The members of the Highland Park Recorder Society mourn the
passing of our esteemed and beloved friend and advisor, Eugene
Roan, Professor Emeritus of Westminster Choir College of Rider
Professor Roan was Professor Emeritus of Organ and former chair
of the organ, harpsichord and piano department at Westminster
Choir College, the School of Music of Rider University, where he
taught since 1956. Mr. Roan also taught at the Royal School of
Church Music. A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and
Westminster Choir College, he also studied at the School of
Sacred Music of the Union Theological Seminary. His teachers
were Alexander McCurdy and Alec Wyton.
Professor Roan graced us with his presence when he performed
solo harpsichord works at our annual spring concerts.
Professor Roan, with kindness and generosity of spirit, allowed us
the use of his beautiful, handcrafted Willard Martin harpsichord to
enhance our presentations and performances. Our esteemed
friends, Professor Roan and John Burkhalter, the Practitioners of
Musick, invited us in advance to rehearse at their home so that
another harpsichordist could accustom himself to playing on it.
On the day of the concert they carried it with great care into the
Sanctuary of the United Methodist Church in New Brunswick,
where we hold our concerts, and then touched up the tuning until it
was in peak performing condition.
Professor Roan was supportive of our Society in attending our
Board of Directors meetings, and granting us assistance with sage
observations and advice.
In a gesture to strengthen the warm bonds between Professor
Roan and the Highland Park Recorder Society, the Board of
Directors decided, at a recent Board meeting, to extend a formal
invitation to Professor Roan to join our new Advisory Board.
We all mourn this outstanding person. His moral goodness, his
trustworthiness and fidelity, and his outstanding power to project
the highest levels of spiritual striving and attainment through his
superb organ playing are just a few of his many contributions.
One of his greatest gifts was touching the lives of students through
teaching them musicianship, harpsichord, organ, and Baroque
performance practice. A lasting testament is the literally thousands
of students and graduate students who came under his orbit, many
of whom became leading teachers both in America and in far-flung
corners of the world. His influence lives on in their work.
He lived his life worthily, with joy and gladness, with humility and
modesty, with meaning, love and wisdom. We are honored that his
life touched ours. We are the better for it. We will miss him, and will
cherish his memory, and we pledge to keep his memory and
legacy alive in our musical community, so that his memory will
continue to be a source of blessing.