Nunc Dimittis

February 12, 2003

Earl V. Kelone, 82, of Little Rock, Arkansas, died on May 10 from a stroke. He was born on November 18, 1919 in Little Rock and was a member of Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic Church, where he served as organist and choir director for 48 years. He also served as treasurer of the Central Arkansas AGO chapter for several years, and was an Army veteran of World War II in the Pacific Theatre. Mr. Kelone is survived by his wife of 55 years, Gertrude Kelone, a daughter, a brother, a sister, and two grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Msgr. Allen Trust Fund, c/o Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church, 1003 N. Tyler St., Little Rock, AR 72205; or St. Joseph's Endowment Fund, 1115 College Ave., Conway, AR 72032.


Frederick A. Lake, age 72, died on June 28 at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco, California, after a lengthy illness. Fred served as senior voicer at Schoenstein & Co., San Francisco, where was employed since 1981. In his 21 years of dedicated service to the company, he was a major contributor in developing their American Romantic tonal style. He carried out numerous voicing research and development projects based on the firm's studies in France, Germany and England, and conducted numerous tonal experiments toward the creation of new stops such as the Schoenstein Symphonic Flute. Fred also took part in tuning and tonal finishing activities.

According to members of his family, Fred developed a passionate interest in the pipe organ and its music as he grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He studied organ in school and college and held posts as a church organist through much of his career. His organ work started with an apprencticeship at the firm of Rudolf von Beckerath in Hamburg, Germany. His training was primarily in flue voicing. In 1958 he joined John Shawhan, the Casavant representative in Saginaw, Michigan, where he took part in the installation and finishing of many new Casavant organs as well as rebuilding projects and tuning. In 1968, Fred joined the Berghaus Organ Company in Bellwood, Illinois, where he served as voicer and handled other organ building, rebuilding, and service responsibilities until moving to San Francisco and joining the Schoenstein organization. He was a member of the American Institute of Organbuilders.

Fred Lake was highly respected by co-workers and clients alike. He was a gentlemanly, soft-spoken, and learned colleague with extensive interests and knowledge in a wide range of scientific subjects. His thorough dedication to the study of pipe organ tone made him a valued member of the pipe organ community. He is survived by his sister Ruth Ann Saunders of Kirkland, Washington.

--Jack Bethards

President, Schoenstein & Co.


Robert Noehren died on August 4 in San Diego, California. He was 91. Dr. Noehren enjoyed a long career as a recitalist, teacher, scholar, and organ builder. He taught at the University of Michigan from 1949 to 1976, serving as head of the organ department and university organist, and was named professor emeritus in 1977.

Born on December 16, 1910, in Buffalo, New York, Noehren studied organ with Gaston Dethier, Ernest Mitchell and Lynnwood Farnam, and composition with Paul Hindemith. Early in his career he served as a church organist in Germantown, Pennsylvania; Buffalo, New York; and Grand Rapids, Michigan. He taught at Davidson College prior to his appointment to the University of Michigan. Noehren made over 40 recordings and was the first organist and one of only two non-French organists to receive the Grand Prix du Disque (for his recording of the Bach Trio Sonatas). In 1978 he received the Performer of the Year Award from the New York City AGO chapter.

Through grants from the Carnegie Foundation and the University of Michigan, Noehren toured France, Germany, and Holland extensively, gathering scaling and voicing data on the organs of those countries. Articles based on those experiences appeared in The Diapason beginning in 1948. He formed his own organ company in Ann Arbor and built 20 organs between 1955 and 1979, including large four-manual instruments at St. John's Cathedral, Milwaukee; First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, New York; and First Unitarian Church, San Francisco. In 1999, Harmonie Park Press (Warren, Michigan) published Noehren's collection of essays, An Organist's Reader, which details his life in music and organ building. Recent recordings include The Robert Noehren Retrospective (Lyrichord LYR-CD-6005) and Johann Sebastian Bach (Fleur de Lis FL 0101-2).

[A tribute will appear in a later issue.]

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