Thursday, December 16, 2010

By His Son, John Schreiner

  • "I don't need a big organ; I just need a good performance." --Alexander Schreiner [An intriguing comment from one generally associated with large instruments. --John Schreiner]
  • He was never rushed ... and always early! --John Schreiner
  • He was blessed with talents, and was diligent in developing them. --John Schreiner


"There are three elements in music. The first is rhythm, the second is rhythm, and the third is rhythm."

"Don't knock your listeners off the rhythmic 'Hay wagon' with sudden starts and stops."

"Everyone can tap his foot, and therefore a solid pulse is your means of holding the attention of your listeners."

"Hold them! Hypnotize them with it!"

--Alexander Schreiner

UCLA Anecdote

In a Schreiner harmony class at UCLA in the 1930s, a student read this poem to the class:
There once was a fellow named Hatch,
Who was fond of the music of "batch" [Bach].
Said he, it's not fussy like Brahms and deBUSSee [Debussy];
Sit down and I'll play you a snatch.
The next week, another student announced he'd written a sequel, and shared it with the class:
There once was a jolly old miner,
Who thought there could be nothing finer,
Than to hear a snatch of Handel or "batch" [Bach]
And that's why he went to hear Schreiner.

Lead Me into Life Eternal

Toast for Barbara

(Who is the daughter of Donnette Stringham Smith, the daughter of Hildegard Schreiner Stringham, Alexander's younget sister.)

Most August Assemblage, Mesdames, Sirs and Noblemen, parents of the Newlyweds and darling bride and groom: Greetings:--

It was Anatole France, the great French writer, who pointed out that within every one of us there lives both a Don Quixote and a Sancho Panza to each of whom we hearken by turns.

Don Quixote, that is: Don Quicksoat, sounds the call to adventure and pushes ahead, heedless of danger or expense. On the other hand, Sandho Panza counsels caution and plods along, trying to follow a sane and safe path in life.

Now let the truth be revealed. The fact is that for some considerable time, Weldon Whipple has been inclined to follow the advice of Sancho Panza, cultivating the principles of caution and safety, so as to avoid all possible entangling alliances. Weldon figured that Panza was right. In any event he was always safe.

But the curious fact remained that Weldon was not really getting anywhere in finding his life's mate. So -- one delightful day -- when he was introduced to lovely Barbara Smith, he looked into her eyes, and forthwith decided for some very good reasons to change his patron saint. Instead of following Panza, he would follow the spirit of Don Quixote [pronounced "Quicksoat" here and throughout the rest of the toast], throwing caution to the winds, and letting love take its natural course.

Weldon Whipple proceeded to gather together the various threads of his rising courage, and quickly fell head-long, irretrievably, and wildly in love with gorgeous Barbara Smith. She is lovely, there is no doubt about it, but she is also good, and I mean really Good, and by that I mean she is Tops. For the purpose of my short oration, I propose to name her Good Barbara.

Under such enticing conditions, it is no wonder that Weldon, in the manner of Don Quixote, pursued Good Barbara with unprecedented eagerness. He instituted a lightning courtship, and inveigled, hoodwinked, and hypnotized Good Barbara into the proposition of marrying him. Good Barbara is surely tied to him now. But we think that Weldon also has his good qualities. Instead of enumerating them let us just recall his complete name: Well-done Whipple, well-done. Jesus himself said: "Well done, thou good and faithful, enter thou into thy joy."

We hope and pray that your lives will be a great goint venture, with the blessings of heaven watching over you, and by your watching both Panza and Quixote; or in other words by your minding your P's and Q's.

Let me now propose a toast to Weldon and Barbara: May their lives be filled with joy and peace, success in all their righteous undertakings, and may the blessings of heaven be showered upon them through their perpetual good deeds.

Hail Barbara! Hail Weldon!
Written for, and presented by Alexander Schreiner
at the wedding breakfast, October 25, 1974, at the
home of Weldon's Aunt, Mrs. Frances Berghout.