May 17, 1948 - November 1, 2021
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of a giant in Adventist music circles. Calvin Knipschild was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the third of four children born to John and Reba Knipschild. He spent most of his childhood in Hawaii and Glendale, California, where his father was the Superintendent of Schools. He attended Glendale Adventist Academy until his senior year when he transferred to Rio Lindo Academy, a boarding school near Healdsburg, because his father was relocated to the Northern California Conference.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Pacific Union College where he majored in Music with a minor in Religion. The music faculty at the time did not agree with his philosophy of music ministry and discouraged him from pursuing a career in music, but he wouldn’t be persuaded and transferred to La Sierra College where he continued his music training. He eventually graduated from Beverly Hills University and started his teaching career in 1970 at his alma mater, Glendale Adventist Academy (GAA), where he taught Bible and directed the Chorale. His choir was renowned for their precise sound and his choice of musical selections tended toward music ministry rather than performance.
At the beginning of his tenure at GAA, he started a mixed vocal group called The One Way Singers. They traveled extensively all across the United States performing contemporary gospel music. One of the singers in the group was a beautiful young nursing student named Linda Williams. She caught his eye and they were married on September 12, 1971. After their first child, Erich, was born in 1978, Linda persuaded Calvin to quit traveling and The One Way Singers was disbanded. However, Calvin’s older brother, Conrad, who had sung with him in The One Way Singers, missed traveling and the opportunity to share God’s love through music so he organized the formation of a male chorus and persuaded Calvin to direct it. Thus, in 1981, Christian Edition was born. A daughter, DeAnne, also joined their family in 1981.
A few years later, Calvin transferred to San Gabriel Academy (SGA) where he again taught Bible and directed the Chorale. And again, his chorale was renowned for its tight sound and music ministry. Calvin’s musical choices and precise direction made him the perfect choice to direct countless academy music festivals over the years.
As Christian Edition became more well-known, they began to travel and for the past 40 years, they have traveled extensively across the United States. They have been featured in the Family Reunion videos sponsored by the Voice of Prophecy and on countless radio and video broadcasts. They have also sung at several General Conference Sessions and for the National Day of Prayer in Washington, DC.
After teaching at SGA for several years, Calvin transferred to Loma Linda Academy in Loma Linda, California, where he again taught Bible and directed the Chorale. Calvin retired from teaching in 2010 and he and Linda moved to Washougal, Washington, into their dream retirement home across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, with a view of Mt. Hood. He continued to direct Christian Edition and would fly down to Los Angeles a few times a month for rehearsals and concerts. He was also persuaded to direct a men’s chorus that formed at the Pleasant Valley SDA Church on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, as well as a children’s choir for homeschoolers, all of which kept him very busy.
During his retirement years, Calvin experienced several health setbacks. When COVID-19 shut things down, he decided to take a less active role in Christian Edition and he turned the direction of the group over to accompanist and arranger Michael Spencer. A few months ago, Calvin was admitted to the hospital and as a result of the illness, his kidneys shut down and he had to have dialysis 3 times a week, which completely drained his energy. A few weeks ago, he was again admitted to the hospital where he passed to his rest on Monday, November 1, 2021, shortly after his last visit in person with Linda and Erich and on the phone with DeAnne. He is survived by his wife Linda, his son Erich, his daughter DeAnne, three grandsons, his sister Llona Maxwell, his sisters-in-law Pat Knipschild and Donna Knipschild, several nephews, grandnephews and grandnieces. He was predeceased by his older brothers Conrad and Gary.
In Calvin’s family life, in his high school teaching career, and with the Christian Edition men’s chorus, his ministry served the Lord first and foremost. His focus was both on bringing everyone he met closer to Jesus in this world and on pointing them towards the blessed hope of the heavenly kingdom to come.
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The best of Christian Edition...
Christian Edition has recorded more than a dozen albums through its decades of music ministry. Now, you can purchase a collection of our most-requested songs on two "best of" albums—Please Sing: Vol. 1 and 2.
Please Sing: Vol. 1
Please Sing: Vol. 2
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