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David Hogan


Obituary from the Washington Post


H. David Hogan, 47, an internationally known American music educator,

composer, concert tenor and choir director, died in the explosion that

destroyed a TransWorld Airlines jet over Long Island, N.Y on July 17,

l996. Based in Paris for the past four years, Mr. Hogan's international

career included teaching and performing in Washington, D.C., Baltimore,

New England and the San Francisco Bay area as well as major cities in

Europe. His award-winning compositions are sung by choirs around the

world, and hundreds of professional composers, musicians and teachers

were inspired by his innovative teaching methods during his 25 years as

an educator and choral director. All who knew Mr. Hogan would recognize

colleague Pamela Quist's description, "Hoagie hummed or whistled his way

through life. Music seeped out of every pore."

The oldest of seven children, David Hogan was born July 1, 1949, and

spent his childhood in the small town of Nokesville in northern

Virginia. He received his musical training in America and France, taking

undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Peabody Conservatory of Music

(Johns Hopkins University) in Baltimore, and advanced training at the

Ecole D'Arts Americaines in France with the celebrated Nadia Boulanger.

Among his other teachers were composers Hugo Weisgall and Richard Rodney

Bennett and the French-Swiss soprano and voice teacher Flore Wend. His

approach to music education was shaped by a rewarding apprenticeship

with the music theorist Grace Newsom Cushman.


In 1971, Mr Hogan, with two Peabody colleagues, Pamela Layman Quist and

Lynn Taylor Hebden, founded The Walden School, a summer institute in

rural New Hampshire, to provide specialized training for talented young

musicians and composers. The school was designed to continue the

pioneering educational work of Ms. Cushman, who, in the late 1940s,

founded the Junior Conservatory Camp, one of the first summer programs

for creative education in music at the precollege level. After Ms.

Cushman’s passing, her students Mr Hogan and his. Quist further

developed the principles of the Junior Conservatory’s musicianship

program at The Walden School. Now in its 25th year, The Walden School

summer program is attended by young musicians from all over America.

Walden students annually win numerous international awards and prizes

for their compositions. Mr. Hogan was closely associated with the

school's development and taught at Walden nearly every summer despite

his expanding international responsibilities.


A gifted and dedicated teacher, Mr. Hogan held the conviction that the

primary purpose of education is to foster creativity and that musical

training is most successful when students can discover new materials and

concepts for themselves and learn to think independently. His approach

to teaching conveyed both great respect for the subject matter of music

and delight in the shared process of learning. "David had the amazing

ability to make each student feel valued through his quiet and loving

manner," explained Stephen Coxe, current President and Executive

Director of The Walden School, who himself studied with Mr. Hogan.

"Today there are hundreds of his former students around the world who

honor him." Many of his students have become professional composers,

musicians, and teachers.


In addition to his work in music education, David Hogan was an acclaimed

composer, singer, pianist, organist and vocal coach. He had been living

in Paris for the past four years. A primary focus of his work in France

was a series of theater and film projects with the actress and

playwright Coline Serreau (best-known in America as writer-director of

the film Three Men And a Cradle, adapted by Hollywood as Three Men and a

Baby), and her husband, the noted stage director Benno Besson (a former

associate of Bertolt Brecht). As composer and musical director of Mme.

Serreau’s play Quisaitout et Grobeta, he received the French equivalent

of a Tony Award for his music in 1994. This comedy-with-music was so

popular it was translated into five languages and presented throughout

Europe. Mr. Hogan composed new music to fit each translation (he was

multilingual) and coached new productions in Italy, Switzerland, Germany

and Scandinavia. He also wrote music for Mme. Serreau’s play ‘lapin,

lapin,’ and recently finished the score for her newest film, La Belle

Verte. In 1993 he served as music director for Mr. Besson's new

production of Mozart’s Magic Flute for the Geneva Opera in Switzerland.

Other stage projects included incidental music for a production of

Hamlet in Italy in 1994 and the score for Moliere's Tartuffe at the

Theatre de l'Odeon in Paris last year.


Mr. Hogan was active in the musical life of Paris. He taught and coached

composers, singers and many well-known French actors. He was a tenor

soloist at the American Cathedral in Pans, and also composed an evensong

anthem for its choir. Choir director Edward J. Tipton observed, "He was

a superior musician, a gifted and sensitive composer, and a devoted

Christian." In 1995 Mr. Hogan accepted an invitation to become the

musical director of the Gay Men’s Choir of Paris and prepared special

choral music for their Christmas concert. As an expert choral composer

and director, he was interested in the rapid growth of gay choruses

around the world. He was deeply moved by the challenges and rewards

shared by participants in these choirs: faced with a daily reality of

suffering and death from the AIDS epidemic, they join together with

tremendous energy to sing songs of harmony, joy and life. Mr. Hogan

endorsed this spirit of affirmation and had begun to use his gifts as a

composer to help create an expanded repertoire of choral works for the



A frequently commissioned composer, Mr. Hogan is perhaps best known for

his liturgical choral music. He enjoyed a long association with the

National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. as both soloist and composer. He

has the distinction of being one of two composers chosen to create a new

work (Magnificat and nunc dimittis) to celebrate the consecration and

completion of the Cathedral in 1989. The Magnificat, recorded by the

combined choirs of National Cathedral and San Francisco's Grace

Cathedral, was released in 1992 on the CD 'Light is Glittering.' Mr.

Hogan's work was singled out by CD Review as the "highlight of the

disc." A new choral work was in process for Grace Cathedral of San

Francisco for an Easter concert.


Mr. Hogan was also an accomplished composer of songs for solo voice.

Just a month ago he completed musical settings of four Psalm texts

commissioned by the countertenor Ryland Angel, who will perform them in

London in the next few months. He had also completed two songs in a

planned cycle of poems by Victor Segalen entitled ‘Steles.’ His Three

Love Songs won the 1993 Delius Composers Competition. His works

including choral and liturgical works, song cycles and chamber music,

are published by E. C. Schirmer, Boston and recorded on Angel/EMI. His

liturgical music is sung regularly by choirs across America.


David Hogan was also a professional concert tenor His instructor Lynn

Hebden recalls, "He had an exquisite voice and a fabulous ears." Unaware

of his vocal gifts, he did not begin to study singing until he was in

college, when Ms. Hebden and others heard him sing, they immediately

encouraged him to become a voice major. He specialized in baroque,

German lied, French art songs and 20th century repertoire, but also sang

in many operas and oratorios. He performed in France, England and

throughout Amenca beginning in his early 20s. In 1975 he sang the title

role in the American premiere of Lili Boulanger's Faust et Helene. He

has also been a featured soloist at Baltimore's Cathedral of Mary Our

Queen, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, the National

Cathedral in Washington, D C. and the American Cathedral of Pans. Mr.

Hogan was also a talented pianist and organist who seemed to be able to

read almost anything at sight, and frequently accompanied his colleagues

and students in recitals.


In 1979 Mr. Hogan moved to California to become director of music for

the Consortium of the Arts, a school of continuing education which

offers programs for children and adults in the San Francisco Bay area

and Washington, D.C. He also served as music director for the Meher

School, an innovative private primary school in Lafayette, California.

His teaching in California was based largely on the Walden School

curriculum and many of his students there became regular participants in

Walden summer programs in New Hampshire. He also had opportunities to

develop new ideas and methods in California that he could apply at

Walden. His Consortium work introduced him to keyboard synthesizers and

Macintosh computer programs for music notation and perfomance.


During this period, Mr. Hogan also kept active in liturgical music,

serving as organist and choirmaster for St. Francis Lutheran Church in

San Francisco. Church member Iris Vaughan said that he literally

transformed their tiny choir, working patiently and tirelessly with

people of every level of ability. "He put everything he had to say in

music rather than words," she said. As this church was adopting a new

modem English liturgy, Mr. Hogan was given an opportunity to compose

many new hymns, chorales, prayers and anthems to the new words.  


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