Jerry J. Lange
When Jerry Lange retired in 2006, he had served as head of the music program at Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, Washington, for 38 years, a record length of service at one school for any music teacher at the secondary level. During a Christmas concert in December 2005 at UCA, Lange was surprised and honored by an announcement that the music building would be named for him.
Under Lange's leadership the music department became recognized as one of the premier academy music programs nationally. Known for its band and choirs, it placed an emphasis on helping its students improve their skills through private lessons. Lange personally gave over 60,000 lessons on band instruments while at UCA.
He started an annual music festival at the academy that continued without break for over thirty years. These festivals, which include a guest conductor, workshops by clinicians from nearby universities and colleges, have been used as models for other schools and conferences. He also developed an outreach program with his small ensembles, helping raise money for local charities and underprivileged groups.
Lange served as Fine Arts Coordinator for the North Pacific Union for two terms in the 1970's and 1980's. In that capacity he directed workshops at teachers' conventions and worked with Walla Walla College, now University, in its Music Festival Program.
During his years at UCA Lange presided over an expansion and renovation of the music facility and established a gifted musicians music scholarship fund that has awarded over $35,000 since 2002. He started the first music technology program in an academy and established a recording studio and a four-lab multi-media center that features the latest in software.
A 1964 graduate of Union College, Lange completed a master's degree at Andrews University in 1971. He began teaching at Sheyenne River Academy, now Dakota Adventist Academy, in 1964, leaving there five years later to join the faculty at UCA.
In 2004, Lange was one of 15 SDA teachers nationwide to receive an Excellence in Teaching Award for his forty-year contribution in teaching music. The award, sponsored by the NAD Alumni Awards Foundation, included a $1,000 gift.
In addition to the AAF award that year, Lange was awarded the Don Keele Excellence in Education Award, which included a grant for the purchase of additional technology for the music program. Other awards and recognition have included the John Phillip Sousa Award at Union College in 1964, Excellence in Teaching Award (North American Division) in 1988, The Zapara Excellence in Teaching Award in 1990, and a listing in Who's Who Among American Teachers (four times).
Sources: North Pacific Union Conference Gleaner: Linnea Torkelsen, "What Do You Do With 23 Trumpet Players?," March 2003; Cheri Corder, "UCA's Jerry Lange Honored Twice for Excellence in Teaching," April 2004; "UCA Teachers Listed in Who's Who," February 2005, 22; Corder, "Upper Columbia Academy Honors Retirees," August 2006; Corder, "UCA's Music Building is Named 'Lange Hall'," February 2006; numerous other articles in the NPUC Gleaner, 1969 to 2012; personal knowledge.