University of Rochester Library Bulletin: "Please Play My Funeral March"

Volume XXVI · Spring 1971 · Number 3
"Please Play My Funeral March"
--HAROLD GLEASON, Former Head, Organ Department, Eastman School of Music

George Eastman was sixty-four years of age, and I had just turned twenty-seven when I came to Rochester in May, 1919, to be his private organist. He had gradually withdrawn from the active management of the Eastman Kodak Company and was devoting himself to extensive philanthropic projects in the fields of education, music, medicine, and dentistry. He was actively interested in public affairs, municipal and calendar reforms, and in the health and well-being of children. And, during the 1920's he found time for two safaris to Africa, hunting big game in Alaska, travel to Japan and Europe, and visits to his hunting lodge in North Carolina. He also took trips to New York to attend the theatre and the Metropolitan Opera where he served on the board of directors. In addition he did extensive entertaining.

There were many conflicting opinions regarding the character and personality of George Eastman. There were those who called him an arbitrary, narrow-minded tyrant, cold and cruel; others spoke of him as complex, shy and reserved. However, those whom he knew well and trusted--there were not many--found him to be kindly, thoughtful of others, honest, unpretentious (he disliked self-important men), direct, courageous, thrifty, and possessed of a keen sense of humor. He persisted in the things he wanted, but generally was amenable to suggestions from those he considered experts in the field. His judgements, however, could be severe when he was not satisfied with the results.

Mr. Eastman had shown an interest in music ever since he attended concerts as a young man. When he built his new home he had a 3-manual Roosevelt organ installed; and at the "house-warming" on October 7, 1905, music was provided by his organist, George Fischer, and a male quartet. Music became more and more a necessity in his life, and he soon added a string quartet to play for him and his guests. As far as I know, he was the first and last person in the United States to maintain such an elaborate musical establishment in his home.

I first heard of George Eastman in January, 1919. I was in New York City, practicing the organ in the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, where I was organist and choirmaster, when a young man appeared in the organ loft and introduced himself as Arthur Alexander. He said that he had heard the organ as he was walking down Fifth Avenue and entered the church to listen. "I like what I heard," he began. "Would you be interested in coming to Rochester to play the organ in George Eastman's home?" The idea appealed to me. Arthur, who I learned was Mr. Eastman's adviser in musical matters, arranged for me to come to Rochester to meet Mr. Eastman and play for him. I was much impressed by his home, the fine paintings, and the organs. A new 4-manual Aeolian organ had been added to the original instrument a few years before I came and the two organs, with over one hundred ranks of pipes, were playable from one console.

I met Mr. Eastman in the afternoon when he returned from his office. I liked him from the moment we shook hands and sat down before the fire in his living room for a friendly talk. He was interested in my background, especially by the fact that I had been director of the Boston Music School Settlement. Soon we moved into the large two-story music room where the organ console was placed. The organs were located on two sides of the second floor and over the dining room on the third side. All sides opened into the music room. An echo organ was on the third floor and spoke into the opening over the stairs. I played for about twenty minutes and stopped, not wanting to overdo it. His voice sounded over the bank of flowers in front of the console, "Please play some more." I continued for some time and, thanks to Arthur's suggestion, played Wagner's "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde. When we returned to the living room Mr. Eastman said, "I would like you to come to Rochester. Can you arrange it?" "Yes," I replied, "if we can make satisfactory financial arrangements." He named a sum considerably less than I was receiving in New York. I told him I could not accept his offer and expected the interview to end. However, the stern look I had noted changed to a faint smile and he said, "I think we can do something about that. I will increase your salary, and you can also teach organ at the Institute of Musical Art."

He had bought the Institute in 1918 and given it to the University of Rochester. He now proposed to build an outstanding school of music and theatre, and I realized that the music in his home would be inextricably bound to this magnificent enterprise. President Rhees wanted the new school to be named the Eastman School of Music, and it took much persuasion before Mr. Eastman consented. With characteristic self-effacement, however, he always referred to it as "the School."

I returned to Rochester with my wife and young son in time to begin my work with Mr. Eastman on May 1. Mr. Eastman had outlined my duties in a letter; I never had a formal contract or felt the need of one. I was to play the organ about an hour every morning at breakfast, to play with the string quartet Wednesday evenings after dinner and on Sunday evenings. He closed his letter with, "I look forward with pleasure to your making a great success and an important place in the community." Could a young musician ask for more? It was not long before Mr. Eastman asked me to play during lunch on Saturdays when he entertained a group of young women friends. I enjoyed those luncheons almost as much as Mr. Eastman and his guests, and played music suitable for the occasion and the conversation.

He liked picnics, and on one occasion took his guests out on the terrace for a picnic lunch, where a grill was installed. I brought a small portable reed organ to play. After a few minutes I was invited to join the party and, much to the amusement of everyone, I jumped up from time to time to play a piece. Mr. Eastman's housekeeper, "Molly" Cherbuliez, invited the group to her summer place at Canandaigua Lake to "dedicate" an outside concrete grill Mr. Eastman had built. The fire was lighted and we all stood around expectantly. Suddenly, there was a loud explosion and the concrete grill disintegrated. The concrete was not dry and steam had built up tremendous pressure. Mr. Eastman, for once, lost his composure. We stifled our laughter and cooked the hamburgers in the house. The day was spoiled for him for a while, but soon he laughed with the rest of us.

The breakfast hour was 7:30 o'clock on weekdays and 8:00 o'clock on Sundays. At exactly 7:30 his bedroom door opened, and I would begin to play as he came down the stairs to the music room. During my many years with him I was late only once, although I occasionally missed my breakfast. His only comment was a stern, "Mr. Gleason, I expect you to be on time." Breakfast was a favorite time for him to invite guests sometimes socially and at other times for serious discussions, including some that might be called "top secret." Men and women from all walks of life appeared for breakfast. I sometimes thought that it gave him a peculiar pleasure to get them out at that hour, especially the musicians. He also entertained his Rochester friends, business associates, and distinguished guests from throughout the world at dinner and at his Wednesday and Sunday musicales. Whether with prince or commoner, Mr. Eastman was always himself, a genial and unassuming host.

An amusing incident occurred following an elaborate dinner he gave for Viscount Shibusawa and his party in November, 1921. After dinner the Kilbourn Quartet and I presented a program. As was Mr. Eastman's custom throughout my years with him, he brought the Viscount to the organ console and introduced me to him. The Viscount made a few complimentary remarks, and as we shook hands he pressed a bill into my hand. I knew that I should not accept a "tip" and tried to return it, but he insisted. The next morning after breakfast I told Mr. Eastman about the incident and was prepared for an angry outburst. He listened, looked at me for a moment with his keen eyes, smiled, and said, "You did the right thing not to offend him, and you're five dollars ahead."

During the conversations at breakfast I played softly and could usually overhear everything that was being said. I imagine that Mr. Eastman knew this, but it was never mentioned by either of us, and I never revealed anything I overheard.

When Mr. Eastman was alone he read the morning paper, smoked his cigarette in the ubiquitous black and gold holder, and listened to the music. Once in a while he would sit much past his usual hour, but I always continued to play. Sometimes he would call me over to the breakfast table and talk about the School of Music and various other projects in which he was involved. One morning he said, "Do you want to see a check for a million dollars?" I certainly did, and he explained about his plan for founding dental dispensaries here and in Europe.

Mr. Eastman took an active interest in the building of the Eastman School and Theatre, and there were many conferences at the breakfast table with the architects and builders. As the construction of the buildings progressed, he often stopped on the way to his office to note the progress and talk to "the man on the job." After the School and theatre were completed he made a point of taking his guests on a tour of the buildings. Just before the opening of the Eastman Theatre in 1922 he discovered that the lights he ordered for the mezzanine had not arrived. With characteristic ingenuity he had several large chopping bowls covered with gilt paint and hung them by ropes from the ceiling. He was so pleased with the effect, and the fact that no one noticed the substitution, that they remained there several years.

Soon afer I arrived in Rochester in 1919, Mrs. Alf Klingenberg, wife of the first director of the Eastman School, enlisted my help in establishing a music school settlement in memory of David Hochstein, a promising young Rochester violinist who was killed in the First World War. I was appointed director, and the David Hochstein Memorial Music School was opened January 2, 1920, in David's old home. Mr. Eastman was enthusiastic about this project, which gave advanced students of the Eastman School supervised teaching experience and children of limited means a musical education. Through his interest, the Eastman School soon contributed substantially to the support of the teaching staff, and talented students were awarded scholarships at the School. The Kilbourn Quartet and other artists from the Eastman School contributed their services, and an annual series of concerts was given in a public school auditorium near the Hochstein School. Mr. Eastman summed up the operation in two words: "Everyone benefits."

As plans for the new Eastman School and Theatre progressed, Mr. Eastman engaged me to design the organs for the new institutions. "Let's have the finest organ department in the world," he said; and I determined to do my best to realize his dream. There were many conferences after breakfast and at lunch in his office at Kodak. On only one point did we disagree: I considered the location for the Skinner organ in Kilbourn Hall and the Austin organ in the Eastman Theatre unfavorable for the proper emission of tone into the auditoriums. He listened to my objection and then quickly ended the conversation with, "That's the way I want it, and I don't want to hear anymore about it!" There were sixteen organs in all; after they were installed and in operation Mr. Eastman sent me a note of appreciation, enclosing a check for double the amount on which we had agreed.

I suggested that we have a world-renowned organist and teacher to establish an organ department of the highest standards. He liked the idea; therefore, in the summer of 1920 I went to Paris to study with Joseph Bonnet. While there I persuaded him to come to the Eastman School in 1922 and 1923 for ten weeks each season. Before Bonnet returned to Paris in 1922, a dinner was arranged in his honor by the American Guild of Organists. President Rhees was toastmaster, and the distinguished guests included Mr. Eastman, who made one of his rare speeches. He regretted the fact that many thought fine equipment in itself would make a great school. As he said, "Wonderful things have been done just by the combined efforts of teachers and scholars." In a letter to Bonnet, Mr. Eastman wrote: "Not only in the School have you been a great influence toward the highest ideals, but I feel that I am a personal debtor on account of the advance that Mr. Gleason has made under your tutelage, the benefit of which accrues to me daily when I listen to his playing."

Kilbourn Hall, a beautiful auditorium in Renaissance style, was dedicated to the memory of Mr. Eastman's mother, Maria Kilbourn Eastman, on March 3 and 4, 1922, with a program by the Kilbourn Quartet and Alf Klingenberg, pianist. On September 26, 1922, I gave the opening recital on the organ in Kilbourn Hall. The program was designed to display the resources and tonal beauty of this magnificent instrument and, most important to me, to please George Eastman who had made it all possible. Works by Bach, Martini, Franck, Bonnet, Widor, two American composers and the "Liebestod" made up the program. The next morning he made one of his rare comments of appreciation. A review in the newspaper, complaining that I had not played enough important works, brought forth the comment, "That fellow doesn't like music."

In the fall of 1922, Mr. Eastman asked me to take entire charge of the music in his home. He had not been happy with the somewhat stereotyped programs which he felt were often "dry" and lacked careful planning. I was delighted with the opportunity. With the Kilbourn Quartet, the artist faculty of the Eastman School, and visiting artists to draw on, I envisioned programs of unusual interest. Mr. Eastman had made it clear to me when I first began to play the organ for him that the music in his home was for his personal enjoyment. He was happy, however, to share his pleasure with others. I was impressed by his natural, unaffected love for music, without any desire or need to analyze or even understand what he heard. Music was a most important part of his life, and it seemed to give him a very personal, inner satisfaction which transcended anything I have ever encountered in another person.

In looking over the programs and my notebooks, which list all the music performed in his home from 1919 until his death in 1932, I am amazed at the extent and variety of the repertoire. Chamber music by all of the major composers included string quartets, quintets, and sextets, piano quartets, trio sonatas, concertos, and many unusual combinations of instruments. He particularly enjoyed the slow movements from Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven quartets, the piano quintets by Franck, Schumann and Brahms and many of the less frequently heard works, such as the Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet by Chausson and the Introduction and Allegro for Harp, FluteClarinet, and String Quartet by Ravel. Only once did he object to a chamber music work which was played. It was a string quartet with the principal theme based on the notes, B-La-F, taken from the name of the Russian publisher, Belaieff. Each of the four movements is written by a different Russian composer and, to tell the truth, it is not a very good work. About two years later the quartet was played again. Mr. Eastman came up to me, and with unrestrained anger said, "I told you once I didn't like that piece, and I never want to hear it again!" A most extraordinary observation from a man who was said to be tone deaf and unable to recognize a tune.

The organ music I played covered a wide range from pre-Bach to contemporary. When I first came he said, "I don't like the music of Bach; it's too dry. But I do like Wagner." I began to study his musical tastes and found that the organ music he enjoyed had melody, color, rhythmic interest, and powerful, sweeping lines. As time went on he learned the names of a few pieces he especially liked and sometimes he asked for them. Wagner, of course, headed the list. One morning I asked him if I might play a piece by Bach occasionally. He thought a moment, and then said I might play one! I chose the short chorale prelude, "My heart is filled with longing," which has a clearly defined melody, and I used colorful stops. Since he made no adverse comments, I gradually included a few larger chorale preludes and other works. During the years the quartet, soloists, and I played over fifty compositions and separate movements by Bach! One morning Mr. Eastman and I were talking about music. With some apprehension, I asked him how he liked the brilliant "Toccata" from Widor's Fifth Symphony I had played the night before. He, as usual, hesitated and then said, "It's a good idea to play a big work to show them what you can do; then get down to the real music." It is true that often he did not recognize a composition when it was played. One morning at breakfast I played his favorite, "Liebestod." I had no sooner finished when he called to me, "Harold, will you please play the Liebestod." Perhaps he meant to say "again," but I think not. I repeated it, and he said with characteristic simplicity, "I like that." I always tried to suit the morning music to his mood, which I seemed to sense by the events of the time, or even by the way he spoke to his butler, Young.

One evening in 1921 Mr. Eastman gave a dinner in honor of Dame Nellie Melba who had come to Rochester to sing a recital. After dinner I played a program which included a vigorous piece, "Marche Romaine," arranged from a Gounod opera. He liked it very much. With increasing frequency he asked me to play it. At first he called it "the march;" then, "my march," and, by 1929, "my funeral march." He always had a fear of lingering illness, but only in retrospect did I realize what must have been on his mind as he grew older.

The combination of the organ with other instruments was one of Mr. Eastman's favorites and I acquired a large library of the published music of this type. In addition, I made many arrangements for organ, quartet and piano. This ensemble gave Mr. Eastman special pleasure because we performed many excerpts from Wagner's operas. Some of the "purists" who were present when these orchestral works were played voiced their disapproval. Mr. Eastman was unperturbed and quietly said, "They forget that the music is for me, not for them."

Mr. Eastman's musical establishment did not always run smoothly, however; there were problems from time to time with members of the Kilbourn Quartet and guest artists. Violent altercations between two members of the quartet over whose interpretations should be followed finally led Mr. Eastman, a firm believer in cooperation, to summarily dismiss them after the cellist tried to throw the violinist downstairs. One of the visiting pianists insisted on having a bottle of Scotch brought to the room where the quartet assembled before the programs. When he played, I always managed to see that he reached the East room intact. Mr. Eastman was not particularly pleased with this and complained that the Scotch made the cost of his services all out of proportion with that of the other artists.

Those who knew George Eastman well will not deny that he was thrifty. One morning after breakfast his housekeeper brought in some worn sheets. She wanted him to buy new ones and burst into tears when he snapped, "There's still some good in them; have them mended." One summer when returning from a vacation in Delaware with my family, I bought some papier-maché ash trays for about twenty-five cents a piece. They looked as if they had come from the ruins of Pompeii, and I brought Mr. Eastman one, dropping it intentionally as I handed it to him. Much to his surprise it bounced on the floor; he took a great fancy to it. He must have several for his home, he said; therefore, I gave him the name of the store and the town where it was purchased. He had a photographer come and take a picture exactly to scale and sent it off with an order for half a dozen. Unfortunately they were unobtainable, so I gave him another. For years they rested on top of the marble table in the hall.

Mr. Eastman's reactions were often unpredictable. He had agreed to buy a new instrument for one of the quartet players and later found out that he had accepted a two thousand dollar commission. "He's a foreigner," Mr. Eastman said, "and they look at things differently. To him it's just good business." In 1922 Mr. Eastman instantly dismissed Arthur Alexander, a musician whom he admired very much. Arthur, in addition to being in charge of Mr. Eastman's music and teaching voice at the Eastman, was conductor of the Eastman Theatre Orchestra and was to conduct the new Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He and Mr. Eastman were talking about the programs in the theatre. Mr. Eastman suggested that it would be a good idea to have Samuel L. Rothafel, managing director of the Roxy Theatre, come from New York to "see how we are doing." Arthur disagreed and a heated argument developed. Finally Arthur said, "If  'Roxy' comes here, I quit." Without raising his voice Mr. Eastman replied, "I accept your resignation, Arthur." Thus ended the Rochester career of a brilliant musician.

About one hundred guests were invited to the Sunday musicales at 5:30. The program usually consisted of a string quartet followed by a contrasting work with piano or another combination of instruments. After a simple supper (with complaints by some), the evening program took place. There were usually organ solos, solos or ensembles with organ by members of the Kilbourn Quartet, and pieces for organ, piano and strings. There were also a number of special programs in which Mr. Eastman took an active interest. One was the performance of the comedy-opera, The Secret of Suzanne, by Wolf-Ferrari, accompanied by the Kilbourn Quartet and piano. Mr. Eastman had a stage built which extended from inside the dining room into the music room. The one-act opera requires only three characters, two singing parts and a mute. The lyric soprano, Maggie Teyte, and Giovanni Martinelli of the Metropolitan Opera were engaged, and the evening was a brilliant success. Members of the Opera Department of the School gave a program of vocal solos one evening, and at Christmas time I brought my choir from the Brick Presbyterian Church to sing carols. As Mr. Eastman had been so much interested in the Hochstein Music School, I arranged to have a few exceptionally gifted students play on a Sunday evening. After the program he met them individually to congratulate them on their progress; I am sure they have not forgotten his encouragement. On other occasions the Hochstein Quartet was engaged to play and assisted in the performance of string quintets and sextets. Mr. Eastman was also very much impressed by a program given by students from the Eastman School.

Distinguished musicians from the faculty and other artists performed on various occasions. Among these were Eugene Goossens and Selim Palmgren, who played their own compositions, Joseph Bonnet and Marcel Dupré, organists, Frederic Lamond, Cecile Genhart, Sandor Vas, Max Landow, Nicolas Slonimsky, Pierre Augieras and Guy Fraser Harrison, pianists, Dusolina Giannini, dramatic soprano, and Vladimir Rosing, tenor. While Christian Sinding, the Norwegian composer, was a member of the Eastman School faculty, he composed a lengthy, involved piece for organ which he dedicated to Mr. Eastman. Unfortunately, it was not the kind of music Mr. Eastman liked, and I gave the first and last performance.

Mr. Eastman had many humorous anecdotes he liked to relate. They ranged from one about his mother to an occasional "traveling salesman" story. He told of coming home from his office one afternoon and calling out jubilantly, "Mother, I am now worth a million dollars!" Without looking up she said, "That's very nice, George," and continued rocking and knitting. On one occasion he was going up in the elevator to his office at Kodak the morning after the famous Metropolitan Opera tenor, Enrico Caruso, died. Two office girls were talking and one said, "Say, did you know Caruso was dead?" "Gosh! Ain't that too bad," replied her friend, "what floor did he work on?"

One evening Mary Pickford was present at a dinner Mr. Eastman gave for motion picture producers and artists. After the usual musical program, Mr. Eastman introduced me to Miss Pickford. As we were talking, she said, "A wonderful thing has just happened to me, Mr. Eastman, I have been given a contract for a million dollars." He looked at her quizzically and said, "Tell me, Mary, how did you know you were worth a million dollars?" "Well," she replied, "when they asked me how much money I wanted for the picture, that was the most I could think of."

Early in December, 1928, there was great excitement over the proposed visit of Prince Gustav-Adolf, eldest son of the Crown Prince of Sweden, Prince Gustav-Adolf's brother, Prince Sigvard, and their party which included three Counts, five Countesses and one Baron. After they arrived Mr. Eastman, true to form invited Prince Gustav-Adolf for breakfast at 7:30! I knew Mr. Eastman would introduce me, and I had jokingly said that I would practice saying "Your Royal Highness." "Oh," he replied, "I think that's too formal. We'll just call him 'Prince'." To say that I was surprised would be an understatement. After breakfast Mr. Eastman brought his guest to the organ console. "Prince," he said, "I want you to meet my organist." The Prince stiffened, and I had to do some quick thinking. He put out his hand and smiled as I said, "How do you do, Prince?"

In the fall of 1929 I had been engaged as a consultant to design a large organ for Royce Hall on the new campus of the University of  California at Los Angeles. In April, 1930, I was offered the position of University organist and member of the music faculty. My work at the Eastman School had become increasingly demanding, and I decided to accept the attractive offer. When I informed Mr. Eastman of this he seemed very much concerned and said, "I don't want you to leave, let's talk it over." We agreed that I should resign as director of the Hochstein School and that he would also relieve me of playing for him at breakfast if we could find another organist. I decided to remain in Rochester and suggested that Mrs. William S. Vaughn, whose husband had joined Kodak in 1928 and later became president, would be the ideal person to play for him. He was delighted with the idea, for he knew Mrs. Vaughn; she was a charming woman and a fine organist. She agreed to take over my duties in the early summer when I was to leave for Los Angeles to supervise the installation of the university organ and to play the opening recital. While we were talking Mr. Eastman asked me about my family. I told him I was concerned about the future because I had four sons to educate. He said, "You don't need to worry, Harold, the music will continue when I am gone, exactly as it is now." Mr. Eastman willed his home to the University of Rochester for the use of its president and included an endowment to cover the cost of maintaining it as it was in his lifetime. He could not realize, however, that his great love for music was not shared by everyone; except for an occasional evening, the music in his home came to an end with his death.

When I returned to Rochester in the fall of 1930, Mrs. Vaughn continued to play at breakfast. The Kilbourn Quartet and I played Wednesday and Sunday as usual. Soon I began to notice increasing signs of age in Mr. Eastman. His last public appearance was in February, 1931, at a dinner given in his honor by the Society of the Genesee at the Commodore Hotel in New York City. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra played, and hundreds of Rochesterians attended the event.

In May, 1931, Mr. Eastman discontinued his formal Wednesday and Sunday musicales with invited guests, and also the Saturday luncheons. He asked me, however, to continue the evening programs with the quartet and organ for him alone. We gave two programs each week, playing music which he had particularly enjoyed in the previous years. During the playing of the music he sat in the music room or his living room; sometimes he remained in his bedroom when he felt too ill to come downstairs.

At the beginning of 1932 he was in a serious condition. He gradually developed a slow, dragging walk, said to be the result of a hardening of the cells in the lower spinal chord. It was heart-breaking to see this once vigorous and active man shuffling along the corridors of his home. Occasionally, he would ask me to come into the living room after the music. We would sit in front of the fire, and often he would ask me about "the School." Sometimes we sat without speaking, except to say "good night" when his nurse came to take him upstairs. The last time I saw him was after the music on Sunday evening, March 13, the day before he died. We sat together before the fire without a word being said, although I had a strange feeling that he wanted to tell me something. Finally, as the nurse appeared, he said, "Good bye, Harold." He waited a moment and in almost a whisper continued, "Don't let anything happen to the School."

Shortly after noon on Monday, March 14, 1932, I received a telephone call from Miss Cherbuliez. "Come over to the house," she said, "something terrible has happened." When I arrived, there were already a number of people there, including Mr. Eastman's good friend, the Reverend George E. Norton, Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He told me that Mr. Eastman was dead; he had just sent a bullet through his heart. At his bedside was a note:

To my friends

My work is done

why wait?


The funeral was held on Thursday, March 17, at St. Paul's Church. The Kilbourn Quartet and I played before and during the service. The music we selected for the quartet was the "Cavatina" from Beethoven's Quartet, Opus 130, and the "Largo" from Haydn's Quartet, Opus 76No. 3. The organ compositions were "Benedictus" by Reger, "Vermeland" by Hanson, and the first piece by Bach I had ever played for Mr. Eastman, the chorale prelude, "My heart is filled with longing." With the quartet and organ we played the "Procession to the Cathedral" from Wagner's Lohengrin and Mozart's "Ave Verum."

I had not forgotten Mr. Eastman's "funeral march," Gounod's "Marche Romaine." The last time I played it for him was in the summer of 1930, just before I left for California. He was sitting at his breakfast table as if in deep thought. Suddenly he called out in a firm voice, "Harold, please play my funeral march." When I finished he fairly shouted, "We'll give 'em hell when they carry me out the front door." The march was not the kind of music one would expect to hear at a funeral, but he had never failed me, and I would not fail him. At the conclusion of the service, as the casket was being carried from the church, I began the triumphal "Marche Romaine" with full organ. The effect was thrilling, and I cannot think of a more appropriate musical Benediction for my friend, George Eastman.


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