header 1
header 2
header 3

In Memory

Edward 'Chip' Reardon

Edward 'Chip' Reardon

Chip enjoyed playing any instrument, in particular the organ (his major). After receiving a Master’s degree at the Eastman School of Music and traveling to Germany on a Fulbright scholarship, he returned to Eastman to obtain his Doctorate of Music Arts. He served as the music director for the Northeast Bible Institute and Poughkeepsie’s Faith Assembly of God between 1971 and 1983, and as recently as 2020 he was the organist for a church in Pennsylvania. He passed away on January 5, 2023.


go to bottom 
  Post Comment

09/03/23 07:55 PM #1    

Tom Thomas

Chip was friendly and outgoing with a good sense of humor, so he had many friends among the other Conservatory students. During our first weeks at Oberlin in September 1965, I wrote home about dinnertime at Dascomb: "Eating at our table has been Chip Reardon, a blind organ student from Philadelphia. He must have a very good memory; he has to play either by ear or from memorizing embossed [Braille] scores. Also, he has to remember where all the various stops on the organ are. He seems to have the ability to do this, though, as he's done very well at remembering the names and voices of the people at our table." The following January I wrote, "He was telling a couple of weeks ago how his mother taped all the weekly Triple Chiller Theaters on the television this fall so he could listen to all those movies over Christmas vacation and get caught up." Later, sitting in the audience at Warner Concert Hall, I watched him taking notes. How did a blind student do that without modern electronic gadgets? With a slate and stylus to punch the Braille patterns.

09/04/23 04:02 PM #2    

Janet Shibley (Hyde)

Thanks for letting us know about Chip. He always inspired me. In an odd coincidence, I was thinking about him just yesterday, The postlude at the end of the church service, played by Oberlin-trained organist David Sinden, was by Jean Langlais, a blind organist and composer, and that made me think of Chip. It's good to know that he had such a meaningful career.

09/04/23 05:18 PM #3    

David Kurkowski

I remember seeing Chip in the Quad duriing Freshman year.  He was throwing a frisbee with someone, then listening to where the return landed so he could pick it up.  It was just one more adjustment that he made in his life.  Playing the organ, though, was an amazing achievement.  RIP, Chip.

09/04/23 07:18 PM #4    

Ruth Wade (Williams)

Chip was such an amazing guy.  One year he gathered a few of us to form a little choir, which he conducted. We in the alto section would sing the tenor part so he could learn it.  He'd be asking, "Is that your part or mine?"  If his, he'd quickly pick it up from memory.  My other memory of him was when he would run at full speed from the locker area down the ramp to the practice rooms.  He knew when to slow down and make the turn by the audible (to him) echoes of his footsteps off the walls.  RIP Chip!

09/22/23 04:51 PM #5    

Walt Galloway

Totally amazing guy.  He knew every song in every SPEBQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America) book of songs and now and then 4 of us would gather in a Con practice room and he'd plan all the parts and sing the tenor!  And such a joy to be with at all.

10/03/23 09:34 AM #6    

Andrew Soll

I was an organ major in the same class as Chip, so we had many opportunities to interact.  As others have mentioned, he was a remarkable person with remarkable talents and skills. I remember one occasion when several of us, including Chip, were going to Cleveland to attend a concert.  I was driving a college car, and Chip was riding shotgun.  Driving back to campus after the concert Chip commented on what a beautiful night it was, with so many stars shining so brightly.  While agreeing that the sky was beautiful and full of stars, I didn't expect Chip to make such an observation.  Apparently, as he explained, he was able to see sharp contrasts between light and dark, so the stars shone for him.  I have thought of Chip over the years, continually marvelling at what he was able to accomplish with his prodigious talent and memory.  While I should recall his performing at the organ, I'm more likely to think of him when walking at night under a clear, star-lit sky.  Chip, in his uniquely inspiring way, always managed to find the bright spot in whatever life placed before him.  May his memory be a blessing.


go to top 
  Post Comment