William R. Bromme

1936 -

William Bromme, a pianist and choral conductor, taught at four academies and at Southwestern Adventist College during his career. In those years, he directed choral and instrumental ensembles, taught music theory and conducting, and chaired music departments on both the college and academy level.

Bromme began studying piano when he was four and continued lessons into his teenage years. He attended church school through grade nine, attended high school for two years, and then transferred to Maplewood Academy for his senior year. While at MWA, he resumed piano lessons and played frequently for vespers and other programs.

After graduating from academy in 1954, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota as a math major. At the end of two years, he had second thoughts about math as a major and, having completed a minor in math, enrolled as a music major at Union College.

Bromme studied piano with Neil Tilkens and Eleanor Attarian and completed all course work for a B.S. in music education in three years. He taught music, algebra, and geometry at Enterprise Academy in Kansas during the 1959-1960 school year, returning to UC in the summer of 1960 to play his senior recital and graduate.

He taught at EA for four more years and then went to Campion Academy in Colorado, when an unexpected opening in keyboard developed. Bromme taught lessons twice a week to as many as 75 students in his two years there. While at CA, he completed a master's degree in 1966 at Andrews University, studying piano with Blythe Owen and organ with Warren Becker. He spent the last summer of the program in Austria, where he studied with Norman Shetler.

In the fall of 1966, Bromme began teaching at Southwestern Adventist College, now Southwestern Adventist University, giving lessons in piano, organ, and harpsichord and teaching music theory and conducting, in addition to chairing college committees outside the department of music. During his eighteen years at SWAU, he completed a D.M.A. in 1981 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the areas of music theory, choral conducting, and church music. His dissertation was titled The Sacred Choral Music of William Walton. He had the privilege of visiting with the composer in London one year before he died.

Bromme served as Fine Arts Division chair on two occasions, from 1978 to 1980 and 1982 to 1984. In 1984, when Southwestern reduced its music program from offering a major to simply providing service courses, he left. Wanting to preserve and build on his service record with the church, he accepted an invitation to return to Enterprise Academy, where he had started his career.

Although the adjustment to teaching at that level was initially difficult, by the end of his first year at EA, he began to enjoy working again with high school students. Following two years at EA, he accepted a position at Highland View Academy in Maryland, where he taught music and math for the next twelve years, an experience he thoroughly enjoyed. After retiring from teaching in 1999, having taught for forty years, he did data processing for an Adventist Home Health office in Virginia before fully retiring in 2000.

ds/2007

Source: Interview with William Bromme, 25 September 2007.