Moses Andrew Chalmers, Jr.

1928 - 1994

Moses Chalmers, a singer, conductor and music teacher, taught music for more than three decades at two colleges and four academies in the Seventh-day Adventist educational system. He was noted for his creativity, versatility as a euphonium and string bass player, and his love of music and young people.

Chalmers was born in Hilo, Hawaii, on July 29, 1928, one of two children born to Moses Andrew and Linda Kuualoha Rowland Chalmers. He attended La Sierra Academy and then La Sierra College, now University. While at LSC, he was a charter member of the LSC Collegians, a select choral group conducted by John T. Hamilton; religion editor for the school paper, The Criterion; and a frequent baritone soloist on KPRO, a local radio station.

In 1951, he and his fiancée, Carleen Henkelmann, graduated, the first two persons to complete a newly created B.M.E. degree. They married following graduation and that fall started their teaching careers at Monterey Bay Academy. She taught piano and organ and he directed the choir, taught voice, and eventually chaired the music department. The Chalmers had two children during this time, Moses III and Marcia.

Their success at MBA led to an invitation in 1960 for him to teach at La Sierra College and her to teach piano and organ at nearby La Sierra Academy. Although initially he was an assitant to Hamilton, he assumed full leadership of the choral program in 1962, when Hamilton became involved in other duties on campus. Chalmers completed a master's degree in music at San Jose State Teachers College, now University, at this time.

The 1960s were a time of change on the campus and in the music program. In 1967, LSC was merged with nearby Loma Linda University, the result being the largest educational entity in the Seventh-day Adventist church. In the music department, retirements, which had started in the late 1950s and continued through the 1960s; the hiring of new teachers; and an increase in the size of the program and changes in departmental leadership led to some uncertainty as the 1970s started.

In 1972, the Chalmers accepted positions at Milo Adventist Academy in southern Oregon. They were popular teachers at Milo, where they were noted for their creative music presentations and concern for the students. They opened their home to the students and were sponsors for the 1977 senior class.

They left MAA in 1978 so that Carleen could pursue a master's degree in music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During the next two years Moses taught voice and she taught piano in the music program at Union College. At the end of that period, they accepted positions at Platte Valley Academy in Nebraska, where they taught for two years. In 1982, they returned to the West Coast to teach at San Gabriel Academy for a year and then at Mesa Grande Academy.

They returned to Lincoln in 1989, where Carleen taught at Union College for the next five years. They were residing there at the time of his death on May 25, 1994, at age 65.


Sources: Carleen Henkelmann Chalmers Wymer interview, September 2009; Obituary: Adventist Review, November 1994; Obituary (Moses Andrew Chalmers), Pacific Union Recorder, 20 March 1969; other online sources; personal knowledge.