Johannsen, Dr. Clair Adrian
Funeral: Thursday February 16, 2017 at 11:00 AM at Trinity Lutheran Church
Clair Adrian Johannsen, PhD
Dr. Clair Adrian Johannsen, a beloved and well-known organist, harpsichordist, and choral conductor, passed away peacefully on February 10, 2017. Born on November 29, 1937 in Fairmont, Minnesota to Hans Hartwig and Grace (Jeffries) Johannsen, he was a graduate of Huntley High School and Augsburg College, with additional studies undertaken at Northwestern College. He received his Master’s degree from Union Theological Seminary’s School of Sacred Music and his Doctoral of Music Arts from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. Dr. Johannsen completed additional study at New College, Oxford, England and at the International Academy of Organists, Haarlem, Holland. He served as the Organist and Director of Music and Worship at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown from October 1964 until the spring of 2008. He then served as the Organist and Director of Music for the Beaver Creek - Keedysville Lutheran Parish, serving both the St. Matthew’s and St. Peter’s congregations. He served as an Instructor of Music at Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, was the founder and conductor of the St. Cecelia Choral Society of Hagerstown, and was a harpsichordist with the Potomac Symphony Orchestra. He wrote articles and reviews of new music for the Journal of Church Music and taught on the faculties of the Institute on Worship and Church Music at Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Illinois, and at the Gettysburg Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), a long-time officer of the Cumberland Valley chapter of the AGO, and a charter member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.
Dr. Johannsen was predeceased by his parents, and a brother, Frederick Johannsen of Amboy, Minnesota. He is survived by his siblings Maurice (Ruthann) Johannsen of Truman, Minnesota, Twyla Geiken of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, Grace (Gary) Haeckel of Fairmont, Wanda Kubly of Dearborn, Missouri, sister-in-law Carole Johannsen of Amboy, and many nieces and nephews.
An exceptional musician, Dr. Johannsen inspired and shaped the lives of many young organists and choralists over the course of his life, as well as enriched and uplifted the lives of those who heard his musical artistry. He is remembered fondly for his always kind and courtly demeanor, his love of good music, literature, and art, and his deep and generous friendship.
A memorial service for Dr. Johannsen will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Randolph Avenue, Hagerstown, on Thursday, February 16 at 11 am. An organ prelude will precede the service beginning at 10:30 am. The Rev. William J. Gohl Jr., Bishop for the Maryland-Delaware Synod, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will officiate the service. Dr. Johannsen will then be interred in the Center Creek Cemetery, Martin County, Minnesota, at a date to be determined by the family. Donations may be made in memory of Dr. Johannsen to Trinity Lutheran Church’s Concert Fund, Union Theological Seminary (Development Office, 3041 Broadway, New York, New York 10027), or Augsburg College (Department of Music 731 - 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454).
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown, MD.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.douglasfiery.com
View guestbook entries