Nancianne B. Parrella Obituary

Nancianne B.  Parrella
Nancianne B. Parrella

November 14, 1935 - June 2, 2019
Born in Trenton, New Jersey
Resided in Cincinnati, Ohio
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Nancianne B. Parrella, 83, renowned musician, educator, mentor, colleague, and cherished friend, died on June 2 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was born on November 14, 1935, in Trenton, New Jersey, to Harris Harper and Alice Kellett Brown. Her devoted husband, Joachim E. Parrella, died in 2013, at Deupree House where they had resided since moving to Cincinnati in 2010. She is survived by her two daughters, Amy Noznesky, her husband David, and their daughter Megan Strauss, of Hobe Sound, Florida, and Lisa OConnell, her husband Terry, and their daughters Catherine Rose and Madeline Kellett, of Loveland, Ohio. She is also pre-deceased by two sisters, Elizabeth Hughes and Sally Jane Bergner.

Nancianne is also survived by and will long be remembered by the thousands of students, colleagues, and friends whose lives she touched and who were made to feel part of her family in her more than six-decade career in music and education.

She earned degrees in music from Trenton State College. now known as the College of New Jersey and began teaching music in the Princeton public schools in 1957. Her church music career began even earlier at First Presbyterian Church and Trinity Cathedral, in Trenton. She continued advanced organ studies with Vernon deTar, in New York, in the 1960s.

A superb organist, her solo recitals and organ concerto performances with orchestras were brilliant, but it was as a collaborative artist- one of America’s preeminent choral accompanists- that Nancianne soared above all. In Princeton, she was co-director with William Trego of the renowned Princeton High School Choir, which for most would have been a full career, but she then went on to join the faculty of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where she was accompanist and assistant director of the famed Westminster Choir and Symphonic Choir directed by the late Joseph Flummerfelt, with which she toured and recorded extensively in Europe, America, Taiwan and Korea.

While teaching at PHS, Nancianne taught in summer programs at Westminster, performing with major choral conductors; and she also assisted at the Spoleto Festivals in Italy and in Charleston, SC, where she was the founding director of the chamber music series “Intermezzo.” She worked with Maurice Durufle on the first performances of his Requiem in the United States.

Nancianne was long associated with America’s pioneering choral conductor, Robert Shaw, with whom she worked in summer choral workshops and later in France with his Festival singers, and toured and recorded in America, France, and Brazil. She also collaborated with other major conductors of the era, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, and Lorin Maazel with the NY Philharmonic; Wolfgang Sawallisch of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Zdenek Macal and Neeme Järvi of the NJ Symphony; and James Bagwell and Louis Langreé in New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival.

In church music she was an indispensable partner to Kent Tritle then to Scott Warren at the Church of St Ignatius Loyola, New York City, and its renowned concert series Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, where she served for over 20 years. Also in New York, From 1978 -92, she worked with Frederick Grimes in the acclaimed Bach Vespers program at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and was a frequent accompanist for other conductors, including Dennis Keene and Voices of Ascension. For 14 years she worked with Greg Funfgeld and the Bethlehem Bach Choir in its historic Festivals in Pennsylvania, and she also served at Trinity Church, Princeton, with John Bertalot.

After moving with Jo to Deupree House in Cincinnati, Nancianne commuted to New York City to continue play at St. Ignatius Loyola, and to work with Andrew Henderson at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Even after her nominal “retirement”—when most people might slow down, she continued to make new friends and musical colleagues in Cincinnati, playing at Christ Church Cathedral with Stephan Casurella, Knox Presbyterian, Covenant First Presbyterian, Collegium Cincinnati, Summer Sing, Indian Hill Episcopal Presbyterian church, and for community events at Deupree House. On her calendar at her death there were still musical engagements in New York City and Texas.

A Funeral Service will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, June 11, at Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. 4th St., Cincinnati Ohio 45202.

A Memorial Service will be held 11 AM on Saturday, September 21, at St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Ave, New York, NY 10028.

In lieu of flowers, Online memorials can be made here by going and contributing to the “Friends of the Cathedral” category with “Parrella memorial” in the memo field.




Funeral Service
Christ Church Cathedral
318 E. 4th St.
Cincinnati, OH US 45202
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Memorial Service
St. Ignatius Loyola
980 Park Avenue
New York, NY US 10028
Saturday, September 21, 2019
11:00 AM