Music 06

Frank H. Siekmann

February 17, 2021

Obituary

Dr. Frank H. Siekmann, 95, of Kutztown, parted his life on February 17, 2021. He was an educator, musician, and composer. He taught music in public schools of Smyrna, DE; Ramsey, NJ; and Chappaqua, NY. There he was appointed as one of only two department heads. After ten years at Chappaqua he accepted a one year replacement position as Director of Bands at the University of Vermont. There he organized and directed a three-state tour including the opening date of the 1965 New York World’s Fair. Also, during that year he directed the choirs at the First Congregational Church in Burlington.

His degrees included a bachelor’s and master’s in Music Education at NYU, followed by Doctor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. There he had the honor of conducting the university orchestra at Spring Concert. His teaching career continued for 25 years at Kutztown University where he conducted the orchestra, musical theatre, and at various years served as chairperson of the Department of Music. His honors at KU included being speaker at a commencement program and receiving an award for academic achievement. 

Prior to his teaching career he served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman 1/c during WWII, including service with the 1st Marine Division during the battle of Okinawa where he was awarded a Purple Heart. He continued serving with the U.S. Marines in the occupation of North China. In later years he continued his patriotic service as a frequent bugler sounding taps at services of the American Legion Honor Guard, Post 217, Topton, PA. He also helped create and direct the orchestra for the annual Flag Day celebrations in Kutztown Park.

After moving to Kutztown with his family in 1967 he directed the choirs at St. John’s United Church of Christ, serving for 25 years and achieving status as Choir Director Emeritus.

His hobbies included tennis and photography. He was the recipient of many awards while active in the Berks Camera Club.

In 1949 he married the former Doris Pelletier, resulting in 70 years of idyllic devotion, plus three children and two grandchildren: daughter Ellen Forbus wife of Ken Forbus; son Matthew Siekmann; son Bruce Siekmann husband of Marie DeFillips and their sons Anton and Bela Siekmann.

In 1982 he established a music company, Brelmat Music, named after his children (Bruce, Ellen, and Matthew) and devoted to promoting performances of Frank’s 223 compositions and arrangements. These have been performed widely in the United States and abroad including performances by soloists from major symphony orchestras. 

Services are private. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to a favorite charity of choice. Edward J. Hildebrand Funeral Home Inc. in charge of arrangements. 

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