By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer
NORTH COLLEGE HILL - An ensemble of former students sang a choral benediction for Frank Esslinger Lang at his funeral Wednesday.
"It was just gorgeous. A real tribute to Frank," said Mr. Lang's sister, Gayle E. Lang of North College Hill.
The singers were alumni of Woodward High School and the School for Creative and Performing Arts, where Mr. Lang taught.
"Many called to say he was the reason they went into the field of music. He inspired them. They still call and he's been retired a long time," Ms. Lang said.
Mr. Lang, a voice and music theory teacher for the Cincinnati Public Schools for 30 years and one of the original four teachers at SCPA, died Saturday of pneumonia at Burlington House in New Burlington.
The North College Hill resident was 67.
He grew up in Covington, where his parents ran a bakery, and graduated from Holmes High School.
After receiving both an undergraduate and master's degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he joined the faculty of Western Hills High School.
A year later he began teaching at Woodward. In 1973 a colleague asked if he would teach at the newly formed alternative School for Creative and Performing Arts. He agreed and became one of the first four teachers at the school, which opened in the summer of 1973 in Mount Adams.
"Music was so much a part of him," his sister said. "He was good at what he did. He was not a musical snob. He loved all music."
Mr. Lang had a reputation as a strict teacher, but he cared deeply about his students. They generally responded to his sense of humor and the interest he took in them.
He retired from SCPA in 1987.
Mr. Lang also served as minister of music at Madeira United Methodist Church, St. John United Church of Christ in Newport and, most recently, St. Paul United Church of Christ in North College Hill.
He was a member of the Donauschwaben Society.
In addition to his sister Gayle, survivors include two other sisters, Anna Louise Schnee of College Hill and Wilma E. Minnich of Colerain Township.
Burial was at Arlington Memorial Gardens in Mount Healthy.
Memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor's choice.
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