The George Bragg Library
. . . from the "Director's Diary"
On the Illness and Passing of Kalman Halasz (December 1971)
For the past four months, Kalman Halasz has been undergoing extensive medical tests to determine the cause of persistent pain and internal distress. On Thursday, December 9, exploratory surgery revealed the presence of tumors which were of a suspicious nature. Cards would cheer him considerably. As many of you know, Kalman has no family in this country. For 11 years the Choir has been his own. Each of us wishes him well and offers prayers on his behalf.
Thank you from former member of Choir staff: After a lengthy stay in the hospital, Kalman Halasz, former Associate Director with The Texas Boys Choir, is continuing to recuperate at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Dorian. Kalman has asked us to express his thanks to everyone in the Choir family who have remembered him with cards, gifts, and visits during the past months. He is doing as well as can be expected and your continued remembrances of prayers and cards will be a source of strength.
There is a line from Tennyson's "Idylls of the King" which seems to be appropriate on many occasions. It is particularly so on this occasion when we pause at the end of our twenty-fifth year.
We began in the shadow of European imagery. We moved into a field populated by European artists. We learned from European masters. We had two who came to join our staff and to share in our work, Istvan Selenyi and Kalman Halasz. Mr. Selenyi continues at Trinity Valley School which we began in 1959. Kalman Halasz, who came to us in 1960, passed away on February 1st of this year.
With Kalman Halasz's death, an era ends. Our staff, for the first time since 1957, is with native-born Americans, and interestingly enough the replacements are choirboys from 1959 onward. It will be interesting to see how this heritage is used and how the next generation of choirboys will blossom.
The search for knowledge is never-ending and so in that way, I am sure we will grow. What we must search for now is how to translate that European heritage into American "know-how" of getting things done, and to establish ourselves on a permanent basis with a self-perpetuating source of supply from within our ranks.
The Board of Trustees will soon reflect some of this through the names of former choirboys, 25 years of age and older, taking their places hopefully as guardians of the continuation of this organization. The ranks of the present Choir roster give some hope also of future material as teachers, trustees, and such.
Who knows what we can accomplish if we but put our minds and hearts to the task?
As an era ends, so begins a future bright with opportunity for accomplishment and work: the unique privilege of taking our art and the name of our City and State to the rest of our nation and the world. The concert demand is only in proportion to our accomplishment. We must remember this! And never forget it.
Times change, people vanish from the scene, yet Love abides and Purpose remains with a never-ending Challenge.
'The old order changeth yielding place to the new,
And God fulfills himself in many ways."
Eulogy to Kalman Halasz given by George Bragg at the Memorial Service
November 14, 1919 to February 1, 1972
Each soul which dwells upon this earth is an individual reflection of the infinite variety and intelligence of God. Each person we come to know leaves his mark upon us, and one gives to the other a greater capacity to understand and comprehend life and living.
Few have shared so much with so many with so little fanfare. Kalman Halasz, our friend, leaves to our city and community a rich legacy of great variety, channeled through the mighty stream of music. He was a virtuoso organist, a pianist of concert quality, a conductor, an arranger, a composer, and a mathematician.
Here at Holy Family Church, this magnificent Carter Memorial organ is a living monument to his excellent education, perception and sound judgment in the selection of its specifications.
Across the way, at the headquarters of The Texas Boys Choir, is another of his creations - a small precious jewel, a portative organ, a gift of the Mary Lard Charitable Trust. His specifications for this instrument will someday, through the beauty of music, bless and delight countless thousands of persons throughout the world.
He taught a generation of children, choirboys, how to listen to sound. He composed much church music. His numerous arrangements of world folk songs are found in the library of The Texas Boys Choir, in the catalog of music publishers, and on recordings.
The Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir rings his arrangements throughout the year.
God sends the proper person at the proper time to do the proper work! His presence blessed The Texas Boys Choir, Holy Family Church, our City ... and The Texas Boys Choir, Holy Family Church and our City blessed him! It was a proper combination.
We thank God for this life.
We thank God for this talent.
We thank him for this gift through music.
God grant him eternal rest in our hearts ...
And continuum - in the lives of those he loved.
Requiem Aetemum Dona Eis, Domine.
Copyright © 2002 boychoirs.org
This page was last modified on 06 December 2005