McClelland served as church organist and choir director at the Church on the
Cape from 1992 until his passing in 2002.
Members and Friends Remember Keith McClelland
2002) The loss of our Choir Director and Organist, Keith McClelland, has
Keith was born in Mandan, North
Dakota. It was during his high school years
He received a B.A. in Modern Languages
in 1944 from Jamestown College in North Dakota. Between the years of 1944
and 1968, Keith was Head of the Music
In 1972, he became Elder and Chairman
of Public Worship at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. In 1972,
Below are quotes from members of the congregation...their memories of Keith:
Keith made each of the choir members proud to be part of the Ministry of Music. After each practice, Keith would close with a prayer. The prayer was always spontaneous and from the heart. I would always remember the music and his closing prayer on my drive home. He always inspired me to do my best and always smile...Elaine Triplett
Over the years I have sung with many choir directors, and they all have approached the task in a different way. Keith was unique in that it was the interpretation of the music that was so important. Timing, diction, the notes were important, but interpretation was the key. He had a way of making the music and words come alive, and as a result, I have never felt closer to the music. Keith lived his whole life in harmony with God. There were times he was a hard task master, I can still hear him say "I know you are better than this, you can do better", and, it seemed, we always did. I'd like to think I am a better person for having known and worked with this marvelous person, I know I feel that way inside myself...Rich Parsons
When I think of Keith, the term gentleman and scholar comes to mind. Our initial warm welcome by Keith and the members of his choir was the prime reason we felt we'd found our spiritual home at the Church on The Cape. He was very accepting and helpful to those of us with a love of music and singing but with little formal training.
We feel blessed to have known him for one short year and will miss him tremendously...Debbie Parsons
I am grateful to have been a part of Keith's church life, both at Church on the Cape and for a short time at the Presbyterian Church in Kennebunk. I worked with Keith on the music for a sermon I did once at both churches. His suggestions were right on the mark and his anthem with the choir enhanced the sermon. Even more, I will miss Keith's wonderfully dry sense of humor. He came out with some of the funniest statements when I was least expecting it. He made me feel that my church work was very important and that I am a person to be valued. He had a way of enhancing your self esteem. I will miss him greatly...Alice Bruton
I would like to say a few words about Keith
and what he has meant to me over the years. I first knew Keith when I was a
little girl and my mother sang in the Arundel Yankee Belles under his
direction. They were a wonderful group of talented women who sang a capella
barbershop music. They gave great performances! I have two photos of the
whole group and Keith in their costumes... it brings back fond memories of
the times I spent in the Kennebunk Town Hall listening to them sing.
I first met Mr. McClelland in Kindergarten at
Consolidated School. I always truly enjoyed singing with him in music
class; he always made it so fun.
I am one of Keith's nieces who had the benefit of growing up with him as a powerful influence throughout my life. The humor you all know was there for me and my siblings from the beginning and the large box of humorous postcards and stories sent over the years is just a small part of my memories of him. He frequently wrote funny songs for our family to sing on long car trips, my most favorite of which opened like this: "Oh I'm going to Seattle, to Seattle Wash, and I hope she washes while I'm there."
To grasp the reality of his passing is very difficult, but is made a bit softer after reading the recollections by his local church friends and knowing how intimately he touched all of you. My heart is with his family there and I know the service will make him proud to have been a part of your community. Wendy McClelland Gepner, Edmonds, Washington
It's only five years since we first met Keith and Mary Lou, but it seems so much longer. They became an important part of our lives as newcomers to Ward Road in Kennebunkport, the place we chose to retire. They are our neighbors and have taught us much about living here, and about living. We shall count as important times trips together to Bailey Island, by boat and by car. Lunched at Richard's restaurant in Brunswick, sharing stories of how much dining there reminded us of the German restaurants in New York City, close to the neighborhood they lived.
The McClellands were with us at retirement celebration in 1998 and our 35th anniversary party in July,2001 and many times in between. It wasn't very long until Keith and Mary Lou knew our daughter's names, where they were living and working, and they never stopped asking about them. They celebrated with us the joy of our first grandchild, Charles. Joan and I hold special a picture of Keith with Charlie in our home on Easter Sunday, 2002.
The encouragement from Keith week after week at choir rehearsal and on Sunday mornings got me (Jim) to do some things I'd never imagined. First a duet with Jim Rooney, then a part of a quartet with Shirley, Elaine and Jim, and in April, 2002, a solo part mixed in with choir anthem. Thank you, Keith.
We'd ride to church together most Sunday mornings. Keith always greeted me with the words, "So good to see you." I knew he meant it and it felt real good. Then a stop at Bradbury's for our NY Times and a conversation about last week's crossword puzzle.
His hugs to Joan, compliments abounding whenever we shared a meal, the friendly wave as he drove Ward Road toward his home are forever a part of our lives in Cape Porpoise. Our family, our church and this part of God's world are richer for the life given to us in Keith. Thanks be to God! Joan and Jim Lennon
The way he wove his strong sense of virtues and values into his life, teaching, and interactions with others was unique. And the way he gave his full attention and interest to whomever he was speaking made one feel worthy, and eager to do one’s best, so as not to belie the expectation and trust he put in each of us. His thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and faith were extraordinary. It was a rare privilege to have been in his presence...Sherry McClelland, São Paulo, Brazil
It's hard to add to the words that have been sent. They paint a portrait of the Uncle I knew and loved and that matches my memories. Modest, immensely talented, supportive, sharply humorous, patient, kind... true words but don't capture all that he was. He touched and influenced my life in so many ways and in reading these notes we see only the tip of the iceberg of others he influenced. What a legacy. Our memories of him will always be strong. (Stories my father told about Keith growing up are told to our children as if we had been there ourselves.) I was blessed to be a part of Keith's family...Terry Keith McClelland, Gig Harbor, WA
The Keith McClelland
Community Music Foundation
on the Cape
PO Box 2740
Kennebunkport, ME 04046