It was a surprise for Ed and Ellie Herbold when they walked into a celebration that honored them. But it was a celebration that was well deserved by a couple that has put many years into University’s Music Ministry. Ed and Ellie responded with a big “THANK YOU” and we would like to say it right back to them.
After the Air Force brought them to San Antonio in 1982, they found a home here at University. So much so that even when they were stationed in our nation’s capital from 1987-1992, Ed and Ellie still considered this church their home. During their first time in San Antonio, from 1984-1987, before tours took them elsewhere, the couple was on the Sanctuary Building and Organ Selections committees, forever impacting the way our Sanctuary looks today. After a few years in D.C., they returned to San Antonio and picked up where they had left off, by serving the church that would become their forever home. In the late 90’s, they even had the blessing of being a part of the Children’s and Music Ministry building committees.
With any program starting out, growing an inventory of music was a must and Ed and Ellie had a very strong presence in creating University’s music library. Throughout their time in Music Ministry and especially at the start, the couple spent many hours salvaging, recovering and restoring many envelopes of choral music. Some of these envelopes were much easier to take care of with only a few copies of music in them while others had up to 30 copies of precious choir music in them. But, no matter how big or how small, each envelope was treated with as much care and respect as the other.
Ed and Ellie share their gratitude to University’s music director, Mary McKay, as she made a great impact on their personal service to the music ministry. Ed said that it was Mary and many others who, “guided us to learn about the proper repair and storage of the octavos and we cherished the hours spent in creating and organized choir library.” It was during the early times of working that Mary that the original database for music storage was initiated. It was one of the old Apple 2E computers with a dot matrix printer that helped with the start of this database. As technology has grown, so has the database. Now, there are over 1800 choir titles and 1000 orchestra titles, many of those with over 100 copies per title.
As we entered into a new century, the Music Ministry was fortunate enough to gain Karen Pressler as a University staff member. While Karen was here, Ed and Ellie still felt the call to work alongside her as volunteers and put in many hours of work for this precious library. Upon her retirement, the Herbold’s made sure that the music library was still well taken care of and they took on all of the responsibilities and duties that Karen had held. To this day you will still see Ed maintaining the music library on a weekly basis and even when we have our Big Music Sundays. He comes in at least twice a week for about 4 hours to make sure that the music that was played the previous Sunday is all accounted for and gets the new pieces ready for the upcoming week.
So, just as Karen walked through the music library, many others have and Ed and Ellie see the importance of this. Ed says that throughout their involvement with this ministry, “we have had many choir members step forward to support our wonderful music library. These individuals have been so valuable in maintaining our wonderful inventory, especially during cleanup after the busy Christmas and Easter seasons.”
In total, Ed and Ellie have spent over 30 years and countless of hours serving the music library which lead our choir officers feeling a call to acknowledge the couple's faithfulness and love with a celebration for them. To honor them, there is now a plaque outside of the music library entrance. Surrounded by the pastors, their family and their fellow choir members, the music library was justly named after this dedicated couple.
It is no secret that University has a strong and beautiful Music Ministry. As Ed and Ellie have said, they are blessed, but in the same respect they have blessed the members of University. From the busy times to the downtimes, the music members do all that they can to respect the great music scores that are assigned and used by them. From Ed and Ellie to their fellow music members, “thank you for your dedication in support of our passion to manage and protect or incredible music library and support to the Music Ministry department.”