Lawrence Alan Oncley

Lawrence Alan Oncley died January 21, 2003, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was born August 19, 1939, in Greensboro, North Carolina, the son of Paul and Alma Lissow Oncley.

He lived in Adams House and sang in the Glee Club while at Harvard, but left after sophomore year, completing a B.S. in physics at the University of Puget Sound in 1962. He also earned a B.Mus. at the University of Puget Sound in 1963, then entered graduate school at Indiana University; he earned an M.Mus. in voice pedagogy in 1966 and a Ph.D. in musicology in 1975.

He began his career as an engineer at Boeing Corporation, doing research on radiation protection and scientific instrumentation for space flights. Soon, however, he decided to turn full-time to music.

He likened himself to a working musician after the Baroque tradition-doing anything he was paid to do, whether it was playing cello, bass, or piano or singing, conducting, or arranging, and whether it was classical music, jazz, rock, or bluegrass. As a cellist he performed in many local groups, including the Reading Symphony Orchestra, which he joined in 1980. He conducted the Lancaster Liederkranz Chorus for more than twenty years. He also gave private cello and voice lessons and taught during the 1970s at Wilson, Chambersburg, and Franklin & Marshall Colleges.

Later, increasingly interested in treating voice disorders, he completed a master's degree in speech pathology at West Chester University in 1990 and founded a consulting business, Voice Dynamics.

He was survived by his wife, Katharina Possler; a son, Steven; a sister, Carol Sedgwick; and two grandsons.


Reprinted courtesy of the Harvard Alumni Association Class Report Office from the Harvard and Radcliffe Classes of 1960 Fiftieth Anniversary Report.