Memorial Biography: Rodney Mansfield (1931–2011)

NHGMC remembers NHGMC’s first artistic director, Rodney F. Mansfield.  Rodney served as NHGMC’s first artistic director from 1998 to 2000.  Rodney organized our first group of singing members and, together with the chartering members, helped lead our fledgling chorus through our early years.  Rodney began rehearsing the chorus in April, 1998.  He established and nurtured NHGMC’s standard of choral excellence until his retirement in 2000.  He was succeeded that year by our current artistic director, Luc Andre Roberge.

Rodney passed away peacefully on June 8, 2011, at his summer home in Wells, Maine, after a short battle with cancer.  Coincidentally (or not) the chorus’s state charter, signed by chartering members, was filed with the New Hampshire Secretary of State ― and thus our chorus was officially born ― on June 8, 1998.

An avid theater and music lover, Rodney also founded the Mischaum Choral Society in Woburn, Massachusetts, and the Greeley Singers in Pelham, New Hampshire. He also served as Director of the Barnstormers Men’s Chorus for fourteen years.  He worshiped at United Church of Christ Congregational Church in Burlington, Massachusetts, and in Pelham. He volunteered with Meals on Wheel in Bradenton, Florida.

Rodney completed his Bachelor’s Degree at UNH, Durham, his Master’s Degree at Colorado University, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) at Harvard University.  Rodney taught in Merrimac, Massachusetts, and New Ipswich and Merrimack, New Hampshire, and he worked for Colorado’s Department of Education.  He served as Principal of Burlington High School and Assistant Superintendent of Merrimack/Bedford, New Hampshire, public school system.  Additionally, Rodney was Director of Education at the Boston Museum of Science, and he worked for the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.

If you would like to make a contribution to an annual scholarship in Rodney’s name, given to a student pursuing post-secondary education in a scientific or musical field, please send your donation to Merrimack High School, 38 McElwain Street, Merrimack, NH, 03054. Attention: Ken Johnson.

Read more about Rodney and everyone in the Chorus on Our History page.

We know Rodney would have been proud to see NHGMC, a chorus which he helped create and nurture, celebrating our 15th Crystal Jubilee anniversary in 2013 and our 20th Anniversary in 2018.

Thank you for your music, your vision, and your life, Rodney. 

You remain our Brother Forever.