BARNER SCHUMANN SWARTZ
Born September 4, 1919, and reared in rural Juniata County, near Richfield, Barner graduated from Liverpool High School in 1936, received his bachelor's degree in music from Susquehanna University in 1940 and his master's degree in music education from Pennsylvania State University in 1949.
Barner began his teaching career in the Millerstown schools in 1940. When the district reorganized in 1949, he became director of bands in the new Greenwood School District and held that position until his retirement in 1977. During his tenure, the Greenwood High School band won four superior ratings in marching band competitions and five superior ratings in district and state music contests. Barner served as guest conductor for various county and district festivals and adjudicated numerous music contests. He was a member of the National Advisory Board of Modern Music Masters, the national music honor society for high school music students.
In 1965, he was honored by his students, past and present, in a "This is Your Life" program, and in 1967, he was selected as Teacher of the Year by the Perry County Education Association and Region K educational unit of the state. He was further honored by receiving a citation from the state Department of Education for outstanding contributions in the field of music education. In 1972, he received the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award for the state of Pennsylvania, awarded by the Nu Chapter of the National Bandmasters Fraternity.
Following his 37-year teaching career, in 1977, Barner organized the Greenwood Community Band and served as its conductor for 19 years. He then held the title of conductor emeritus and continued his association in the band and affiliated brass choir as a member of the French horn section until 2005.
Barner was an active member of Highland United Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder, choir member, choir director and assistant choir director for many years. He was instrumental in the foundation of the Eastern Perry County Recital Series concerts presented at the church, featuring talented musicians from the central Pennsylvania area.
During World War II, Barner served in the Army as a bandsman, playing French horn in the 216th Army Ground Forces Band at Camp Gordon, Ga. He later became a member of the 553rd Air Force Band of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, where he was a member of the French horn section and vocal soloist. After 22 years of service, he retired as a senior master sergeant, band superintendant and assistant bandmaster. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for distinguished and meritorious service.
Barner was a member of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, Association of Concert Bands, National Band Association, Pennsylvania State Education Association, Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees, Phi Beta Mu National Bandmasters Association, Air Force Sergeants Association, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States and the Air Force Retired Musicians Association.
He also belonged to the Millerstown Moose, the Perry Valley Grange and the Liverpool American Legion and was a 60-year charter member and past president of the Millerstown Lions Club. He was a past member of the American Legion Post 27 Band of Harrisburg, where he was the conductor for two years and the associate conductor for seven years. Barner was a Master Mason in Newport Lodge 381. Other Masonic affiliations included Tall Cedars Forest 88, the Zembo Shrine and its concert band, the Harrisburg Consistory and its orchestra and the Perry/Juniata Shrine Club.
Barner's special honors included the Perry County Council of the Arts award for Service to the Arts, in 1989; the Perry County Association of School Retirees Outstanding Volunteer Award, from 1995 to 1996; the Millerstown Junior Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Senior Citizen Award, in 1991; and the Perry Valley Grange Community Citizen Award, in 2001.