Alonzo Nicholas Bowhay Lang

1931 - 2016

Alonzo (Lonnie) Lang, French horn player and singer, taught music in the Seventh-day Adventist school system for a quarter of a century. He taught in elementary and secondary schools in the West except for two-years in the mid-1960s, when he taught music in Eastern Canada.

Lonnie was born in Portland, Oregon, one of four children born to Frank Nicholas and Viola E. Hanson Bowhay. When she later married Lee Lang, Lonnie assumed his stepfather's surname. He spent most of his childhood on the coast of Oregon and in Eastern Washington and then attended Columbia Academy in Battleground, Washington. Beginning in his elementary school years he sang often and participated in both band and choral groups.

While at CA, Lonnie studied voice and participated in the school's music groups. He attended Walla Walla College briefly following graduation in 1949 and then worked in the Portland area. He joined the Air Force in 1954 but was given a medical discharge at the end of his first year, following an injury.

He enrolled at Pacific Union College in 1955 as a music major with voice as his performance area and also as a major in industrial arts. During his last two years at PUC he expanded his performance area to include instruments, his principal professor being band director and French horn player Melvin Hill. At the beginning of his last year at PUC, Lang started a band and choir program in grades four through ten at nearby Napa Junior Academy and, following graduation in 1959 with a B.S. in music education, continued at NJA for three more years.

After teaching band and choir for a year at Pacific Union College Preparatory School, he accepted a position at Upper Columbia Academy, where he directed the band from 1963 to 1966. During that time, Lang took graduate work at Andrews University, where he completed an M.Mus.Ed. in 1965.

In 1966, he became director of the band and instrumental program at Kingsway College in Ontario, Canada. Two years later he returned to California, where he directed the Rio Lindo Academy band for the next twelve years. Lang then conducted the band at Lodi Academy and at the nearby elementary school for three years before retiring in 1983 because of persistent health problems.

In his first year at PUC, Lang had met Barbara Scott, whom he married in 1956. They would have two sons and adopt a daughter who had been born in Canada. In 1991 they moved to the Paradise, California, where they were residing at the time of his death on April 7, 2016. For thirteen years, Lang was a volunteer dispatcher for STARS, a local team of retirees who aid the Butte County Sheriff's Department.


Sources: Information provided by Lonnie Lang, September and November 2011; email message from Barbara Lang, April 2016.