Dr. James Boeringer served as an instructor in the Music Department at the University of South Dakota 1959-1962, where he is best remembered for his Bell Tower Music concert that included having brass played from the bell tower. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on March 4, 1930, and died on Jan. 12, 2014, of complications from pancreatic cancer in Maryland. He graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio, Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. He did additional graduate study at New York University and extensive research in London and at Oxford, England.
He was professor and university organist at the University of South Dakota, Oklahoma Baptist University and Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, and served as the director of the Moravian Music Foundation in Winston-Salem, NC, before moving to the DC area.
He has published organ and choral music and now has works on www.IMSLP.org on the Internet. He published a three-volume book, “Organa Britannica” on early English organs, books on Hymnody and biographies of organists and composers of church music. He also wrote reviews and articles for the NY Times and scholarly journals.
He had an abiding interest in historic buildings and moved and restored two log cabins in his lifetime, one in Selinsgrove, PA, and one in Winston-Salem, NC. An avid gardener, he worked with the land and indigenous plants to create inviting and restful vistas.
He wrote fiction, which was published under a pseudonym and was a member of Actor’s Equity with extensive theater credits.
He began his career as a church organist in 1947. His last post as organist was at Fifth Church of Christ Scientist in Washington, DC, where he performed his last service exactly two weeks before his death.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Grace; daughters, Lisa Stocker and Greta; son Daniel; and brother, David. A memorial will be held in the spring. Donations may be made to the International Music Score Library Project (imslp.org), a virtual library bringing public domain music scores into the hands of music scholars and performers or to the Moravian Music Foundation in Winston-Salem, NC, or a charity of your choice.