Del W. Case

1939 - 

Del Case was professor of music and organist at Pacific Union College from 1964 to 2005. His tenure at PUC was longer than any other music teacher since the school was founded.

Case, born in Fletcher, North Carolina, spent his early years in Hinsdale, Illinois, and then moved to California at age ten when his family relocated there. He attended Monterey Bay Academy, where he met his future wife, Lois Vipond.  While attending La Sierra College, now University, he spent his summers working for an organ builder in Los Angeles.

After graduating from LSC  and his marriage to Lois in 1960, Case began his career at Southern Missionary College, now Southern Adventist University, where he taught for four years. He was then hired by PUC to fill in for Lowell Smith, college organist who was on sabbatical, with the understanding that when Smith returned, they would share in the playing and teaching responsibilities.

The following year, when Smith returned, Case took a year's graduate study leave which, although extended for a second year, ended after one year when Smith accepted a position elsewhere. Case completed an M.Mus. in 1967 and a D.M.A. in 1973 at the University of Southern California. In addition to giving lessons in organ and serving as organist for church services, he conducted the handbell choir, and taught theory and music history classes.

Case studied with Warren Becker, Ladd Thomas, and David Britton.  As a recitalist, he  performed extensively in the western U.S., playing at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City; Grace Cathedral and St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco; and at many churches, colleges, and universities. While at PUC, he placed third in an International Organ Competition at the Academy of Music in Prague, Czechoslovakia.  He is an active member of the American Guild of Organists and served as an organ consultant to churches and other institutions.

During his time at PUC, Case effected the installation of a three-manual Casavant pipe organ in the Paulin Hall auditorium, a smaller fifteen-stop tracker instrument in the organ studio, and an organ in the practice rooms. Additionally, he and his wife led out in the acquisition of three harpsichords.

Case was also largely responsible for the installation of a four-manual tracker action Rieger organ in the PUC campus church, selecting the builder, doing the tonal design, and leading out in the fund raising. It is the largest tracker organ in the western U.S. and is considered to be one of the finest organs in the Adventist church.

His wife, Lois, also a music teacher at the college, founded the PUC preparatory division at the Paulin Center for the Creative Arts in 1984 and served as its director until her retirement in 2005.  They both enjoy skiing and traveling and traveled to Europe twelve times, spending two weeks in Spain in March 2004, the year before they retired.

Case served as an organist and choral conductor in a number of churches in the PUC area, representing a wide variety of denominations, including a full year as Music Director of St. Eugene's Cathedral in Santa Rosa when the regular musician was on sabbatical. The service meant playing for four masses every weekend and conducting three choirs.

The Cases retired to southern California to be near their two daughters, Tonya and Lorie, both graduates of PUC. They are living in a home located at a 3,000 foot elevation in the San Bernardino Mountains.


Sources: Interview, 27 January 2005; retirement article, Summer/Autumn 2005 IAMA Notes, 21; California Marriage Index; Review and Herald, 11 November 1971 (Prague organ competition), 26.