Ronald W. Noll
Ronald W. Noll, 78, a retired Emmy award-winning Music Supervisor with
CBS-TV, and Conductor and Music Director, Pianist spanning 50 years
for the Village Light Opera Group, died January 15th at Holy Name Hospital
in Teaneck, NJ, of complications from Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Born November 11, 1929 to Edna Mae Drey and Walter H. Noll in West
Reading, PA, he was raised in Fleetwood, PA, graduating from Fleetwood
High School in 1947. A naturally accomplished musician, he began playing
piano at age 4. The joy, interpretation and expression of music was
a driving force in his life. Although he graduated with a degree in
Psychology from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, music
was his impetus and he was an active member of the F&M Band, playing
many instruments, writing orchestrations as well as conducting. He
spent his summers attending Julliard in NYC, where he studied conducting,
orchestration, composition, jazz, and piano. This interesting combination
of learned psychological study and his natural gift for music bestowed
him the unique opportunity to study and ultimately receive a Masters
degree in Music and Music Theory from Eastman School of Music in Rochester,
NY. His Masters research study was on Psychology & Physiology of
Tonal Matching with Alan McHose.
He continued his own special brand of musical arranging when he joined
the Army in 1952. Stationed at Fort Lee, VA, by day he was Private
First Class in Quartermaster training, but by night, he was recruiting
local talent to put on shows at the Officers Club. He formed a special
services group called the Dixie Dynamites Dixieland Jazz Band, which
went on to win the Arlene Francis Talent Variety Show.
Deciding not to extend his military service, in 1954 Mr. Noll returned
to Reading, PA, where he became the music director and conductor of
the Reading Civic Opera.
Mr. Noll then moved to New York City where he attended Columbia University
working toward a PhD in Education as a research assistant to Robert
Pace helping to formulate his famed piano training series.
In 1958 he applied for a job at CBS in the accounting department. On
one fortuitous day he passed a door to an office that would later become
his home. A long time collector of record albums, sheet music and scores,
and other music memorabilia, he was fascinated to discover the CBS
Music Library. It was an instant fit and they offered him a job on
the spot. So in 1959 he became the protégé and assistant to Maestro
Alfredo Antonini, and ultimately became Music Supervisor and Manager
of the CBS Music Library until he retired in 1991. During his tenure,
Mr. Noll performed sound editing for Gotham Records, he wrote, edited
and assembled sound cues for CBS Radio Mystery Theater, and Play of
the Week for PBS and supplied music for all CBS-TV shows originating
in NYC. He received countless awards and recognitions, including an
Emmy Award in 1965 for “The Forgotten River – Eye on New York,” a Clio
Award in 1966 for the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, and an International Broadcasting
Award – Peabody Award. His soundtrack to “Commentary of the 20th Century”
was featured at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
But his true legacy was evident when he became the Music Director and
Conductor for the Village Light Opera Group in NYC, a position he would
maintain and cherish for some 50 years. Although he never liked Gilbert
and Sullivan operettas as a young man, he would come to be considered
an authoritative interpreter of G&S and American Operetta. He musically
helmed the productions of Manhattan Savoyards, Gloriana Productions,
Eastern Opera Theater, Opera Theatre of New Jersey, Opera Northeast,
Light Opera of Manhattan, New England Light Opera, The Manhattan Singers,
and the British-American Light Opera Exchange in London, as well as
guest conducting with many orchestras around the country. His new-found
love for operetta and light opera would introduce him to his muse and
later wife, soprano, Sara-Ann Baughman Noll. Their partnership would
create beautiful music and inspire for over 42 years. Their proudest
collaboration was the birth of their only child, Christiane Noll.
Mr. Noll was a 32nd Degree mason in the Hugenot Lodge of Kutztown and
the Rajah Shrine in Reading, with over 50 years of service and philanthropy.
He was a proud member of the Local 802 musicians Union.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sara-Ann Noll, devoted daughter,
Christiane Noll, son-in-law, Jamie LaVerdiere, cousins, friends, colleagues,
and devoted fans.
Services will be held at 1 PM Sat. Jan 19, 2008 at Mae Stump Funeral
Home Fleetwood, PA . Interment following at Fleetwood Cemetery. A memorial
concert will be held in the spring in NYC celebrating his life and
music. Memorials may be sent to:
The Ronald W. Noll Music Foundation,
c/o Bartolomei Pucciarelli,LLC
2564 Brunswick Pike
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648