Nunc dimittis

February 5, 2019

Stephen Gothold, 77, died December 5, 2018. After graduating from Whittier College, Whittier, California, Gothold went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in music from Occidental College, Los Angeles, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He also studied at the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart, Germany, with Helmuth Rilling. Other teachers include Richard Lert, Daniel Lewis, Robert Shaw, Frank Pooler, Rodney Eichenberger, and Charles Hirt.

He served as director of choral activities at Whittier College, Whittier, California, from 1977 to 2003. He also taught at the University of La Verne and at University of Southern California. From 1981 to 2018, he directed the City of Whittier’s community masterworks ensemble, Chorale Bel Canto.

Gothold served as president of the Southern California Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, as an officer in the Choral Conductors Guild, and was a host, adjudicator, and clinician for the Southern California Vocal Association for more than thirty years. He also served as musical director/conductor for more than 100 musical theatre productions in professional and university productions. He served as director of music ministries at First United Methodist Church, Pasadena, California, and Westwood United Methodist Church, Los Angeles. Gothold also composed and narrated for an edition of Tajar Tales, a children’s book.


William “Bill” Peter Zabel, 74, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, died November 30, 2018. Zabel worked for the former Tokheim Corporation and was the founder of Z-Tronics, Inc., manufacturing solid-state electronic relays for pipe organs. He was a charter member of Beautiful Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne.

Zabel was an instrumental charter member of Fort Wayne’s Embassy Theatre Foundation, organized to save the building from demolition. He was an honorary member of the American Theatre Organ Society, receiving the organization’s Industry Achievement Award in 1994. He also received an Arts United Award in 2017 as an Outstanding Arts Advocate.

William Zabel is survived by his wife of 50 years, Barbara J. (Bendlin) Zabel. He is also survived by Steve and Melissa (Weirich) Zabel with Soren and Marek of Indianapolis, and Rebecca and Wes Rader with Cameron of Fort Wayne. A memorial service was held December 5 at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church.


Peter M. Partridge, 76, died October 4, 2018. He grew up in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London, England, was the music master of Westminster School, and served as assistant to the organist at Westminster Abbey from 1961 to 1964. While there he played Battle Hymn of the Republic at a memorial service for John F. Kennedy that was broadcast worldwide by the BBC, and he played at the royal wedding of Princess Alexandra and Angus Ogilvy.

Partridge returned to Canada in 1964 to become director of music at Ridley College in St. Catharines, where he taught for five years. In February 1970 he accepted a position as a stockbroker with AE Ames, a predecessor company of RBC Dominion Securities, Inc., where he worked for 48 years, serving as a vice-president and portfolio manager, and was looking forward to his 50th anniversary with the firm.

Partridge was director of music and organist from 1970 until 1997 at St. Paul St. United Church, Silver Spire, founded the first choir at Brock University called the Brockenspiels in the mid 1960s, was past president of the Ontario Choral Federation, past president of the St. Catharines Symphony, a board member of Community Concerts, current treasurer of the Canadian International Organ Competition, and past chairman of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. He hosted a radio show for ten years on CKTB, Invitation to Good Music. He served two terms as a Brock University Trustee (2004–2010) and was named a trustee emeritus in 2016. In 2013 Partridge played an integral role as the fundraising chairman of the new Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines. He and his wife made a gift of $1 million, and the largest of the four performance venues displays the name “Partridge Hall.” In 2017 he donated a practice organ to Westminster Abbey and subsequently was invited by Prince Charles to a dinner at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey.

A memorial service for Peter Partridge was held October 27 in Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines. He is survived by his wife Janet (nee Burgoyne) Partridge, sons Peter W. (Poppy Gilliam) and John Partridge, one brother, one sister, and three grandchildren.