Ada Maud Hartley Allen
1880 - 1947
Ada Hartley Allen, who initially trained and then worked as a nurse, became a popular voice teacher. She taught at Lodi Academy, Pacific Union College during the 1917-1918 school year, and then resided in nearby Napa, California, where she maintained a full studio.
Hartley, born in Waverly, Pennsylvania, became a Seventh-day Adventist at age thirteen. She later attended Battle Creek College, where she studied voice under Edwin Barnes, and then transferred to the Battle Creek Sanitarium School of Nursing, where she earned a nursing degree.
She served as a nurse at the St. Helena Sanitarium in California for a while, but then began teaching voice lessons. Her love of music and success in this area led to positions at LA and PUC, and the establishing of a private studio.
Probably her most illustrious student was George Greer, whom she taught during his freshman year at LA. He transferred to the academy at PUC, at the end of that year where he studied voice with A. A. Krasoff and then resumed voice lessons with Hartley when she came to the college.
Although Greer was enrolled as a theology major, he continued to study voice with Hartley, later Allen, when she was no longer teaching at the college but living nearby. At the beginning of his junior year at PUC when the president informed him that he had to make a choice between taking lessons with her or continuing at PUC he dropped his classes at the college. Greer, at first a tenor and later a baritone, often referred to his voice lessons with Allen as the most important in his career.
Sources: Obituary, Review and Herald, 31 July 1947; Hazel McElhaney Greer and Norma R. Youngberg, Hymns at Heavenís Gate, a biography of George Greer, Pacific Union Press, 1974.