The New York Conference, UCC send our condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Robert Allen Chase
Westchester has lost one of its consummate musicians. Dr. Robert Allen Chase died on August 4, 2022, surrounded by his loving family. Dr. Chase was born October 14, 1938, in Milford, Massachusetts. A gifted organist, choirmaster, music scholar and professor, he took his bachelor’s degree at Boston University. He earned an MA in Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and subsequently his doctorate in Music Education from Columbia University. He also did post-graduate work at Yale University. He was a longtime member of the American Guild of Organists and served as Dean of the Westchester Chapter.
Dr. Chase taught at Westchester Music Conservatory, Iona Preparatory, and Pace University for 30 years. In addition to giving private organ lessons to numerous students, whose lives he touched.
A consummate and versatile musician, Dr. Chase served as Organist and Music Director at The Congregational Church in the Highlands in White Plains for 48 years. Prior to that, he was Organist and Choir Master in Larchmont Ave Church for nine years. A strong proponent of interfaith relations, he is still remembered with great fondness at Scarsdale Synagogue-Tremont Temple, where he played for thirty years.
Recognized internationally as a scholar of the pipe organ and Sacred music, he published seven books, including, JULES VAN NUFFEL AND HIS MUSIC 1978 and most recently Gradus ad Parnassum: A Guide to the Literature or Organ Instruction (2016). Most colleges and universities in 5 continents have his books.
Dr Chase received numerous awards including Distinguished Teacher by Pace University, Recipient of an award from the National Endowment of Humanities and Honorary membership in “Musica Sacra”( Warsaw, Poland). He was proficient in five languages (English, Russian, French, German, and Chinese), and was a lifelong philatelist. He published five articles in “The China Clipper,” a philatelist magazine.
A gifted conductor for American as well as Chinese choruses. Dr. Chase was also a private lecturer and organ performer. He was invited to play the Tabernacle Organ at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, an amazing instrument with 11,623 pipes, 147 voices, and 206 ranks.
As grand as that instrument is, Dr. Chase was never happier than when he sat at the keyboard of the organ at The Congregational Church in the Highlands for nearly fifty years. A great human being, he was highly respected and loved by friends around the world. A Memorial Service will be held there on October 15, 2022.
He is survived by his loving wife Jenny Kao Chase; his son, Wayne Rob Chase; two sisters, Vivian Smith and Barbara Ruef and nieces Allison Duncan and Jessica Wheeler.