Genevieve DeHaven Emmerling
Genevieve DeHaven Emmerling, of Little Rock, a distinguished figure in music throughout Arkansas and the South, died Sunday. She was 96 years old.
A child prodigy in piano performance, Genevieve Clements grew up in Benton Harbor, Michigan, concretizing and winning many regional competitions. She continued her advanced musical training at the Cosmopolitan School of Music in Chicago, where she studied under Clarence Eidem. In 1927 Genevieve Clements won first place in a national piano competition. The prize for which was a concert grand piano. The following year, Miss Clements made her concert debut at Orchestra Hall in Chicago playing the Piano Concerto in A Minor by Robert Schumann with the Chicago Symphony.
In 1930, Genevieve Clements married Robert DeHaven, a banker, in Benton Harbor and for 15 years she performed and taught in southern Michigan and Chicago. The DeHaven family moved to Little Rock when Bob DeHaven purchased and managed the Two States Fruit Package Company. Genevieve DeHaven became active in, and was elected president of the Little Rock Musical Coterie and the family became members of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Mrs. DeHaven was very active in the life of the Cathedral and was elected president of the Episcopal Church Women. Mr. DeHaven served as Vestryman, treasurer and then Senior Warden of the Cathedral. He died in 1969.
With her own performance career coming to an end, Mrs. DeHaven, now Mrs. Arthur Emmerling became a member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of Music Clubs of America. For twenty five years, she and Co-Chairman, Mrs. George Jordan of Camden, served as promoters and booking agents for the winners of the National Federation Annual Music Competition. As Young Artists' chairmen they established the tradition of a concert tour throughout the state of Arkansas for a young artist each year in September. She and Mrs. Jordan were responsible for the creation of a 10-day concert tour of the state of Arkansas. They worked with Federated Music Clubs throughout the state and they arranged transportation, housing, and publicity for each city on the tour. This proved to be a welcome opportunity for music groups in the state to present world-class musicians; for the young musicians, it was in many cases, their first real concert tour. Arkansas was the first state in the nation to seize this opportunity and other states soon followed Arkansas' lead. Mrs. Emmerling enjoyed many close friendships among these Young Artists, who have become distinguished, well known professionals and have remained in close touch with her.
Last April, in Jonesboro, the Federated Music Clubs of Arkansas honored Genevieve Emmerling for her extraordinary work with Young Artists.
She was a member of The Washington National Cathedral Association and the Aesthetic Club of Little Rock and presented papers regularly, until her ninetieth birthday. Genevieve Emmerling is survived by her daughter, Cynthia DeHaven Pitcock, assistant professor in Medical Humanities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, her son-in-law, Dr. James Allison Pitcock, two grandchildren, four great grandchildren and the Arthur Emmerling Family.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, today, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral with the Very Reverend Henry Hudson officiating. Burial will follow in Roselawn Memorial Park. Arrangements under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.
Memorials to Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 310 West 17, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72206 or the Little Rock Musical Coterie, 5706 LaMirado Dr., North Little Rock, AR 72118.