In My Grandfather’s Day: The Music of Gerhard Theodore Alexis
Recorded on January 24-25, 2004 at Olivet Congregational Church, St. Paul, Minnesota.
David Melbye: tenor, producer, grandson to Gerhard
Paul Boehnke: organ, graphic design
Bud Phillips: engineering
Keith Lee: mixing, mastering
Susan Esbjornson: photography
Kent Karlsson with Rev. Terje Ness: Swedish translation and pronunciation
The Tucker Memorial Organ played on In My Grandfather’s Day is a two-manual tracker built by Lynn A. Dobson in 1976.
With love and thanks to my wife Marybeth, my parents Lowell and Betty, my sisters Barbara and Karen, and my brother-in-law Greg.
Warm thanks to the following for generous assistance and support – Olivet Congregational Church, First Lutheran Church, Kent Karlsson, Marita Karlisch of the American Swedish Institute, Deborah Liv Johnson, Jordan Sramek, David Moore.
Special thanks to Paul Boehnke for his astute musical guidance and sensitive musicianship, and to Keith Lee for his many talents and tireless dedication.
Very special thanks to my Aunt Ruth Wolff, Gerhard’s second child and oldest daughter, who started me on this amazing journey by giving me a box of Gerhard’s music. It turned out to be a treasure chest: this CD records only a portion of the pieces contained therein!
In addition to my Aunt Ruth (and the music of my grandfather of course), several other factors, with what I now view as an amazing synchronicity, touched me and inspired me to know and appreciate my family and its history better, and in the end, to realize this recording. Those additional inspiring persons to whom I am most sincerely grateful are:
- Garrison Keillor, for his heart-warming and humorous stories, as heard on Minnesota Public Radio‘s A Prairie Home Companion.
- Bill Holm, for the recollections and ruminations on his family and heritage, most touchingly expressed in his essay, “The Music of Failure” from The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere On Earth.
- The clients and families whom I have served and continue to serve as a music therapist and who have so generously shared their life stories. You brought me back to my family.
This CD is dedicated to Gerhard’s youngest child, my mother, Betty Margaret Melbye;
And in memoriam to my grandparents, Gerhard and Olga Alexis, and to my godparents, my uncle and aunt, Gerhard Jr. and Ilene Alexis.