Major Contributors

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Robert Hoe, Jr., benefactor

This encyclopedia is an outgrowth of research begun by the late Robert Hoe, Jr., producer of the Heritage series of LP band records (see separate article).

Robert Hoe, Jr. (Robert Hoe V) was a descendant of Robert Hoe (I), who emigrated from England in the early 19th century and founded a company which manufactured printing presses.  A brother of Robert Hoe (I), Richard M. Hoe, joined the company and invented the Hoe Rotary Press (patented 1847).  This was a great improvement over other presses of the day and became the foundation of the newspaper publishing industry.

Robert Hoe, Jr. was born in New York City on January 15, 1922, and was a lifelong resident of Poughkeepsie, New York, except for brief residencies in Florida and California.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College in 1943, and he played euphonium in the band.  He also took one course in music theory but claimed that the only benefit received from the course was in meeting his wife-to-be, Marilyn Cannon.  Bob and Marilyn were married in Glendale, California, on August 15, 1942.

In his youth, Bob underwent eight operations in unsuccessful attempts to correct a mastoid problem.  He had a minor hearing problem and was exempted from military service during World War II.  After graduating from Pomona, he worked first as a slagger and later as a pit master clerk at Kaiser Steel in Fontana, California.

Just before the end of World War II, he and Marilyn moved to Poughkeepsie, where he established the Hoe Corporation, an architectural woodworking firm.  The firm prospered to the point where it was one of the largest companies of its kind in America. For several years, he was president of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, a trade organization.

The Hoe Corporation was dissolved in 1964 so Bob Hoe could devote full time to a bowling business which he had acquired several years earlier.  The new corporation, named Mardi-Bob after his wife and children, operated six bowling facilities at one time.

Bob Hoe always had a keen interest in band music, particularly marches.  While amassing a varied collection of band recordings, he also acquired copies of much of the sheet music which the bands had used for making the recordings.  For recreation, he would play along with the recordings, often using the same types of instruments used by the musicians in the bands.

The Heritage series of records, as discussed elsewhere in this encyclopedia, became an extension of Bob Hoe's great love of band music.  The biographical information on the record jackets, volunteered by band scholars around the world, formed the nucleus of this encyclopedia.  Eighty-four of Hoe's own biographies are included herein.

After an illness of two years, Robert Hoe, Jr. died on February 16, 1983.  In the process of producing his recordings, he created an international fraternity of band music lovers, which he affectionately called his "clan."  The friendships formed have been lasting friendships.  The recipients of his generosity have been grateful for being introduced to one another, as well as for being introduced to a vast amount of forgotten music.

His monumental efforts in behalf of bands became legendary, and he received numerous honors.  Among them were his election to associate membership in the American Bandmasters Association in 1971, receiving an honorary doctorate from Central Methodist College in 1978, and receiving the Outstanding Contributor to Bands award from Phi Beta Mu in 1982.

Robert Hoe, Jr., is survived by a daughter, Polly Diane, and a son, Robert (VI), both attorneys and business executives, and by his wife, Marilyn.  The family created the Robert Hoe Foundation in 1983 for the purpose of furthering the cause of band music, and the publication of this encyclopedia has been its most ambitious project to date.

For more information, see The Legacy of Robert Hoe, Jr.

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William H. Rehrig, author

William H. Rehrig was born on June 10, 1939, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  His father, a trumpet soloist, was a member of such celebrated organizations as the Philadelphia Orchestra and Conway's Band.  His mother was a violinist with several noted orchestras.  After attending public schools in Philadelphia, he earned Bachelor of Science in Education (1961) and Master of Education (1967) degrees at Penn State University, where he played trumpet in the marching and concert bands and was chief band librarian.

He has taught instrumental music in the schools of Baltimore County, Maryland, for over thirty years and retired as band director at the Franklin Middle School in Reisterstown in 2001.  As a musician, he has performed with numerous bands and orchestras, including the Virginia Grand Military Band.  He arranged many pieces for the Heritage series of records, and one of his school bands was represented on the series.  As a researcher, he organized and cataloged thousands of unprocessed band publications at the Library of Congress, under the sponsorship of Robert Hoe, Jr.  

Bob Hoe selected Rehrig to organize, for future publication, data on the jackets of the Heritage series of records.  This material was expanded by several orders of magnitude for this encyclopedia.

Rehrig and his wife, Toni, are active in community and church affairs.  He currently serves as principal of the Trinity Lutheran Middle School, in Joppa, Maryland.  They have two daughters, Mary and Lydia, and three grand children.

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Paul E. Bierley, editor, Volumes 1, 2, and 3

Paul E. Bierley, son of a shoe cobbler and a temperance worker, was born on February 3, 1926, in Portsmouth, Ohio.  He attended public schools there, playing drums, trumpet, and tuba in school bands and orchestras and playing tuba with the Wheeling Steel Band.  After serving two years in the U.S. Army Air Force, he attended Ohio University and Ohio State University, graduating from the latter with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1953.  He was an airplane and missile designer with North American Aviation for nineteen years and spent the final fifteen years of his engineering career with another aerospace manufacturer, Ellanef Manufacturing.

Active in music again after an absence of 13 years, he was became tubist with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (1965-1981), the Detroit Concert Band (1973), the World Symphony Orchestra (1972), the Brass Band of Columbus (1984-1996), and the Hallelujah (now Village Brass) Brass Quintet (1984-1996), was assistant conductor of the North American Aviation Band (1961-1976), and has performed with many other bands and orchestras.

As a researcher and writer, his books on John Philip Sousa and Henry Fillmore are considered standards in their field, and he is also active as a lecturer and clinician.  He founded Integrity Press, which publishes books on American band historical subjects, in 1982.  He is the recipient of several awards and holds memberships in over a dozen music organizations.

His wife, Pauline, has assisted in all of his writing and publishing endeavors.  Their daughter, Lois, is an aviation historian and author, and their son, John, is an insurance analyst and semiprofessional musician.

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William R. Baker

Most of the eighty-four biographies of the late William R. Baker had been prepared as jacket notes for the Heritage series of records and were adapted for this encyclopedia.  He was, in fact, the most productive supplier of information for that series.  The depth of his research is evidence that he made use of many tools available to seasoned historians.

Baker was born on June 29, 1924, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he spent his youth.  He attended public schools there and played euphonium in numerous area bands.  After serving four years in the U.S. Navy, he attended Northeastern University in Boston, receiving a master's degree in electrical engineering.

Baker enjoyed farming and fishing as hobbies and also performed with the Kentish Guards, a Rhode Island Militia band.  

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Yoshihiro Obata

Yoshihiro Obata was born on May 26, 1937, in Kebe, Japan.  He began the study of organ at age eleven and clarinet at fourteen.  At Himeji-Nishi High School, he founded a band (1954) and became its conductor, graduating in 1957.  He played clarinet in the band at the Tokyo University of Arts, the first college band in Japan.  After graduating in 1961, he came to the United States for study, receiving a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1963.  He was clarinetist with the Tokyo Concert Band from 1963 to 1965 and then returned to the United States, receiving a Ph.D. degree at Michigan State University in 1974.

Obata was a professor of music and director of the orchestra and wind ensemble at Florida International University, meanwhile guest-conducting and presenting clarinet recitals and clinics in fourteen countries.  Also an author, he has written three books and many articles and has translated numerous works into the Japanese language.  He contributed twenty-nine biographies to this encyclopedia.

Obato and his wife, Sharon, currently reside in Miami, Florida.  They have two sons, Paul and Jenji.

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Werner Probst

Most of Werner Probst's twenty-three biographies were extracted from those he wrote for the Heritage series of records.  Although not a professional musician, he has a consuming interest in quality band music and band composers.  He has written many articles for magazines and music journals, specializing in German and Austrian music subjects.

Probst was born on November 10, 1938, in Schweinfurt, Germany, and attended schools there.  He worked for a Schweinfurt ball bearing company in 1959, leaving for service in the German Luftwaffe.  After two tours with NATO units, he returned to civilian life.  Presently, he works at the German Ministry of Defense in Bonn.

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James W. Herbert

James W. Herbert, who contributed eighteen biographies, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 18, 1939.  He received degrees from the University of Nebraska, the Manhattan School of Music, and Columbia University and was founder and first director of the bands at Temple University.  He studied conducting with Jonel Perlea.  His doctoral dissertation was entitled, The Wind Band of 19th Century Italy: From Its 17th Century Origins to Mid-Century.

Herbert has had a distinguished career as a professional musician.  He was principal trombonist with the Cities Service Band of America and Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians and has performed extensively with recording studio, radio, television, and Broadway show orchestras and bands.  He was also a member of the Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra.

Well known as a music educator and guest conductor, he is past president of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Bandmasters Association and was chosen by the School Musician magazine as one of America's ten most outstanding music directors.

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Loren D. Geiger

A biography of Loren D. Geiger, who contributed twelve biographies to this encyclopedia, is found in this encyclopedia by doing a SEARCH on "Geiger".

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Harrington E. “Kit” Crissey

Harrington E. “Kit” Crissey, Jr., was born in Schenectady, New York, on February 21, 1945.  After spending his childhood in upstate New York and suburban Philadelphia, he enrolled at the University of Rochester, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical languages in 1966.  While there, he participated in the marching band (president and drum major), concert band, and Baroque ensembles, concurrently studying horn with Milan Yancich at the Eastman School of Music.  Crissey served with the United States Navy (1966-1969),and played with the Charleston, (South Carolina) Symphony and the Guam Wind Ensemble during his years of service.

After earning a Master of Education degree in Teaching English as a Second Language at Temple University in 1974, he embarked on a career in that field.  Since 1989, Crissey has taught at English Language Services (ELS), an adjunct program at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.  Concurrently, he served in the Naval Reserve for 30 years, retiring with the rank of commander.

Crissey began producing concerts under the name Crissey Concerts in 1988.  There have been three different concert series sponsored by Crissey Concerts: (1) solo and chamber music by contemporary Philadelphia composers, (2) music by Eastman composers played by Eastman graduates, and (3) Russian and Soviet band music performed for the Soviet émigré community in the Philadelphia area.

Since marrying former Russian figure skater and choreographer Yelena Sergeeva in 1992, he has immersed himself in band music research as a hobby.  The fact that his father-in-law was a Red Army baritone horn player and bandmaster kindled Crissey’s in Russian and Soviet band music.  His interest also extends to the band music of other foreign countries.  Freshening the band repertoire in North America by acquainting people with works that are virtually unknown in this part of the world has led him to amass a specialized collection of sheet music and recordings of these works.  Providing biographical information and background material on compositions is his secondary interest.

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Other Contributors

The author and editor are indebted to the following scholars who contributed biographies for this encyclopedia:

    • Brad Glorvigen (6)
    • Arthur W. Lehman (5)
    • Polly Diane Hoe (3)
    • Frank Kowald (3)
    • Francis Pieters (3)
    • Cynthia Sterling (3)
    • George Foeller (2)
    • Herbert N. Johnston (2)
    • Miroslav Blaha (1)
    • Edward Brennan (1)
    • Penny Carson (1)
    • Peter Gallo (1)
    • Carol Edwards Griswold (1)
    • Odd Isachsen (1)
    • Christer Johannesen (1)
    • Johann Kielder (1)
    • George M. Meiser IX (1)
    • Peter Newcomb (1)
    • Alfred E. Reed (1)
    • George Stein, Jr. (1)
    • Laverne J. Wagner (1)

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