Whether you attended Edina schools or not, you may have learned to play your band instrument with help from Edina teacher Hal Freese. A popular teacher at Creek Valley and Countryside Elementary Schools, Hal also wrote several band lesson books used in many school districts.
Despite Hal's prominence in Edina schools, we don't currently have a lot of information about him in our collection beyond his obituary and yearbook information and photos. I happened upon Hal's name after I attended a University of Minnesota Marching Band concert, emceed by Hal's son Stan Freese.
An elite tuba player and current Talent Casting & Booking Director with Disney Entertainment Productions, Stan mentioned that he graduated from Edina schools. That led me to an internet search, which led me to info about Hal Freese, which in turn prompted many people talking about what a great man he was.
Stan and I are working on documenting Hal and his musical family. Hal's wife Ethel was a piano and voice teacher, and Stan's sons Josh and Jason are also talented professional musicians, playing for such groups as the Vandals and Green Day.
I have received some information from former students as well. Patricia Bender sent this photo, circa 1975, that appeared in South View or Edina East yearbook. (Note the music teachers' reading material!) Hal is the third man from the left.
Please send me your photos, Hal Freese lesson books or stories about him.
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