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Tributes to Dave Bieri, who died suddenly on January 3, 2000.
Also: information on his memorial service and where to send flowers, condolences and donations.
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David Earle Bieri, classical pianist, jazz vocalist, composer of church hymns and quirky songs, active in the musical life of the Boston area for twenty five years, died suddenly, apparently of a heart attack at his home in Dorchester, MA, Monday January 3, 2000. He was 44 years old.

Mr. Bieri sang bass with the a cappella jazz group "Euphoria", and helped induce euphoric moods in local coffeehouses. For the past sixteen years he worked as a senior systems programmer at IDX Corporation in Boston, where he was prized for his original problem solving skills and his sense of humor. He was a riot in the office.

Mr. Bieri was a member of East Congregational Church of Milton, MA. where he sang in the choir and was a substitute organist.

He was originally from Alliance, OH and attended Oberlin College and Boston University. For several years he was a church organist at First Congregational Church of Winchester, MA, accompanist with the Greater Boston Chorale in Medford, MA., choir director at Boston University, and piano teacher in the Boston area.

He leaves his father and mother, Edward and Betty Bieri of Alliance, OH, a brother Jim, a sister Christine, and a niece Miranda. He also leaves many compositions, among them the sacred "Benedictus Qui Venit", "Duo Seraphim Clamabant", "Create in Me a Clean Heart", "How Firm a Foundation" , "Just A Closer Walk With Thee", and the humorous "Comet Warning", "Carmina Bananas" and "Save the Wails". He once created some very strange music on what looked like an old grand piano without legs which had been untuned for many years, but which he called "the Entropophone".

Michael Maholchic
1/6/2000


David Bieri attended Oberlin College and Boston University School For The Arts. A talented composer, arranger, pianist, and vocalist, he played with several Boston-based orchestras and accompanied well-known soloists and stage productions throughout New England. He set sacred as well as secular texts, and was an integral part of the East Congregational Church music program and community in Milton, MA.

David was a founding and current member of the a cappella jazz quartet EUPHORIA, with whom he competed in the Contemporary A Cappella Harmony Sweepstakes. They perform many of his arrangements and compositions, notable among them his original jazz tune "Vortex Of Love", his arrangement of the Beatles’ "Drive My Car", and his classical composition, "If they come in the night", poetry text from Marge Piercy’s The Twelve-Spoked Wheel Flashing (1981). He regularly attended the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble workshops, and could be heard performing live on the WERS 88.9FM "All A Cappella" show.

A notable and unique person in the Boston musical community, his compositions have been sung by small and large ensembles, in university, church, and community settings, in clubs and at benefits, and on the radio. He had strong musical opinions and complete dedication to the art. His musical creativity, humor, and genius are remembered by all who performed or heard his work.

David was a gentle, kind, loving soul with tremendous generosity of spirit toward all. We deeply mourn his passing.

"Good night, sweet prince; may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

(Horatio, from Hamlet, Act V sc. II)

May his memory be for a blessing.

Eve (Havah) Goldfarb
1/5/2000


Further information from Eve Goldfarb:

There will be a memorial service at David’s church in East Milton on Saturday 15 January 2000 at 10AM, followed by a reception/party. All of us planning these events wish to make a joyful noise in celebration of his life; please join us! Many of David’s arrangements and compositions will be performed at both the service and the party. All who wish to sing in his opening piece, "Benedictus Qui Venit", may do so. There will be a recommended rehearsal for the piece in the church sanctuary at 9:15AM, and additional copies of the music available at the service itself. There will be more opportunities for performing and speaking at the party.

Optional rehearsal: 9:15AM
Memorial Service: 10AM
Reception/party: 11:15-ish until whenever

Location: East Congregational Church
610 Adams Street
Milton, MA 02186
(617) 698-0270
Directions to East Congregational Church:

From north of Boston: Take I-93 south to exit 10. Follow right ramp sign for Adams Street; left at blinking light, following signs for E. Milton Square. Pass 3 lights, going through E. Milton Square. Third light is Church Street; one more block to Granite Place, turn left. Parking lot is on the left.

From south of Boston: Take I-93 north to exit 9. Right off ramp onto Adams Street, take second left onto Granite Place. Parking lot is on the left.

Via T: take bus #215 from either Quincy Center or the Ashmont red line stop.

PLEASE BRING, if you have, any pictures of David, music or music fragments of his, or communications that bespeak him. We’ll have a large bulletin board for posting these in the party hall downstairs. I request that you put your name and address on the backs of all materials posted. I’ll be taking and scanning all materials after the party in order to produce a printed retrospective of his life and doings (his parents may not be able to attend the memorial and party from Ohio, and I wish them to see the postings). I promise to return all materials to their owners.

His company, IDX Inc., has generously offered to sponsor the reception. Additional food items would also be appreciated; particularly baked goods and other creative delectables and liquids (no alcoholic beverages, however, are allowed in the church building). We expect a LOT of people, and the party will go on for a long time.

If you knew David Bieri, I know you were also touched by him in some way. Please come help us mourn his loss and celebrate his life!

Questions? call me at (617) 623-1344 (h), (617) 623-4556 (w), or email me at egold@world.std.com


There will be a memorial service for David Earle Bieri in New York City on Monday, 31 January, 2000. Time: 6:30 pm. Location: Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, West 86th Street and West End Avenue. (That’s the church the Western Wind’s offices are in; easy to reach on the 1/9 subway line.)

The service will start in the sanctuary at 6:30 pm with some music by The Western Wind; it will continue with remembrances and candle lighting and prayers and singing of hymns and Bieri music.

After the formal service portion, we will move to the Board Room of the church for more singing, remembrances, displays of Bieri memorabilia, and light food and drink (nonalcoholic).

After that, if people still feel the need to drown their sorrows in stronger beverages, there is a bar near the church... That part is not formally organized, though.

What to bring:

  • Yourself
  • Your voice
  • Your memories
  • Appropriate things to sing (pieces by Dave Bieri or pieces that in some way evoke him)
  • Memorabilia (photos from workshops or other pictures; poetry or music inspired by him; anything having to do with the a cappella group Euphoria; tapes; etc.)

---> All memorabilia will be returned if requested; if you would like to lend things to Havah/Eve Goldfarb, however, she is putting together a Bieri archive to be scanned and preserved... More details below.

  • Food and beverages, if you would like to help out (please let me know in advance).

---> Please let me know if you wish to participate formally in the service! It would be great to have a few trios/quartets/sextets/septets to sing during the service certain pieces David wrote (mostly rounds, lovely but tricky).

If you would like to do this, please contact me by Thursday so that I can get you music, rehearsal time can be arranged, and I can make up a program with your music listed...

There will be informal singing afterwards, too, so please come and share.

Questions? Please call Martha Sullivan at 718-601-6597 or Voices96@aol.com.

---> This service is being co-sponsored by the Western Wind, but they are out of town on tour, which is why I am your contact person. I’ll keep their office updated, but please swamp me rather than the office with queries. Thanks!


Flowers or condolences may be sent to his parents:

Ed and Betty Bieri
3740 South Union Avenue
Alliance, OH 44601

His parents have asked that donations in David’s name be made to:

Marlington High School
Music Department
10320 Moulin Avenue NE
Alliance, OH 44601-9797
attention: Kristina Call, Music Department Head
David E. Bieri Remembrance Fund


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Content Contact: Steve Friedman.
Revision Date: December 05, 2000.
Technical Contact: Steve Friedman.

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