Nunc dimittis

March 26, 2021

James Sands “Jock” Darling, Jr.

James Sands “Jock” Darling, Jr., organist, choirmaster, and music director, died January 26, 2021, in Williamsburg, Virginia. Born May 29, 1929, in Hampton, Virginia, he attended Christchurch School, Middlesex County, Virginia, and graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, in 1946. He attended Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, where he earned undergraduate degrees in music theory and piano in 1950 and 1951, and in 1954 he completed a master’s degree in organ at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. On January 31, 1953, he married Mary Lee Oliver of Gloucester, Virginia.

From 1954 to 1961 he was organist and choir director at Plymouth Church, Shaker Heights, Ohio, and from 1961 to 2006, he held the position of organist and choirmaster at Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg. At Bruton Parish Church, Darling directed an active program in music for all ages, including offerings for adult, boys, and girls choirs, as well as approximately 125 candlelight concerts annually, which were performed by himself, Bruton Parish associates, local musicians, and visiting artists. He taught organ and harpsichord at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, and as music consultant for Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, he presented many concerts in the Governor’s Palace and other historic buildings, often playing and conducting in colonial costume. Among the dignitaries who attended his recitals were four United States presidents and several heads of state. As a guest artist, he also performed throughout the United States and in Europe. Darling published numerous recordings of colonial period music and edited four publications of keyboard music for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. In 2003, he authored Let the Anthems Swell, a monograph on the history of music at Bruton Parish Church. He especially enjoyed offering the Saturday morning recitals in William and Mary’s historic Wren Chapel on an 18th-century English chamber organ. This concert series, which he initiated in 1971, continues to this day.

The Darling residence was a musical center, where the family hosted gatherings of visiting musicians, instrument makers, choirs, and for a time, the Wednesday morning meetings of the Williamsburg Music Club, which he helped found in 1964.

James S. Darling is survived by his sister Sarah Winfree “Sally” Darling; children Elizabeth Ann Darling, Russell Christian Darling, James Andrew Darling, Jonathan Lee Darling, Sarah Trevilian Darling, and their spouses and partners; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His wife of 67 years, Mary Lee Oliver Darling, preceded him in death on January 13 of this year.

A memorial service will be held at Bruton Parish Church at a future date. Donations in James S. Darling’s memory may be made to Bruton Parish Church or the Organ Historical Society .

Walter Joseph Gundling

Walter Joseph Gundling, 82, of Mountville, Pennsylvania, died February 17. A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he was active at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in his youth and a member of a family of pipe organ builders. His father, Walter Sebastian Gundling, grandfather, Sebastian, and families came to the United States in 1926 after leaving a family pipe organ building business in Laudenbach, Germany. They settled in Erie, Pennsylvania, working for the Tellers Organ Company, where Walter Sebastian completed his apprenticeship. In 1929, the family settled in Lancaster and founded the Sebastian Gundling & Son Co., which was engaged in maintaining and rebuilding pipe organs as well as building new instruments. In 1953, the firm, now including the teenaged Walter Joseph Gundling, installed the organ in Sacred Heart Church.

After graduation from Lancaster Catholic High School in 1956, Walter Joseph began full-time work for the family business, having completed his apprenticeship. He was the third generation to carry on the business, with clients in 225 churches in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 1981, Walter Joseph Gundling’s son, Daniel Walter, joined the firm.

On April 28, 1962, Walter Joseph Gundling married Kathleen Ann Wiegand in Lancaster, and they were married for nearly 59 years. Together they raised five children.

Walter Joseph Gundling retired from the business in 2005, at which time the firm closed. The Moravian Church of Lancaster hosted a retirement concert and reception on June 12, 2005, Walter Joseph’s birthday.

Walter Joseph Gundling is survived by his children Daniel Gundling (Patricia) of Emmaus, Pennsylvania; Joseph Anthony Gundling (Janet) of Lebanon, Pennsylvania; Mary Ellen Gundling Koval (Mark) of Wilmington, Delaware; Anne Marie Gundling Williams (Andy) of Lancaster; and Barbara Kathleen Gundling Raihall (James) of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania; as well as ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A funeral Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Lancaster, on February 25. Memorial gifts may be made to the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary, 1834 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17601.

J. Samuel Hammond

J. Samuel Hammond, 73, longtime carillonneur at Duke Chapel, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, died February 25. Hammond retired from the university in December 2018 after 53 years of service spanning six university presidents. He performed daily carillon recitals at 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and on Sundays after chapel services and at university ceremonies. Upon his retirement the university board of trustees dedicated the 50-bell carillon in his honor.

Born August 22, 1947, Hammond came to Duke as an undergraduate student in 1964 from Americus, Georgia, and began playing the chapel carillon shortly after his arrival. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1968 and later earned a master’s degree in theological studies, both at Duke, as well as a master’s degree in library science from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Hammond was promoted to chapel carillonneur upon graduation in 1968 and was named university carillonneur in 1986, becoming only the second person to hold the title. In 2018, he was named university carillonneur emeritus. For 41 years, he was a librarian in the university’s rare book room, music library, and other library departments. Upon retirement from the library in 2012, he was honored through the collection’s acquisition of a rare first edition of the illustrated 1612 book, De campanis commentarius (“A Commentary on Bells”). Hammond performed recitals in bell towers of churches and universities across the United States. In addition, for more than 50 years he volunteered as accompanist for young musicians in the Duke String School, playing piano in rehearsals and performances. During his lifetime, Hammond served as organist at Methodist, Episcopal, and Catholic churches, substitute organist at Duke Chapel, and accompanist for the Triangle Jewish Chorale, Durham Savoyards, Longleaf Opera Company, and other groups.

J. Samuel Hammond is survived by his wife Marie, son Christopher and his wife Kelli, son John, and four grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial gifts may be made to Urban Ministries of Durham, Triangle Land Conservancy, or a charity of your choice.