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Release: Immediate

Former UI voice teacher and opera director Herald Stark dies

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Herald Stark, former professor at the University of Iowa School of Music died Oct. 9 in San Antonio, Tex. He was 89.

A graduate of Broken Bow, Neb., high school, Stark received a bachelor's degree in education from Kearney (Neb.) State Teachers College in 1930 and master's degree in Music from the UI in 1934. He also studied voice and song literature in New York and Boston.

Stark joined the UI faculty as an instructor upon his graduation in 1934 and rose to the rank of professor by 1951. He retired from the UI in 1976.

At the UI Stark taught voice and served as director of choral activities, director of the Opera Theater, and musical director of the summer arts festivals. He held the Fisher Chair of Opera at the UI 1972-76.

After Stark retired from the UI he moved to San Antonio, but he continued to teach voice. He taught at the University of Texas at San Antonio until 1983, then privately in his home. His last lesson was by telephone two days before he died.

Stark was director of music and conductor of the choir at the First United Methodist Church in Iowa City 1933-71. He was a member of many professional music organizations, including the Iowa Music Teachers Association, of which he was president; the National Association of Teachers of Singing, which he served as member of the board of directors; the National Opera Association, which he also served as a member of the board of directors; the Music Educators National Association, the American Choral Directors Association, the American Association of University Professors, and the local Kiwanis Club, of which he was president.

In addition to an almost legendary career as a voice teacher, Stark was himself a performer. As a young man he was a finalist in the National Federated Music Clubs contest, and he made numerous performances in recital and oratorio throughout the Midwest, in addition to solo appearances with the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston.

Among Stark's students were several who had significant professional careers, including sopranos Margherita Roberti and Costanza Cuccaro, the latter a winner in the 1967 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions.

At the time of his retirement from the UI, Stark was honored by his students as a "born teacher, trusted friend and unselfish individual."

\Stark married Helen Annis Ogilvie in 1934. He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Janann and Linda Steinberg; one son, Philip Herald; his sister, Fern Binder; and three grandchildren.

The family requests that memorial gifts be made to the Herald Stark Opera Scholarship Fund at the University of Iowa Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244.