Clemen Hamer

1883 - 1952

Clemen Hamer was a pioneer music teacher in the Seventh-day Adventist school system. A pianist, organist, choir director, and singer (bass), he was regarded by his contemporaries as a gifted musician.

Hamer was born in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Mount Vernon Academy in that state in 1903. He then traveled to London, where he served as secretary to W. C. Sisley and studied and taught music. While he was in Europe, Mount Vernon Academy attained standing as a four-year college, a status it retained for the next 11 years.

Upon his return, he taught music at Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University, for the 1906-1907 school year and then taught at MVC for a year. He married Winifred Ford in 1908 and then served as music teacher and head of the music program at the Foreign Missionary Seminary, renamed Washington Missionary College during his time there, from 1908-1917. It is now known as Washington Adventist University.

By the beginning of the 1913-1914 school year, a short biography in the WMC Bulletin stated that Hamer had been teaching music for ten years and had studied piano for five years and voice for three. He also had trained in choral work in London and, most recently, in New York City. During the 1914-1915 school year he wrote the words and music for a school song, Hail Washington, that was sung often and with enthusiasm by the students.

He also worked as a secretary for A.G. Daniells, President of the General Conference, possibly from 1917 to 1920. They were close friends, and when Daniells died in 1935, Hamer was asked to sing at his funeral, a request made by the deceased before his death.

Hamer entered medical training in 1920 and interned at White Memorial Hospital in California. He was associated with Glendale Sanitarium, now hospital, also located in California, for most of his career as a physician.

In those years he directed The Bards, a male chorus whose members were third- and fourth-year medical students at the College of Medical Evangelists, now Loma Linda university, and served as musical director of the Glendale SDA church. He was living in Glendale, when he died at age 68.

ds/2008

Sources: R&H, 17 June 1915, 7 December 1916, 18 April 1935, 29 May 1952; PUR, 2 June 1952; EMC Calendar, 06-06; Columbia Union Visitor, 27 May 1903, 5 June 1907 and 22 July 1915; Hail Washington (a manuscript history of WMC) faculty listing; WMC College Bulletin, 1913-1914, p. 30; WMC Sligonian, September/October 1917.