Miss Eleanor Sherman
(Mrs. Eleanor S. Hennig)

b. 15 Oct 1901
d. 12 Apr 1994 - Newport News, VA - age 92

Oberlin Conservatory, B. A., B. M. E.

Music, Band, Junior Chorus Sponsor

1953 Anchor, p. 16 1958 Anchor, p. 14


Eleanor Sherman Hennig, an alumnus of Oberlin Music Conservatory died Tuesday afternoon, April 12, 1994, at the age of 92. Mrs. Hennig, whose name in academia was synonymous with tradition and quality, organized the first Newport News High School marching band in 1929. The original band was composed of eleven boys.

She headed the high school music department for 21 years until her retirement in 1959. She also directed the school orchestra and helped with choral work at various times as the school grew.

Hundreds upon hundreds of Peninsulars who appeared in the gold and blue Newport News High School band uniforms since that day in 1929 will forever remember the dynamic and multi-talented musician. Countless thousands applauded the fine marching band, their stirring music, and their intricate formations.

Hennig instilled in all the lives she touched a strong desire for the pursuit of excellence that contributed so much to their success in later life. In addition to her renown in music circles, Mrs. Hennig, along with her late husband, Paul, was also known as a breeder and trainer of champion collies.

A graveside service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, April 15, in Peninsula Memorial Park by the Rev. Dr. Robert Marston of St. Andrews Episcopal Church. Those desiring may make contributions to the Newport News SPCA, 523 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News 23601.

Peninsula Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Published in the Daily Press on 4/14/94.

... I attended the Elvis Presley performance in 1956. 
June Carter (later Johnny Cash's wife) performed with him on stage at the Paramount. 
His manager, Doc Parker, "hawked" his 45 record singles in between performances.
I also remember that Elvis bought a pair of blue suede shoes
in a shoe store across from the Paramount while he was in town for the show. 
The Daily Press actually had a photo of him purchasing the shoes!

It also brings to memory that Miss Sherman (NNHS) allowed us students in her music class
to bring in Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel" record and play it in class.  She was great!

- Kelly Loose Bustamante ('58) of TX - 09/28/04
Thanks, Kelly!

I was in the band for my high school years.  We were never referred to as Typhoons - always just the NNHS Band. 
Anyone doing otherwise would have had to deal with Miss Eleanor Sherman. 
Probably ditto for the orchestra, chorus and the many clubs and other activities. 
If students began to be referred to as Typhoons, it must have happened long after my time.

- Fred Field ('45) of CA - 01/10/05
Thanks, Fred!

I don't know if Miss Sherman had a favorite song or not, but I do know that she made me sit through hearing "CARMEN" a lot.
We even had an exam on it! I think she was determined that we would have an appreciation for music other than Rock N Roll
before we left NNHS!

- Pam Wright Owen ('62) of VA - 01/12/05
Thanks, Pam!  Thanks to my daddy, I have a big soft spot in my heart for Carmen. In fact, it's my second favorite opera!
Our Music Expert, Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA, found us this great MIDI file:

http://www.broadwaymidi.com/operamidi/Carmen01-Prelude.mid - Thanks, Dave!

One of Miss Eleanor Sherman's favorite songs was ("You'll Never Walk Alone").

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 01/12/05
Thanks, Joe!  I clearly remember going to one of the concerts - I believe it was the Spring of 1957 - and seeing the choir -
complete with you and my sister (Eleanor Buckley Nowitzky - '59 - of NC) perform this number from "Carousel".
It has remained one of my favorites ever since.

Once again, Dave found the perfect version of this song:

http://n2rainbows.homestead.com/files/YoullNeverWalkAloneA.mid - Thanks again, Dave!

Carol, the first song that pops into my head concerning Miss Sherman is "Bless This House".
She had made a commitment to the school board that IF they would but replace the auditorium after the fire,
she would cherish it and honor it through performances of band and chorus.
She began what was already a tradition when I went to my first assembly - the singing
of "Bless This House". That anthem was used to start the school year at the first assembly every year.

- Kathy  Pilgrim Clark ('63) of VA - 01/13/05
WOWZERS!!! I did not know that - and I certainly did not remember it at all!
Thanks, Kathy!

Concerning the auditorium at N.N.H.S: When I entered N.N.H.S. (8th Grade) in Sept. 1955,
we had no auditorium and no cafeteria. Both of these were under construction.....NEW, not a renovation.
In my 8th grade music class with Miss Eleanor Sherman, we learned the song, "Bless This House"
to be sung at the dedication of the brand new auditorium which took place in January of 1956.
We all stood and sang this song as a dedication of the beautiful auditorium. I shall never forget this.

- Fred Mays ('60) of VA - 01/19/05
WOW - Thanks, Fred!

I see that (Miss Sherman) does not have a MIDI, and I recall the discussion
about the singing of "Bless This House" at the dedication of the new auditorium
and at other assemblies.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 01/26/05
Thanks, Dave!  Yours is the third vote for "Bless This House.
This is a particularly beautiful arrangement!

Bless this House

Words and Music by Helen Taylor and May H. Morgan ( a.k.a. Brahe ), 1927

Bless this house, O Lord we pray,
Make it safe by night and day . . .

Bless these walls so firm and stout,
Keeping want and trouble out . . .

Bless the roof and chimneys tall,
Let thy peace lie overall . . .

Bless this door that it may prove,
Ever open,
To joy and love . . .

Bless these windows shining bright,
Letting in God's Heavenly light,
Bless the hearth, the painting there,
With smoke ascending like a prayer!

Bless the folk who dwell within,
Keep them pure and free from sin . . .

Bless us all that we may be,
Fit O Lord to dwell with thee . . .

Bless us all that one day we may dwell,
O Lord! With Thee!

"Bless This House" midi, suggested by Kathy Pilgrim Clark ('63) of VA - 01/13/05; and by Fred Mays ('60) of VA - 01/19/05;
and located by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA, courtesy of
- 01/26/05
Thanks, Kathy, Fred, and Dave!

"Bless This House" lyrics courtesy of http://kokomo.ca/allfaith/bless_this_house_lyrics.htm
with the assistance of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 01/26/05
Thanks again, Dave!

Treble and Bass Clef clip art courtesy of http://jmsalsich.edublogs.org/2011/03/07/alison-plays-piano/ - 04/02/11

Obituary added on 04/21/08

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