MISENHEIMER -- A memorial service and anthem dedication will be held for Dr. Richard Harding Brewer at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Henry Pfeiffer Chapel at Pfeiffer University.
Brewer was director of choral music at Pfeiffer from 1962-1987 where he had a prominent career as conductor, educator, composer and vocalist.
He is well-known throughout the state for his numerous contributions to the musical programs of churches, schools and community organizations. Brewer passed away in May.
During his tenure at Pfeiffer, Brewer developed the distinct quality of choral sound that became a trademark of Pfeiffer choirs, and he built a choral program that was highly acclaimed in the United States and in Europe. As Brewer became widely recognized for his skillful conducting and masterful teaching, his students were eagerly sought as performers, church musicians and teachers.
Students remember "Doc" for his uncompromising standards of performance, his high expectations for their personal development, and his commitment to their success.
A native of San Diego, Calif., Brewer held the DMA degree from the University of California, the MM degree from Indiana University and the AB degree from San Jose State College.
He completed advanced work at Westminster Choir College and studied with many of America's leading conductors. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy.
The memorial servicewill include the dedication of an anthem commissioned by the Music Department as a tribute to Brewer's legacy as a musician. Titled "What I Sing I Believe," it was written by one of America's foremost composers, David Ott, and it incorporates the text that Brewer adopted as the motto for Pfeiffer choirs.
Ott, a former Pfeiffer faculty member and friend of Brewer's, says that he composed the anthem "directly in the spirit of Dr. Richard Brewer...a remarkable man." The Pfeiffer Concert Choir and choir alumni will sing the anthem under the direction of Steve Harrill, the current director of choral music at Pfeiffer and a former student of Brewer's.
The service will be led by the Rev. Sharon Bryant, the Rev. Cecil Donahue, the Rev. Glenn Griffiths and the Rev. Wes Judy, all of whom were members of Pfeiffer choirs. The organist will be Stanley R. Scheer, a faculty colleague who collaborated with Brewer as choir accompanist for many years.