Myron “Zeb” Hermance Jr. ’50
“The song is ended but the melody lingers on” – Myron E.Hermance, Jr. joined the heavenly choir on January 28th when his soul returned to his Maker. His demise at Ellis Hospital was due to 2 strokes, leaving him unable to recover. “Deep River”
He was born in Hudson, NY on May 7, 1928, the son of Myron E. Hermance, Sr. and Thelma Miller Hermance. “Three Cheers for Hudson High School” where he was a member of the National Thespians, student manager for the football team, a Sea Scout, choir member, and played the cello and tuba, graduating in June, 1946.
“Hail to our Alma Mater” was his next destination, to Hope College, Holland, MI, where he obtained his B. A. degree in 1950, majoring in music and English. “I’m in Love With You, Honey” – he also met a piano accompanist who later became his wife. Off to “Indiana, My Indiana” University with a scholarship to complete his Master of Music degree. “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” found him marrying Alicia Van Zoeren on June 21, 1952, as they began a life together which lasted for 67 years!
“School Days, School Days” – Myron began using his professional degrees, teaching vocal music, band, orchestra, choirs and ensembles in all grades and levels in Fremont, MI., Holton, MI.,Schenectady, and Niskayuna. Known to his hundreds of students as “Mr. Music”, he continued public school teaching until retirement in 1987. He also had a private voice and vocal coach studio. He was a vocal judge for NYSSMA for many years and a staunch supporter of the teachers union, serving on the negotiation team.
“Rock-a-bye Baby”- at home, he became dad to 7 delightful and unique children – now parents and some also grandparents themselves: Susan (Alfred) Fedak, Dirk (Anastasia)Hermance, Melanie (Russell) Lee, Peter (friend Clare) Hermance, Gay (Bill) O’Brien, Rhonda Hermance and Philip Hermance and “other” daughters, Lynda, Kathy, and Deborah. 12 grandchildren called him Grandpa – Peter, Benjamin, Kelson, Daniel, Amy, Sheena, Chris, Trevor, Andrew, Meghan, Katie, and Liam. 6 great-grands are Elio, Remington, Noelle, Brynne, Noah and Julia.
His sisters, Carol Jean Kennedy and Janet Frassa, died a number of years ago. His younger sister, Nancy H. Grab, survives as do many nieces and nephews.
“Sing, Sing a Song” – He was a tenor soloist throughout the Capital District for many musical performances, among them, 20 years in the Congregation Temple Gates of Heaven and Westminster Presbyterian in Albany. He sang with the Saratoga-Potsdam Chorus every summer for all its years at SPAC. He was a choir director for 42 years at area churches and also was a past conductor of the Mendelssohn Club of Albany, 3 SLOC productions, the Annie Schaffer Senior Orchestra and the Albany Senior Orchestra. “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” – a deeply religious man, he was an Ordained Elder and Commissioned Preaching Elder for the Reformed Church in America.
He was very proud of his family history, tracing his ancestors back to the Netherlands and New Amsterdam. He was an expert in genealogy, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. He had helped build The Half Moon, was a past member of the Schenectady Yacht Club where he moored his beloved “POP-POP’S PRIDE”. Trivia – he received a Rochefellow Award to work with Russian music teachers for a short time. On his 90th birthday, Mayor McCarthy honored his past contributions to Schenectady by naming the day “Myron Hermance Day”! As a final gift to the teaching profession, he had long ago decided to donate his remains to Albany Medical College to further the education of future doctors.