In Memorium: Frank H. Siekmann

Dr. Siekmann was a member of our local for almost 50 years.dr frank siekmann

Dr. Frank H. Siekmann Dr. Frank H. Siekmann, 95, of Kutztown, parted his life on February 17, 2021.

He was an educator, musician, and composer. He taught music in public schools of Smyrna, DE; Ramsey, NJ; and Chappaqua, NY. There he was appointed as one of only two department heads. After ten years at Chappaqua he accepted a one year replacement position as Director of Bands at the University of Vermont. There he organized and directed a three-state tour including the opening date of the 1965 New York World’s Fair. Also, during that year he directed the choirs at the First Congregational Church in Burlington. His degrees included a bachelor’s and master’s in Music Education at NYU, followed by Doctor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. There he had the honor of conducting the university orchestra at Spring Concert.

His teaching career continued for 25 years at Kutztown University where he conducted the orchestra, musical theatre, and at various years served as chairperson of the Department of Music. His honors at KU included being speaker at a commencement program and receiving an award for academic achievement.

Prior to his teaching career he served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman 1/c during WWII, including service with the 1st Marine Division during the battle of Okinawa where he was awarded a Purple Heart. He continued serving with the U.S. Marines in the occupation of North China. In later years he continued his patriotic service as a frequent bugler sounding taps at services of the American Legion Honor Guard, Post 217, Topton, PA.

He also helped create and direct the orchestra for the annual Flag Day celebrations in Kutztown Park. After moving to Kutztown with his family in 1967 he directed the choirs at St. John’s United Church of Christ, serving for 25 years and achieving status as Choir Director Emeritus. His hobbies included tennis and photography. He was the recipient of many awards while active in the Berks Camera Club.

In 1949 he married the former Doris Pelletier, resulting in 70 years of idyllic devotion, plus three children and two grandchildren: daughter Ellen Forbus wife of Ken Forbus; son Matthew Siekmann; son Bruce Siekmann husband of Marie DeFillips and their sons Anton and Bela Siekmann.

In 1982 he established a music company, Brelmat Music, named after his children (Bruce, Ellen, and Matthew) and devoted to promoting performances of Frank’s 223 compositions and arrangements. These have been performed widely in the United States and abroad including performances by soloists from major symphony orchestras. Services are private. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to a favorite charity of choice. Edward J. Hildenbrand Funeral Home Inc. in charge of arrangements.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Reading Eagle from Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, 2021.

In Memorium: Harold L. Kremser, Jr.

Mr. Kremser was a member of our local for 66 years.Harold Kremser

Harold L. Kremser, Jr. Harold L. Kremser, Jr., 93, of Muhlenberg Township, passed away on January 30, 2021 at Berkshire Commons in Exeter Twp., where he had been a guest since December. Born in South Temple, Pennsylvania, he was a son of the late Harold L. Kremser, Sr., and Anna W. (Fromm) Kremser. He was predeceased by his wife, Jacqueline S. (Boote), and a son, André M. Harold was a lifelong member of Reading Moravian Church. Since 1994, he was organist at New Jerusalem Zion United Church of Christ, Krumsville, last working in November 2020. He was a member of Chandler Masonic Lodge No. 227 and Rajah Shrine, where he volunteered as organist. He formerly directed the Rajah Shrine Concert Band and the Rajah Chanters vocal group, leading them to win awards in annual competitions. Harold graduated from Muhlenberg Twp. High School in 1945, after which he honorably served his country in the Army as an organist and chaplain’s assistant at the post chapel, Fort Dix, New Jersey. Following his discharge from the Army, Harold earned a bachelor of science in music education from Ithaca College in 1951. After graduation from Ithaca, he began his teaching career at Oley Valley High School. He also taught band and chorus in the Tulpehocken School District until his retirement in 1978. A few years later, he embarked upon another career spanning 22 years teaching music at Penn State Berks. Even after his retirement from Penn State in 2005, he continued to play organ during commencement ceremonies until December 2018. In addition to over 50 years of teaching, Harold had a long career performing music. He played piano in several dance bands throughout the region and was called to be the piano accompanist for big-band vocalist Helen O’Connell during her appearances in Reading. Harold is survived by three children: Lori J. Kremser, wife of Douglas Uber, Atascadero, Calif; Harold L. Kremser III, husband of Judy, Columbia, S.C.; and Dr. Jonathan M. Kremser, husband of Heather, Lower Alsace Twp. Harold is also survived by his brother, Dr. Thurman R. Kremser, Hamburg, and three grandchildren. The family would like to thank the staff at Berkshire Commons for their care and support. Arrangements will be private. Schantz Funeral Home, P.C., Emmaus is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Attn: Office of Development, 2900 N. Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.


In Memorium: Robert L. Mulligan MD
Doc Mulligan

Dr. Mulligan was a member of our local for 48 years.

Robert (Doc) L. Mulligan, born October 5, 1926, in Ashland, PA, died Friday, January 8, 2021, with his family by his side following a short illness. He was 94.

Bob said from the day he was born he was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps, whom he greatly admired. After graduating from Ashland High School, he headed to Pennsylvania State University where he was a trombone player in the Blue Band and graduated in three years. A week after graduation he left for Philadelphia to attend Jefferson Medical School. It was there that he met his “Pug-Nosed Dream” Rose. He married her and cherished her for 58 years until her death in 2005. He graduated from Jefferson in 1951 and became a resident at the Reading Hospital and was an associate radiologist there until 1981 when he transferred to Ephrata Hospital. He was most proud of his development of the Nuclear Medicine Department at the Reading Hospital. He cared deeply about his patients and believed there was a no replacement for talking with them face to face for diagnoses and healing. He adored the technologists who worked with him, and they adored him. He was sincerely grateful for his ability to have a career that he loved that allowed him to pursue what was in his heart, music.

From the piano in Ashland to his piano at 600 Brobst St. and finally at the Highlands, you could find him playing and or arranging. If he was not there, he was undoubtedly at the dining room table with his ink and pen in hand writing his arrangements. During those years, he mastered the trombone, playing in high school, college and beyond until macular degeneration made it too difficult to play. His “gigs” include the Hafer/Jacobson Big Band, The Wyomissing Big Band, The Bobby Mercer Big Band, Trombones Incorporated, Bones of Contention, and freelance work for Helen O’Connell, Billy Epstein, Jack Jones, Sammy Kaye, Maynard Ferguson, Al Martino, Ronnie Milsap, and others. His long time friendship and musical collaborations with Dave Stahl were especially meaningful to him. He was an avid supporter and participant in the Berks Jazz Fest, including music education which precipitated the Doc Mulligan Get Jazzed Day. He was the inaugural recipient of the Frank Scott Award.

Bob was a very charming man with a wonderful sense of humor. He was the epitome of a “great guy.”

He was predeceased by his beloved wife Rose Mary (Glaudel) Mulligan, his daughter Patricia, and his sisters, Marcia Bertelson and Joyce Bushpics. He is survived by his daughters, Marta A. Mulligan, and Michele Mulligan Pollock. He also leaves behind his dear grandchildren, David R. Botch and Mary R. Botch, his son-in-law Mark W. Pollock, his nieces and nephews, and many wonderful friends.

A public graveside service will be held on Thursday, January 14, 2021, at Gethsemane Cemetery, 3139 Kutztown Road, Laureldale, PA. A celebration of his life party will be held sometime in the future. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Reading Musical Foundation, 201 Washington Street, Reading, PA 19601, Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc., West Reading is honored to assist Dr. Mulligan’s family. Condolences may be expressed at

In Memorium: Frank Joseph Ferraro

Mr. Ferraro was a member of our local for 66 years. frank ferraro

Frank Joseph Ferraro , Sr., 88, of Wyomissing, passed away on Sunday, December 20, 2020, in the care of ManorCare Laureldale. He was the loving husband of Linda E. (Gresh) Ferraro, with whom he celebrated 56 years of marriage. Born in Reading, Frank was a son of the late John and Caroline (Villano) Ferraro.

He graduated from Reading High School in 1950 and attended the West Chester State Teachers College where he earned his BA in Instrumental Music in 1955. Frank would graduate in 1959 from Columbia University with his Masters of Music.

A passionate instructor, Frank began his career at the Mahanoy Township School District in 1955 as a Music Instructor. In 1957 he accepted the position of Band Director for Boyertown School District. In 1964 Frank accepted a position at Wilson School District, from where he retired in 1993 as the Supervisor of Music.

Frank was a gifted conductor and arranger, and he acted as the Music Director for the West Reading Police Cadets and also as the Music Director for the Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps. A founding member of the Cavalcade of Bands Association, Frank was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1991 and inducted into the Reading Buccaneer Hall of Fame in 1995. Frank served as the judge for countless marching band and other band competitions throughout the Midwest. His contributions to the field of music are reflected by the hundreds of people—both young and old—who he instructed.

In addition to his loving wife, Linda, Frank’s memory will be treasured by his children, Veronica E. Mascaro and Frank J. Ferraro Jr; his grandchildren Angelina G. Mascaro, Damian Ferraro, and Aria L. Ferraro; and his brothers John Ferraro (Patty) and Ronald Ferraro. He was predeceased by his sister, Carol Fuoti.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Frank’s memory to the Reading Musical Foundation, 201 Washington St, Reading, PA 19601.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated privately. The Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc, is entrusted with arrangements. Condolences, tributes, and fond memories may be expressed at  

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Watch meeting at which an auditorium dedication to Mr. Ferraro is discussed.

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Local 135-211 General & Executive Board Meeting Schedule:

(If you plan to attend any of these meetings please email Jerry Heere for meeting times and locations.)

            March 9, 2021   (TUESDAY)

             June 8, 2021  (TUESDAY)

             September 14, 2021  (TUESDAY)

            December 14, 2021  (TUESDAY) 

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in Local 135-211 of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. The AFM is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians. Local 135-211 represents many of the finest professional musicians in Pennsylvania.