When married one year, Hilda Erickson and her husband John were called on a mission to the Goshute natives southwest of Salt Lake City in 1883. Even though she didn’t ask for it, what did she eventually become to the natives?
a. Doctor and dentist
c. Medicine woman
d. Indian agent
From the life of Alexander Schreiner: [Brother Schreiner], organist of the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Utah, was born July 31, 1901 in Nuremberg, Germany, the son of Johann Christian and Margarethe Schwemmer Schreiner. His parents joined the Church in 1903 and soon thereafter offered their home to the branch for regular sacrament services, Sunday school and choir rehearsals. This afforded their son opportunity to hear much church music at an early age. When only five years old, at a Christmas program, he played in public for the first time. He was baptized at the age of eight, at which time he was also appointed organist for the Nuremberg branch of the Church. His regular duties consisted of playing for Sunday school, Sacramental meeting, choir rehearsal and the mid-week Bible hour. At this time he was studying piano with Herr Karl Anders and violin with Herr Stengel.
In 1912 he left Germany with his parents and settled in Salt Lake City. He was immediately appointed organist for the German meetings, and, soon thereafter, organist in the Cannon Ward. His musical studies in piano, harmony and organ were continued under the tutelage of John J. McClellan, who recognized the talent of this eleven-year-old boy and who at that early date predicted a brilliant future for him.
At the age of sixteen, Alexander Schreiner was engaged to play the large organ at the American Theater, then the most important play-house in Salt Lake City. By the time he finished high school he was offered a similar position in Butte, Montana, and, following this, he did theater work in Portland, Oregon, and in Los Angeles, California. At the age of twenty he played his first recitals on the Tabernacle organ at the invitation of the regular organists.
In 1921 he left for a mission in California. His fame was then already established, for during his first year of missionary work eight different organist’s position were offered him, greatly to the pride and astonishment of his missionary companions. Of course none of these positions could be accepted at that time. However, he played a number of concert engagements, dedicating new church organs, one of which was the large organ in Angeles Temple, Los Angeles. During the last part of his mission he presided over the Los Angeles Conference, in which thirty-five missionaries were laboring. He was released in March, 1924.
Upon his return to Salt Lake City, he was immediately appointed one of the organists at the Tabernacle. In September, 1924, he left for Europe, and for two years in Paris he studied harmony and counterpoint with Henri Libert, and organ with Charles Marie Widor and Louis Vierne, the latter organist at Notre Dame Cathedral. He was invited frequently to play various important organs, and thus had good opportunity to study their design and construction.
In 1927 he married Margaret Lyman, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Richard R. Lyman, who was born Sept. 15, 1903. Two children have been born to this union, namely, Richard Lyman Schreiner in 1931 and John Christian Schreiner in 1933.
In 1930, when the University of California at Los Angeles was presented with the beautiful Mudd Memorial organ, Mr. Schreiner was invited to play the first 25 recitals. This was to be followed by other series of recitals by other organists in order that the University authorities might have some basis of judgment on which to make a final selection for the permanent position. After Mr. Schreiner had played his first six recitals, his success was so outstanding that the contracts with the other organist (who were to try out) were all cancelled and he was appointed University organist with the consent of the First Presidency of the Church, who gave him a yearly leave of absence for nine months. He continues to spend his summers at the Tabernacle, where he plays national radiobroadcasts and noon recitals. At the University of California at Los Angeles, in addition to his duties as organist, he is a member of the faculty as lecturer in music.
For five years he was organist at the First Methodist Church of Los Angeles, the largest Methodist Church in the world. He assisted John McCormack in the making of one of his motion pictures at the Fox Studio. He had played dedicatory recitals at Barker Brothers in Los Angeles, and in Riverside, San Bernardino, Fullerton, Phoenix and other cities.
During the summer of 1936 the “Deseret News” presented him in a series of special Bach, Franck and Wagner programs at five p.m. in the Tabernacle. These recitals were enthusiastically received by large audiences.
Mr. Schreiner is intensely interested in devising plans for the improvement of musical equipment in the chapels of the Church. He feels that a pipe organ is a most desirable adjunct to a church edifice, and that nothing of equal cost can inspire and lead to lofty thoughts as does the music for a church organ. In 1936 he wrote for ward and Sunday school organists a book of devotional music entitled “Schreiner’s Organ Voluntaries.”
Andrew Jenson, L.D.S. Biographical Encyclopedia, (Salt Lake City, Andrew Jensen Memorial Association, 1936), 4: 164-166.