Ronald W. Noll
1929- 2008

Ron NollMaestro 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