Donald Gene Siebenlist
1938 - 2018
Don Siebenlist sang bass in the television program Faith for Today Quartet from 1962 to 1966 and later in other quartets. He was born on March 20, 1938, one of four sons of Carl and Eloree Vera Steinhert Siebenlist. A native of Shattuck, Oklahoma, he grew up on a wheat and cattle farm in a musical family in which singing was an important part of life for him and his brothers. His mother worked with him from the age of four, teaching him how to sing harmony. He sang his first solo in church at age nine, accompanying himself on piano.
Siebenlist entered Southwestern Junior College, now Southwestern University, in 1953, where he had completed high school two years later. While there he was inspired by the choral director, Robert McManaman, a young and enthusiastic teacher. He sang in a quartet with Jim Ripley during those years and later, when they were both attending Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University.
While at EMC, he sang under Minnie Iverson Wood in the choir and studied voice for one year with her. Following completion of a BA in history in 1960, he enrolled as a graduate student at the college, which was in transition to university status. While doing graduate study, he was invited to join the Faith for Today quartet and in 1962 became a member, joining an ensemble that included Larry Fillingham, a second tenor whom he and Ripley had sung with in a quartet at EMC. A year later, in 1963, Ripley joined them in the quartet as baritone. They would sing together until 1966, when the quartet was disbanded.
At that time, Siebenlist returned to AU, where he completed a master's degree in religion in 1968. He taught for a year at Valley Grande Academy in Texas and then for the next four years at Glendale Academy in California. In addition to teaching Bible, English, writing, and psychology, he also served as guidance counselor and did testing at GA.
He sang in the Heritage Family, which was based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for a year, and then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he helped organize and sang bass in Family Reunion for four years. He then worked with the New Direction Artist Guild, a company developed by the Gaither family to assist gospel artists, where he managed and booked numerous performers.
He returned to his hometown and served as mayor, and then directed a four-county project for the Oklahoma State Health Department for eight years, from 1982 to 1990. At that time, Siebenlist moved to California, where he served as a college consultant in Orange County for thirteen years, until his retirement in 2003. He was living in La Jolla, San Diego, California, when he died on December 24, 2018, at age eighty.
Sources: Interview with Don Siebenlist, 25 October 2007; Ancestry.com, 2020..