Monday, August 11, 2014

Elmer J. Frank, Musician, Instructor, and Conductor

Young Elmer Frank, with his parents, Julius and Emma
Elmer J. Frank was born in Sandusky in 1904 to Julius and Emma Frank, both of German descent. As a youth, Elmer studied piano with Elmer F. Steuk, a well known Sandusky piano instructor. In 1931 he went to Austria to study piano under Madam Bree. He also studied composition, harmony, and instrumentation under Johanna Muller Herman, and choral and orchestra conducting under Professor Julius Katay. Mr. Frank’s musical studies took him also to Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Italy, and Tunisia. During the summer of 1939 he was on a scholarship in Poland to study folk and classical music, and while there, Poland was conquered by Nazi Germany. Luckily he made it home safely. During World War II, he served for two years in the Panama Canal Zone with the United States Army.

Back in the United States, Elmer Frank was the organist and choir director for several churches. He also taught music for several years, having studios in the Odd Fellows Hall and later in the Feick Building. He organized the Sandusky Choral Society and the Sandusky Male Chorus, and served as the director of both organizations for many years. Later he was the director of music at the International School of Art, which was at 507 Wayne Street. 

Mr. Frank is the conductor in the group picture of the Sandusky Choral Society, taken around 1940 by photographer William Mound.

On April 14, 1961, Elmer J. Frank died at Good Samaritan Hospital. He had been hospitalized after an automobile accident six weeks prior to his death, but he died from an underlying illness. Funeral services were held at the Quick’s Funeral Home, where Christian Science Services were held. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery. On November 4, 1962, a Memorial Concert in honor of Elmer J. Frank was held at Adams Junior High School. Jay Perine, Tenor, provided musical performance, with William E. Didelius accompanying, assisted by Beryl Beckwith Dureck.

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