weekend by mentioning him at both masses.


    Sat 5p
    Sunday 9:30a

  • Stony Carter July 13, 2012 (11:54 am)

    Thank you all for your tributes to Monty. I will share them with the rest of his American family.
    his dad

  • WDA July 13, 2012 (1:57 pm)

    I first met Monty when I started 3rd grade with him in the fall of 1977 at Cayuse Prairie School. I don’t know that I ever saw him have a bad day except when the Raiders beat the Broncos. I did all I could in those days to get him laughing just to hear it. It was such a joyous sound. One final thought on a young Monty Carter…He was the shrewdest Star Wars card trader I ever knew. I’m sure his parents will remember the stacks of cards we all had. Rest in peace Monty. I’m proud to call you a friend.

  • Deirdre O'Byrne July 14, 2012 (11:14 am)

    I am absolutely devastated to hear this sad news. I just found out this second. I first met Monty when we both purchased our condos in west Seattle. He was one of the nicest most considerate person that I’d ever met. I met his mom one day and his pet bird when he showed me around his condo. Wonderful lady! I was his neighbor for 5 years and we were on the home owners association board. He did a fantastic job of being treasurer and looked after all the finances for years. I’m so honored to have being his neighbor. Reading everyones notes show what an incredibly talented man he was. May he rest in peace and my condolences to his family and close friends. His music will live on forever.

  • Paul Dolejsi July 14, 2012 (4:01 pm)

    Thanks, Karl, for mentioning Holy Rosary. As Karl said, he will be mentioned only. Please note that these are regular weekend masses, and not special memorial services. Monty’s name will be included in the prayers for the deceased, otherwise, mass as usual. Please refer to WS Blog for news about an actual memorial service for Monty. Miss you, MC.

    ps: I should add that while the music is selected to compliment the prescribed Sunday readings, some of the songs selected for these two masses (Sat 5pm, Sun 9:30) were favorites of Monty’s. Singers who knew him have been invited back from summer break to sing this weekend. All are welcome to come and join us in prayer and song, keeping Monty’s memory in our hearts.

  • Stony Carter July 15, 2012 (9:25 am)

    Would “SFS”, who witnessed part of this, please contact me at (406)781-1380.
    Monty’s dad

  • Krissy July 16, 2012 (11:26 am)

    Monty started playing for my adult ballet class about a year ago. I always looked forward to my late Tuesday nights because of him! Monty was a kind, happy, and fun person, not to mention an amazing musician. He will be missed!

  • Amber Kegley July 16, 2012 (4:02 pm)

    Monty, I just met you this summer. You were so nice, full of life, and engaged everyone with your smile. I feel sad that I did not know you longer. It seems you have touched many people’s lives.

  • Susan Verhey July 16, 2012 (9:48 pm)

    Monte played the piano with such heart and joy for ballet classes at Olympic Ballet in Edmonds. During classes I would make sure to be close to his piano just to soak up his amazing talent. He will be so missed by so many. My prayers go to his family and friends. God rest in peace.

  • Gary July 17, 2012 (12:51 pm)

    I first met Monty on the transfer bus at Elrod school in 1982. A kind soul and friendly to all. I appreciated his encouragement in 9th grade track. I first heard Monty play for a Jr. High school assembly in the early 80’s and was truly amazed, humbled and inspired by his talent. I was also in Concert Choir with him when we toured Philadelphia and DC in 1987 for the 200th anniversary of the constitution. An amazing pianist, an amazing person… a terrible tragedy. — You touched our lives in many ways and you will be missed Monty… go with God. I’m certain you’ll continue to do amazing things from your new platform. We’ll watch for them. -G.

  • AJM July 18, 2012 (2:55 pm)

    My condolences go out to Monty’s family, friends, students, and colleagues. I worked with Monty at SCM and found him to be an amazingly talented pianist and teacher. I also enjoyed watching him in many a Seattle Opera production. He was a fine example of living life to its fullest excellence. He is already missed.

  • Anna July 18, 2012 (7:52 pm)

    Monty’s Memorial will be on Sunday, August 5th,@3pm at Lakeside’s St. Nicklaus Hall in the Upper School Campus. A reception will follow in The Wright Community Center next to the hall. Hope you can all join us as we pay our tribute to Monty.

  • EMP, Seattle July 19, 2012 (1:25 pm)

    Monty Carter. I feel lucky to have had him in our family’s life as a music teacher, to have watched his work onstage at Seattle Opera and to have admired his quiet command of musical theater productions at Lakeside.

    Monty had true gifts of connecting with his students and sharing his deep appreciation of music. He brought professionalism, true love of his work, and joy with him.

    Monty will be missed. His loved ones are in our prayers.

  • SBJ July 19, 2012 (9:59 pm)

    Monty and I worked together on musical events a couple of times over the last 12 years with a large span in between. He was the same calm professional at every encounter with the sweetest smile and huge talent. This is a tremendous loss and he will clearly be missed by so many.

  • Patti July 19, 2012 (10:50 pm)

    I just learned of the loss of Monty. It is such a shock, he was such an athlete as well as a talented musician. I will always remember him and the fun we shared. My deepest condolences for his family. He will be missed.

  • Katie July 24, 2012 (12:23 am)

    Monty was the pianist at the ballet school I attended. He was an incredibly gifted musician and was always supportive of me pursuing my dreams in musical theatre. I’m shocked that he was taken from this world so soon.

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