To the family of Dr. David Wehr,
This past Thursday, I was made aware of David Wehr's passing. Inasmuch as I had continued to remain apprised of his health, I was unaware that the cancer had come to place where it was terminal. Please know that the Cathedral of the Rockies' Ministry of Music mourns with you.
Thursday evening, I took the news to the choir that I have directed these past eleven years. More than a dozen hands raised when I asked how many of them sang under the direction of Nancy and David. What a legacy! During our prayer-time Thursday, stories came up about time with the Wehr's; it is a legacy that still rings in the hearts and minds of so very many. Most of the singers were in children or youth choirs under their direction; one of them admitted that they were your babysitter and had to explain how one of the Wehr children cut their hair while in her charge! There are many, many fond memories.
The foundation for the Ministry of Music may have been lain by Rev. Dr. Herb Richards and Mr. & Mrs. Alford; but it is the Wehr's that built a ministry upon that foundation making it what it is today. Throughout the 60's, the graded choir program was enlarged to grand proportions; the adult choir has never had as large a singing population. Bell choirs were formed and the choirs began to travel in ministry from our church to take music into churches and places it otherwise had never been. From my perspective, these were landmarks in our church's history and are benchmarks for which every successive Director of Music has attempted to strive. We have all had our strengths, but if I am to be honest, I am not certain ANY Director of Music since the Wehr's has achieved the large-scale success that was achieved in the 1960's. Today, we continue to have both a healthy graded choir and a graded bell program from tiny children through adults. We also have expanded into contemporary music and have a burgeoning art ministry. In addition, we host the Cathedral Concert series and a multitude of community-wide, musical opportunities throughout each calendar year. Everything we do is here today because the Wehr's built a music ministry comprised of both perspiration and prayer. We are deeply grateful for this legacy.
On behalf of Rev. Dr. Duane Anders and staff and congregation of Boise First United Methodist Church, the Cathedral of the Rockies, we send our deepest condolences to Nancy, to their children, and the entire extended Wehr family. Please know you are all very much in our thoughts & prayers and our hearts are with you as you enter this new reality in your family's life.
Grace & Peace,
Dr. Paul A. Aitken, Composer/Conductor
Director of Music & Worship Arts
Cathedral of the Rockies, Boise, ID
ACDA National Chair of Music & Worship 2006-2009