Jerry Franks Memorial Dedication Concert Coming Saturday, Oct. 1
A free brass performance and tribute program to the late Jerry Franks will be held at Christ’s Covenant Church, 2090 E. Pierceton Road in Winona Lake, Ind., at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1. Nearly 40 alumni musicians of the “Dimensions in Brass” group founded and directed by Franks will be playing a varied program of popular and sacred classics.
Jerry Franks, a native of Uniontown, Pa., was a renowned trumpet player and teacher who served on the Grace College faculty beginning in 1966, and later at Marion College (now Indiana Wesleyan University), until his death in May of 1990. Franks performed all over the U.S. and in many other countries, was a clinician for Beuscher, Bach and G. C. Conn Corporation and played for notables such as Indiana Governor Otis Bowen and President George H.W. Bush. His “Dimensions in Brass” groups toured widely, performing at Disney properties in California and Florida, at major league baseball parks and many other notable venues.
The Oct. 1 program is in conjunction with a recent fundraising effort to provide practice rooms for Grace College Worship Arts students. The Jerry Franks Memorial area and its recently-completed rooms will be available for touring in the William Male facility on the Grace campus from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1. A dedication of the area will be held, a number of Jerry Franks video tributes will be introduced, and there will be several displays of instruments, including trumpets owned by Franks and his friend Doc Severinsen. Also on permanent display will be some 18 Civil War-era brass instruments from the unique collection of Grace alumnus Sam Doyle, now an attorney in the Louisville, Ky., area.
The 1:30 p.m. program at Christ’s Covenant is free and open to the public and will include tributes by current Grace College President Dr. Drew Flamm, former Grace President Dr. Bill Katip (who played in the Dimensions under Franks) and special appearances by a number of Franks’ former students as well as a short address by his widow, Dottie Franks Brookshire. Franks’ son, Jeff, will also play percussion with the group and with a smaller ensemble featuring Grace graduate Mark Barnett, a nationally-known Nashville-based banjo and recording artist.
Dr. Phil Norris will direct Saturday’s program. Norris was Franks’ student and assistant and has done much of the arranging of Dimensions scores. Norris has had a 46-year career as an educator and trumpet performer and recently retired from the faculty of the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minn. Featured soloists on the program include Norris, Dan Lidster, Rik Lovelady and more.
The Franks Memorial Concert and permanent displays have been in the planning and development stages for several years. Chaired by Grace and Dimensions alumnus Terry Eichorst, from Houston, Texas, the planning committee included Dr. Drew Flamm, Dr. Bill Katip, Dr. John Teevan, Dr. Wally Brath, Dr. Rik Lovelady, Don Bechtel and Dr. Terry White.
Inquiries about the Oct. 1 program may be directed to Dr. Wally Brath, director of the Worship Arts program at Grace College, at (574) 372-5100.
To give to the “Jerry Franks Memorial Music Scholarship,” visit www.grace.edu/jfranksmemorial. Donations of $7,500 sponsor a practice room, and donations exceeding $1,000 will be given a place on the donor wall.