Please feel free to share your thoughts and recollections about this exceptional artist and pedagogue.
My family and I shall forever be indebted to Paul Kiesgen. It was because of his leadership as chair of the IU Voice Faculty that allowed me to mentor the wonderful students I now mentor at the Jacobs School of Music. His persistence and that of the search committee is simply the sole power that forced this school’s dean to hire me. Thank you, dear Paul–on behalf of Sandra and me–for your fight. Indebted to you I remain for the honor and pleasure to teach the art of music to the wonderfully talent students at IU.
REQUIEM aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescat in pace. Amen.
I was a proud student of Professor Kiesgen’s for 3 years. He was an amazing mentor and friend – always so witty and supportive. I grew so much as a member of his studio – both as a musician and a human being. Thank you, Paul!
When I considered Indiana University back in high school, several of my teachers and mentors at the time told me it was a bad idea. They said I’d be another number in a vast sea of young talent. Despite their warnings, I reluctantly came to IU for a visit. The person I contacted first was Professor Paul Kiesgen. When I met him, he exuded such a warmth and caring that made me excited about the idea of coming to this school. Moreover, walking with him and hearing him call students by name made this really huge school seem like a really wonderful community of like-minded young people. In many ways, I owe thanks to him for the direction in which my musical life has gone, the many wonderful friendships I’ve gleaned, and the memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you, Mr. Kiesgen.
It is thanks to Paul that I went to IU. He came to Canada to teach one summer and invited me to audition. My life changed completely thanks to this initial guidance. I am terribly saddened to have heard this news but am convinced that, as for myself, he will continue to live within all of us. I offer my deepest sympathy to Meredith, to his family, and to all of us whom he greatly affected.
Our condolences to Meredith and the voice and music faculty at IU. I will always remember his deep laugh, ready smile, and lengthy knowledge of vocal pedagogy. Very much not the same institution without him, from my perspective.
Professor Kiesgen shaped the lives of countless students in ways that extend far beyond the classroom. I can confidently say that I am a better person for knowing him. Truly great teachers are absolutely fundamental to maintaining what is beautiful and good in our society, and Paul Kiesgen is an exemplar of this fact. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, and have considered him a mentor since my freshman year at IU several years ago. My heart is sore today. The world (especially the part containing music) is an emptier place today because of his passing. Would that we all could profoundly impact the number of lives that he has. Meredith – you will be in our thoughts and prayers. May his memory be eternal.
I just wanted to say that I am thinking of you and am so, so sorry for your loss. Professor Kiesgen was wonderful to me. He – along with Mrs. H – was responsible for giving me my scholarship, thus ensuring my development as a teacher. I will always be grateful to him. Sending you my deepest condolences, Jess
I feel saddened to have learned the news from email today. Although I did not study with you at IU, I have learned tremendously from taking Vocal Pedagogy class with you, Prof. Kiesgen, as a doctoral student. Whenever I heard you saying: “Let’s start, Please.” at the beginning of our Vocal Ped. class I would laugh, I could tell from your tone (your pitch on ‘please’ usually goes higher and longer) that you love us and you have a gentle heart! I am proudly to say that after having taken the vocal pedagogy class with you, I became a singer who not only can sing, but also can confidently talk and discuss the important vocal concepts with my students by using CORRECT/ACCURATE ENGLISH (although I am not a native speaker). What I have learned from your Vocal Pedagogy class will continue to benefit to my teaching and my performing. Just two days ago, I sent out a handout to my students about Breathing, which is my summary/notes from reading your article on Breathing from Journal of Singing. Thank you, Professor Kiesgen.
Prof. Kiesgen you were so very kind to me. I came out of your class wanting to learn more about vocal pedagogy: you were engaging, funny, and so knowledgable of your craft. This inspired me. You went out of your way to take the time to spend that extra minute after class or in the hall to really get to know me and I never ceased to be amazed by the care that you showed me. You could always make me laugh and sharing laughs with you was pricesless. Your scholarship and willingness to teach choral musicians as well as vocal musicians should not be overlooked. I am so blessed to have known you and to have learned from you. You will be so missed.
I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Paul Kiesgen. He has been a very important teacher to me during my masters and doctorate. I learned so much from him. He showed so much interest in each of us individually, and gave so much help beyond the classroom. I regularly think of things he taught while as I teach as there are so many things I learned only from him. The world of vocal pedagogy has lost an important figure, and IU will not be the same without him. My heart goes out to Meredith and any others close to him!
I first heard of Paul Kiesgen and his vocal pedagogy class as an undergraduate at Indiana State University. When I attended Richard Miller’s IVPP Summer Workshop, the summer before I came to IU, he spoke very fondly of Prof. Kiesgen and recommended that I look him up when I came to IU. I am so indebted to Paul for his guidance from my very first day at IU orientation to my last doctoral vocal pedagogy class, and to the support he showed for me in my careers as a performer and educator. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And dear Meredith, you are in my heart and thoughts. You are amazing and I have tremendous admiration for you. Please know that I am available if there is absolutely anything I can do. Lots of love, Sarah.
Paul Kiesgen saved my vocal life. His classes, his lessons and his wisdom will stay with me always. He reminded me that I was on a journey and that I wouldn’t be happy if I was at the end of my journey. The path is the best part. I know you had a beautiful life. Your journey took you far and touched many people. I am forever grateful to have been a part of it. I will miss you. I am who I am because of you. Thank you PK.
My heart is heavy today. Paul Kiesgen was a mentor and friend. He came to Jacobs the same year I returned for my “gerioctorate” and was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, always fair and never condescending. Thinking back today to my oral defense, I saw him in my mind’s eye even as I served on an orals committee myself. I send my deepest condolences, Meredith, with gratefulness and pride to be part of the line.
I was so saddened to hear the news about Professor Kiesgen in almost halfway around the world Indonesia where I currently reside. He was always kind to me and other collaborative pianists in the studio – his wit, intelligence, passion for music making, and his dedication towards music education will be remembered forever. I am sending my prayer and thoughts to his wife, Meredith. May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead. — Kazuha
I am forever indebted to Mr. Kiesgen for his support and encouragement during my time at IU, especially to IU SNATS and to those of us who are passionate about vocal pedagogy. He gave me and our newly formed Chapter so much – his time, energy, guidance and belief that we could build a truly remarkable organization, and it has truly born fruit. For me, personally, Mr. Kiesgen was always a strong supporter and especially, a wonderful listener! He will be truly, truly missed….
Paul and I arrived at IU in the same autumn, and I was fortunate to be one of two freshman he accepted into his studio. He was a gentle, yet insistent instructor; one which every young singer should be so blessed to have during those formative years. It was not possible to work with him and not be changed for the better, both as a musician and as a person.
My deepest sympathies to Meredith and the IU music family. It is a great loss, but no doubt he will still continue to teach us for a long time to come.
My memories of Paul go back our early days as fellow basses in Chicago. In the best sense of the word, Paul was a very serious singer with a rich and imposing voice. I do remember our singing together as Tom and Sam in ‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ in Chicago’s Grant park in the late fifties or early sixties.
I’ve already mentioned that Paul was a ‘serious’ singer. Well, I think a little of his soberness positively infected this young bass who was rather indifferent and laissez-faire at the time. Thank you for that early lesson Paul.
May God grant you now peace. Hopefully, with an eternal life filled with music.
As blessed as I was to call Mr. Kiesgen “voice teacher” and “pedagogy professor,” I was even more blessed to call him “friend.” Though my heart is heavy, my soul rejoices in the legacy he leaves in his students, and in the pride and responsibility that I have in continuing that legacy. Meredith, my deepest condolences and prayers are with you and with my IU family. Please know that I will help you in whatever way I can.
I was so very sad to hear the news about Paul yesterday morning. He was always so gracious and welcoming to me. His laughter, sharp wit and beautiful heart will be missed. My thoughts and most heartfelt condolences are with you, Meredith. Please don’t hesitate to call if you need anything. Love, Dawn
I studied with Paul Kiesgen for a couple of years and he was the most amazing, thoughtful and loving teacher I had at IU. I am forever indebted to him for all his love and patience.
Paul was both a friend and a teacher to me. I started in his studio as an undergraduate at IU, when I was very much a lost little ship looking for a safe port in which to harbor and learn to sing and believe in myself. His wisdom, patience, care, and love of teaching guided me not only through the basics of singing, but in many ways the basics of being a musician. I remember his belief and confidence in me bolstering me through my undergraduate recitals and juries, before I had any confidence of my own. I was lucky to work with him again when I returned several years later as a graduate diploma student, but I was luckier to have had him as a friend. He always cared not just about our voices and techniques, but he cared about us as people. I think that is what made him a great teacher. Meredith, I miss you and Paul so much. I wish I could be with you now and hug you. Please know I, and many people around the world, are thinking of you both and sending you love and light.
We will miss you, Professor Kiesgen! What a great time we had learning from you–and thank you for your wonderful sense of humor and patience with all of us unruly singers.
Meredith–you are in my thoughts and I’m so sorry for your loss.
We were at Ohio State University late 60s-70s when Paul came to teach. We sang with him at Trinity Episcopal church with Wilbur Held, organist. He sang in the choir for our wedding in 1972. He has been a good friend and encouraged me to finish my Masters even though I was in my mid 50s. Lon and I used to babysit for Bill when Paul had obligations and singing engagements. We have been talking recently about teaching men and I hope to buy his book if it is finished. He was a dear friend and I will miss his lessons at NATS conventions. God bless his family, and God grant repose of his blessed soul.
Every day I hear Paul Kiesgen’s voice in my head at least once as I pass the wisdom he taught me along to my own students, and every day I will continue to hear his deep, resonant, warm and friendly voice telling me things like “You wish you were a mezzo? Well, I wanted to be a jockey and that didn’t work out either.” I mourn for the future students who will not have the opportunity to learn from him, but I hope that those of us who were fortunate and honored enough to be impacted by him can fill his enormous pedagogical shoes and pass on his legacy. Meredith, I am praying for you – I am so sorry for your loss.
My condolences and prayers go out to Prof. Kiesgen’s all of family, students, and colleagues. The difference he made in the lives of his students was obvious, and the Jacobs School of Music will not be the same. May his memory be eternal.
Paul, thank you for believing in my daughter, Asha Goings. Because of you, she has spent three wonderful years at Jacobs/IU. Because of you, she has gained immeasurable experience as a vocal performer. Because of you, she gained a mentor and friend who will be deeply missed.
Meredith, thank you for sharing Paul with our family! Our deepest sympathies to you and your family.
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