Richard Enright, professor emeritus of church music and organ, died on December 23, 2016, at age 93. He served on Northwestern’s music school faculty for 35 years until his retirement in 1989.
Born in 1923 in Freeport, Illinois, Enright completed two years of undergraduate study at Iowa’s University of Dubuque before serving in Patton’s Third Army of the 26th Infantry Division in the European Theater from 1943 until 1946. Enright received his Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern in 1948, followed by a Master of Music a year later and a Doctor of Music in 1961. He pursued additional studies at the Royal School of Music in England and the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt, Germany. While at Northwestern, he met Clara Mae (Sandy) Sandehn, and they were married in 1949.
A member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Enright was dean of the North Shore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists from 1964 to 1965. He gave organ recitals in Chicago and across the country, performing at New York’s Riverside Church, Washington’s National Cathedral, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and numerous colleges and universities.
Enright became chair of the music school’s Department of Church Music and Organ in 1969. He also served as organist and choirmaster at Evanston’s First Presbyterian Church for 22 years, followed by 23 years of service at Lake Forest’s First Presbyterian Church until his retirement there at age 70. His widely used instruction book, Fundamentals of Organ Playing: Two Practices was issued by Concordia Press in 1988.
Enright is survived by Sandy, his wife of 67 years; daughter Catharine and her husband, Walton Reeves; son Steven and his wife, Krista; grandsons Harrison, Kevin, and Scott; nephew William Miner and his wife, Pam, and their children; and niece Nancy Nilsen and her husband, David.