Emmalyn G. Frye obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Emmalyn G. Frye

May 7, 1926 - February 4, 2015

Obituary


Emmalyn Frye passed away unexpectedly, yet quite peacefully, in her sleep the morning of February 4, 2015. She was 88 years old.
Born May 7, 1926 in Waxhaw, NC, Emmalyn grew up among many cousins, friends, aunts and uncles, and discovered the joy of music at a young age. As early as 12 she was asked to perform at relatives' weddings as well as in her church. After graduating from high school in Waxhaw at the age of 16, she enrolled at Coker College in Hartsville, SC, to study voice.
Upon graduation, Emmalyn moved...

Emmalyn Frye passed away unexpectedly, yet quite peacefully, in her sleep the morning of February 4, 2015. She was 88 years old.
Born May 7, 1926 in Waxhaw, NC, Emmalyn grew up among many cousins, friends, aunts and uncles, and discovered the joy of music at a young age. As early as 12 she was asked to perform at relatives' weddings as well as in her church. After graduating from high school in Waxhaw at the age of 16, she enrolled at Coker College in Hartsville, SC, to study voice.
Upon graduation, Emmalyn moved to New York to pursue further studies in voice at the Juilliard School of Music. In addition to her exciting involvement there, she worked in the Columbia University Admissions Office and performed in the Columbia University Choir. During this time she sang professionally as a soloist in many churches, including Riverside Church in Manhattan.
After a few years in New York, Emmalyn moved to Washington, DC, where she continued to perform. Later, while still in her 20's, she accepted a position at Gardner-Webb College in Boiling Springs, NC, where she taught voice and drama. It was there that she met her future husband, Revis Miller Frye, a Masters' graduate from Columbia University and then a coach at the college.
Emmalyn and Revis married in 1956 in Waxhaw. They started their family in Garden City, then Mineola, New York, later relocating to West Hempstead, as Revis pursued a career as baseball, swimming and track coach at Adelphi College. During these years Emmalyn continued to sing many solos at local churches while raising her two children, whose images she captured lovingly and capably on her Kodak Brownie camera in photographs which are cherished to this day.
The family relocated to the south in the mid-60's when Revis accepted a teaching position at Clemson University. Both Emmalyn and Revis became actively involved in the local music and arts scene, including the Clemson Little Theatre and the Clemson Chorale Society. Emmalyn began teaching music in the elementary schools, and later at Edwards Junior High, in the Pickens County School District.
Emmalyn began the career that changed her life, and that of many others, in 1976 when she accepted the position as Director of the D.W. Daniel High School Chorus in Central, SC.
Emmalyn put passion into her work that pulses through her former students to this day. She had the fervor, charm, and faith to coax and support anyone into joining Chorus. No student went unnoticed, unloved, or uneducated. She introduced them all to some of the most gorgeous vocal pieces ever written, how to properly and accurately produce sound from their young bodies, and how to read classical music. Record numbers of students were accepted into All State Chorus; concerts, particularly the annual Christmas concert, became so popular that the Chorus was invited to perform in the concert hall on the Clemson campus in order to accommodate the large attendance. In addition to directing the Chorus, Emmalyn also taught speech and drama at Daniel. The annual plays included "The Importance of Being Earnest", "South Pacific", and "Fiddler on the Roof".
During these years and after, Emmalyn also conducted the choir at Seneca Presbyterian Church in Seneca, SC, a position she held for over thirty years, where she was held in high and loving esteem by her choir and members of the Congregation. Her work was eagerly supported by former pastor Dr. Robert Dendy, and "sung in the same voice" as her talented organist and dear friend, Robert Moffat.
Emmalyn moved to Cape Cod in May, 2012. She kept up with her friends and family via carefully hand-written letters and engaging phone calls. She enjoyed following the news, politics, and sports, particularly college basketball, golf, and baseball. She became a Red Sox fan, staying up as late as necessary to watch games that went into extra innings. Just the day before she died, she discussed Super Bowl plays at length and enjoyed an excellent dinner.
She has been described by former students as "having dancing eyes and a smile that lit up the world," a person who could "locate your diaphragm in one jab!", and one deserving of upon arriving into Heaven being greeted with a "magnificent rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus, conducted by Handel himself."
Emmalyn is predeceased by her parents, William Clyde Gamble and Emma Lee Niven Gamble; her husband, Revis Miller Frye; and her sister, Clyda Gamble Doster. She is survived by two children, Berrie Frye Hirst of Orleans, MA, and Graham Miller Frye of Pendleton, SC; three grandchildren, William Graham Hirst of Berlin, Germany, Aaron Niven Hirst of Northampton, MA, and Jonah Wesley Hirst of Orleans, MA. She is also survived by her helpmate, personal chef, and "best friend" James L. West, as well as by her faithful, loving companion who misses her greatly, mini Doberman Pinscher Daisy Mae.
A musical celebration of Emmalyn's joyous life, including performances and participation of her former students, will be held at D.W. Daniel High School in Central, SC on Saturday, August 1 at 2:00 p.m. All who knew Emmalyn are welcome to attend. In honor of her life, donations may be made to a scholarship that will be awarded to D.W. Daniel students showing promise and hoping to pursue advanced studies in voice, orchestra, concert band, or drama. Contributions may be made to the Emmalyn G Frye Fine Arts Scholarship and addressed to Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, P.O. Box 86, Orleans, MA 02653, c/o Uelia Hayward.