Dr. Bernard Gastler – Founder
The late Dr. Bernard Gastler gave freely of his time and talents to benefit the larger community to make the world a better place through his actions and example.
He was the son of Thelma Oliver Gastler and Leo John Gastler. Dr. Gastler was born in Wellsville, Missouri on August 14, 1929. After graduating from high school in 1947, he enrolled at Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska. He attained a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1953. He later resumed his studies and earned Master’s and Doctoral degrees in music education from The University of Texas at Austin.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Gastler worked as an elementary school teacher and minister of music at Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Arthur and at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Austin, where he also served at an Organist. In 1982 he became a professor of music at Concordia University in Texas.
In 1986, Dr. Gastler founded the Austin Children’s Choir with the support of Concordia University. Since it’s inception, Dr. Gastler dedicated himself to the group as its conductor, artistic director and a board member. Under his leadership, the choir flourished. Today, the choir performs throughout the year at concerts and local events and features a diverse membership of singers.
Dr. Gastler was a devoted family man, and was married to Ruth Meyer Gastler for nearly six decades and had two children: Connie and Gregory.
Though it is impossible to gauge the full effect of a man’s life, some individuals leave their unmistakable mark on the world. Dr. Gastler’s outstanding contributions to his community continue to resonate in the lives of all who knew him. In 2009 Dr. Gastler was honored for his achievements and for his many years of service by Sylvester Turner, State Representative, District 39.