David Albert John Broome, 81, of Windsor Locks, Connecticut, died March 17 after a long illness. He is remembered as one of the world’s foremost reed voicers. Born in Leicester, England on February 21, 1932, he served two years in the Royal Air Force. In 1948, David began his career in organbuilding at J.W. Walker Sons, Ltd in London, England and immigrated to the United States after marrying Caroline Mason in Leicester on October 27, 1956. The Broomes settled in Windsor Locks, Connecticut in 1958 after moving from Hartford, where David had been recruited to join Austin Organs.
By 1978, he had risen to the executive post of vice president and tonal director at Austin, a position he held until his retirement in 1999. Broome was responsible for the finishing and tonal design of more than 150 organs worldwide, including those at Brompton Oratory, London; Nassau Cathedral, Bahamas; Adelaide Cathedral, Australia; Riverside Church Chapel and First Presbyterian Church, New York City; Czestochowa National Shrine, Doylestown, Pennsylvania; St. John’s Episcopal Church, West Hartford, and Trinity College Chapel, Hartford.
Since his retirement from Austin, David and his son Christopher operated Broome and Company, voicing reeds for restorations and new installations, including those at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania; Woolsey Hall, Yale University, and the Duke University Chapel. David Broome is survived by his wife of 56 years, Caroline (Mason) Broome, four children, ten grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
Linda Lanier-Keosaian died January 28; she was 72. She received her BMus degree in organ from Westminster Choir College, and her MSM degree from Union Theological Seminary. At the time of her death, Lanier-Keosaian was working on her Ph.D. in music education at New York University; her doctoral dissertation concerned different interpretive approaches to Franck’s Choral No. 3 in A Minor. As a church organist and choir director, she served numerous churches, include Connecticut Farms Presbyterian in Union, New Jersey, First Congregational in Chatham, Massachusetts, Wilton Congregational in Wilton, Connecticut, and most recently, the Church of the Annunciation in Oradell, New Jersey.
She and her husband, Rev. Gregory Keosaian, served for 20 years as musician and pastor, respectively, for several Presbyterian churches in New Jersey, including Second Presbyterian in Rahway and Trinity in Paramus. A longtime AGO member, Lanier-Keosaian was a music teacher and choral conductor in the New Jersey public school system for more than 25 years. She founded the New Jersey High School Women’s Choir Festival and was co-founder of the Essex County Choral Festival. Linda Lanier-Keosaian is survived by her husband of 30 years, Gregory Keosaian, two children, and five grandchildren.
Donald G. Larson died February 26 in Decatur, Georgia. Born in Fargo, North Dakota, he was raised on a farm near Moorhead, Minnesota. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Minnesota and his master’s degree in church music from Northwestern University, where he was a student of Thomas Matthews. He served as a chaplain’s assistant in the U.S. Army and as organist at Wheaton College in Illinois. He moved to Atlanta in 1960.
Larson spent more than 30 years as music teacher and counselor at Georgia Perimeter College and was awarded professor emeritus status in 1995. He also served as minister of music at three Atlanta-area churches. A long-time member of the Atlanta AGO chapter, he served on the executive committee several times and for 32 years offered monthly classes in training for the Guild exams. Donald G. Larson is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jacqueline, a son, a daughter Marcia, and grandchildren.
Elizabeth “Betty” Lankford Peek died March 24. She had served as associate minister of music at Covenant Presbyterian Church for more than 47 years. Born June 10, 1929, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, she graduated from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, in 1950, and earned the MSM degree from Union Theological Seminary, where she studied organ and composition with M. Searle Wright.
On June 6, 1952, she married Richard Maurice Peek, whom she met at Union. The Peeks were invited to interview for positions at Charlotte’s new Covenant Presbyterian Church. They began their ministry at Covenant July 1, 1952. Over the next 47 years, the Peeks developed and led a music ministry that became one of the most renowned church music programs in the nation.
Arriving long before the city had a full-time symphony orchestra or a performing arts center, the Peeks introduced Charlotte to world-class music by producing free concerts and sponsoring visits by choirs and organists from around the world. There are three pipe organs in the sanctuary building, and the bell tower houses Charlotte’s first cast-bronze carillon.
Mrs. Peek directed the children’s choirs at Covenant, and also directed the handbell choirs, the first in Charlotte. During worship services and also during special performances she often served as organist while Dr. Peek conducted. She led and participated in numerous music and worship conferences, and served as president of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians from 1978 to 1980. In the mid-eighties she was appointed to the committee to develop a new hymnal for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
In 1991 the Peeks led Covenant’s adult choir on the first of several concert tours in Great Britain and Europe, with programs in St. Paul’s Cathedral, York Minster, St. Giles Cathedral, Durham Cathedral, and other well-known churches. When Mrs. Peek and her husband retired in December 1999, Covenant published a 164-page book about the couple. Dr. Peek died in 2005. Mrs. Peek is survived by two sons and two grandchildren.
Jane Elizabeth Sawyer died July 12, 2012 in Boulder, Colorado; she was 60 years old. The longtime director of music at the First Congregational Church in Boulder, she played the organ, directed vocal and handbell choirs, and was instrumental in rebuilding the church’s organ and in bringing in noted organists for recitals. Sawyer earned bachelor’s degrees in math and music at the University of Wyoming, earned a master’s degree in organ at Southern Methodist University, and did doctoral work in music theory at the Eastman School of Music, where she also was an instructor. In Rochester, New York, she served as director of music and organist at Irondequoit United Church of Christ from 1988 to 1997; she held other church positions in Boulder, Rochester, Dallas, and Laramie, Wyoming. Sawyer served on the executive board of the Denver AGO chapter and was a member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers and the Choristers Guild. Jane Elizabeth Sawyer is survived by her brother.