Kirchners to Retire
On May 14, Blair will honor two of its most beloved instructors, Jane and Frank Kirchner, as they retire from teaching. Dean Mark Wait will host a 9 a.m. reception in the lobby of Ingram Hall at the Martha Rivers Ingram Center for the Performing Arts.
“For over 40 years, Frank and Jane Kirchner have been pillars of the Blair School and of the musical community in Nashville,” Wait said. “Even though they are retiring, they will always be a part of Blair’s DNA and legacy.”
Jane Kirchner, currently associate professor of flute, has been with Blair School since 1966 and also served 18 years as Blair’s associate dean. Formerly a member of the Nashville Symphony on flute and piccolo, she is a charter member of the Blair Woodwind Quintet, previously served as a soloist with the Nashville Baroque and Classical Society and is a founding member of the WindStrum Trio. She has served on a multitude of committees at Blair and for the university at large, and her administrative duties included the research, development and implementation of the first bachelor of music degree at Vanderbilt, as well as preparing accreditation and reaccreditation proposals for the National Association of Schools of Music. She also wrote the original catalog materials for the Blair School. In 2002 her students and former students collaborated with the dean and the Valere Blair Potter Foundation to name the flute studio in her honor.
Frank Kirchner, adjunct associate professor of saxophone, has been a member of the Blair faculty since 1989. His teaching responsibilities include the saxophone studio, woodwinds class, saxophone ensemble and chamber music coaching. He is an academic adviser to students enrolled in the fifth-year master’s in music teacher education program and has taught music practica and seminars to student teachers in elementary through high school settings. He is faculty advisor to the Pi Delta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity. As a woodwind specialist (including performances on piccolo, flute and alto flute; E flat, B flat and bass clarinets; soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones), he has appeared in more than 7,000 stage shows for Opryland USA (where he served as an arranger, conductor, producer and emcee), on more than 300 live radio and television broadcasts as well as prerecorded shows, recorded for commercial advertisements and served as a pit musician with numerous national tours. He was the co-founder of the Vintage Swing Orchestra and played lead alto saxophone and recorded with Nashville’s premier big bands, the Louis Brown Orchestra and the Nashville Jazz Machine, as well as other big band orchestras.