Dr. René Frank’s Works Now Available

By Jay Platte g69 Published: Apr 05, 2018

Dr. Frank in 1964 portrait

Dr. René Frank’s talent and interests were far ranging. With close to one hundred works in a variety of idioms—from piano and vocal solos to chamber and symphonic works—there is much to appreciate and enjoy. He served as professor, performer, and administrator at Fort Wayne Bible College from 1951 to 1965 with a remarkable testimony. What a vibrant story he had to tell! You can read his entire biography and composition listing at www.fwalumnicenter.org/servant/ren-frank. Dr. Ira Gerig h80 said of René, “His settings of Scripture are distinct and powerful.”

René’s works deserve to be performed—but only a few works have been publicly available before now. Many more of these amazing works are now available through the Fort Wayne Alumni Center. Part of the challenge has been that his scores are in manuscript form, which some consider difficult to read. Dr. Jay Platte g69 has had the privilege of converting the manuscripts to music print. René’s piano works, violin and violoncello solos, various organ works, several vocal solos and song cycles, as well as some chamber works are now in print form (see list below). More are slated for this transcription as time allows.

The challenge of making these works available has now been solved. Previously, ordering his works online had not been possible, but now the Alumni Center has devised a plan whereby many of his works will be printed, assembled, and made available for ordering through the online store. ORene Frank at piano composingrders will normally be filled within five business days.

The Alumni Center will be sending listings of René’s works to music teachers, the Indiana State School Music Association, and area professional ensembles, asking them to consider his works. Dr. Ken Mays g60, one of René’s many accomplished students, has agreed to perform some of his piano pieces on YouTube in 2019.

René was forward thinking. He arranged to have recordings made of several of his compositions. Some of these recordings can be found by going to fwalumnicenter.org and searching the archive with his name, or by clicking here. One example is by Northwestern University’s A cappella Choir, who came to FWBC and performed his work “Give Unto the Lord the Glory.” It is the Alumni Center’s hope that many will keep René’s music alive for years to come. He truly was a uniquely gifted composer.