James Roedl

We are saddened to inform you that James Roedl, a former member of the Star-Scape Singers and an accomplished musician, passed away on August 30 in his home town of Oklahoma City due to complications from an infection. A celebration of his life will take place there on Wednesday, September 4, at 11:30 a.m. (Toronto time) at the Old Trinity Chapel in Paseo, 3000 North Lee. In recognition of Jim’s life and contribution to the music of Star-Scape, you may wish to join together at that time by watching on YouTube two performances of James’s co-compositions: “We Thank Thee” and “What Is a Prophet without a Bird of Song.”

Jim studied metaphysics under Dr. Kenneth G. Mills and composed with him the music for over 47 songs based on Dr. Mills’s poetry that became part of the Star-Scape Singers’ repertoire. He performed as a member of Star-Scape from the ensemble’s inception until mid-1986, singing in their 1981 and 1982 Carnegie Hall concerts. He also accompanied soprano Dianne Forsyth on the piano for her album, Lady on the Landing.

He was particularly known for his delightfully spontaneous piano accompaniment of Dr. Mills during the maestro’s recitation of the poem “The Hobby Horse.” (The recording is found on the CD Flame on the Hearth.) Other compositions that Jim created with Kenneth Mills include “A Thimble-Like Bird,” “The Sound of a Star,” and “These Flowing Words.”

Jim Roedl acknowledged: “Mr. Mills’s spontaneous, intuitive genius has awakened in me the appreciation of the sacred presence of Idea as the source of music, and he has shown me the energy, love, and awareness that is demanded to bring forth music of power and meaning” (The Candy Maker’s Son: Memoirs of Kenneth G. Mills, p. 363).

Condolences and memories may be sent to Jim’s family in care of Linda Roedl: [email protected].

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