Dr. Nicholas Erneston, PH.D.
Nicholas Erneston (April 11, 1922-June 2, 2003) was born in Salisbury, North Carolina. He was graduated from Boyden High School in Salisbury, where he was a member of the wrestling team (85-pound class!) during his freshman and sophomore years. He studied at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Dayton, Virginia, earning a B.M.E. degree in violin in 1942. Erneston then entered the United States Army Air Corps, 51st Control Squadron, where he served from 1942 to 1946 and had tours of duty in India and in Burma.
After leaving the Army Air Corps, Erneston studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in Ohio and received an M.M. degree in violin and research from the conservatory in 1948. During this same time, he was a member of the first violin section of the Dayton (Ohio) Philharmonic and also gave private violin lessons in the Norwood, Ohio, public schools. Erneston earned a Ph.D. degree in music from Florida State University in 1961, as a Danforth scholar–he was a recipient of a college teacher grant from the Danforth Foundation.
Erneston’s long and distinguished teaching career in the Department of Music at Appalachian State University began in 1948 and continued until his retirement in June 1992. In 1968, Erneston became the first dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, in addition to continuing his tenure as a professor in the Department of Music.
Professor Erneston was the author of many articles and papers, including “There’ll Be Some Changes Made” (North Carolina Education, April 1952, reprinted December 1952), “A Comparative Study of the B.M. and B.S. Students at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music” (1948), “A Study to Determine the Effect of Musical Experience and Mental Ability on the Formulation of Musical Taste” (Dissertation 1961–reviewed in Journal of Research in Music and reviewed rather prominently in Paul Farnsworth’s The Psychology of Music), and in “The Collegium Musicum” (Faculty Publications, 1968-69).
In addition to his academic accomplishments, Dr. Erneston was a member of the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Symphony Orchestra, the Hickory (North Carolina) Symphony Orchestra, and the Roanoke (Virginia) Symphony Orchestra, serving as assistant concertmaster and appearing as a soloist several times. His professional affiliations included the North Carolina Orchestra Association (past president, 1952-55), the North Carolina Music Education Association (member, executive committee, 1952-55), the National School Orchestra Association, and the Association of American University Presses. In September 1992, Erneston was awarded the rank of professor emeritus.
Dr. Erneston and his first wife, Elsie (deceased), had three daughters, Eva Danay (July 15, 1944-1987), Maria Isabel (August 26, 1947-), and Elsie Hogue (December 14, 1954-). He and his new wife, Elaine, were married in March 1993, in Boone, on the weekend of The Blizzard. They made their home in Augusta, Ga.
Sources: Appalachian State University files and long association.
-Dr. Richard D. Howe