University of Rochester

Rochester Review
May–June 2014
Vol. 76, No. 5

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CHANCE ENCOUNTERS No Retirement from Music
encounters(RE)CONNECTED: Fuyuume (back), Apgar, and Kujala listen and perform together as residents of the Shannondell retirement community in Valley Forge, Pa. (Photo: Courtesy of Alice Pillischer Kujala ’48E)

After reading “Musical Meet-Up,” (January-February), Alice Pillischer Kujala ’48E wrote to share her own chance encounter:

I was inspired to send this picture of three Eastman graduates from the years 1949–50. We are living in a retirement community called Shannondell at Valley Forge with 1,200 other talented, interesting senior citizens.

Horace (Hap) Apgar ’49E is sitting on the piano bench. A string bassist, he left Eastman after his freshman year to volunteer in the service and received the Bronze and Silver Stars for combat duty. After the war ended, he was transferred to the military government in Frankfurt, Germany. From there, he was placed in the monuments section, which was charged with finding and returning stolen art and artifacts. He was discharged in 1946 and returned to the Eastman School.

During his senior year, he played in the Rochester Philharmonic. In 1950, he joined the Houston Symphony. The following year, he went to the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and soon after became principal bass. Hap retired from the Oklahoma City Philharmonic 56 years later. He had a brother who lived in Valley Forge, and he moved to Shannondell in 2011.

John Fuyuume ’48E, ’50E (MM) studied piano. Although we were at Eastman at the same time, we never met until he moved to Shannondell in 2008. He’d been retired vice president and corporate secretary of Gotan and Larson Shipping Corp. in Hamilton, Bermuda, until 1990, when he cofounded the Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center in New Jersey. In 2011, the government of Japan recognized him with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, for his work preserving the history and culture of the Seabrook Japanese-American community.

John was also an honorary member of the board of managers of the Eastman School. After many years away from the piano, he is once again enjoying playing and performs frequently at Shannondell.

I studied violin. After graduation, I taught string instruments in Philadelphia public schools for two years. I returned to Rochester and taught classroom music and started an orchestra in the then Churchville-Chili Central School for three years. From there I went to the Chicago area and began teaching using the Suzuki method in the Winnetka public schools for 20-plus years. I returned to the Philadelphia area and taught private students until I moved to Shannondell in 2004 and now enjoy playing quartets with friends. John and I have also played together at Shannondell on several occasions.

Here we are after 60-plus years, having wonderful memories, enjoying our retirement, and being spoiled by beautiful surroundings. Who can ask for anything more?