Father Joseph Bronder, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Wednesday, November 5, 2008. He was a son of the late Edmund and Elizabeth (Schuetz) Bronder of Pittsburgh. Born in Pittsburgh on March 18, 1942, he is survived by a sister, Ruth Bronder of Pittsburgh, and a brother, Edmund Bronder and his wife Ann, of Washington, D.C.
He attended Saint Joseph Mt. Oliver Grade School in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and is a 1960 graduate of Saint Vincent Preparatory School. He received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 1965 and a master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 1969.
He entered the Benedictine monastic community of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1962. He made simple profession of vows on July 2, 1963 and solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1966. He was ordained a priest in Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica by the late Bishop William Connare of Greensburg on May 24, 1969.
Father Joseph had a passion for music in all its dimensions. He began music lessons at the age of five. Some years later in 1972 he was awarded a Master’s Degree in piano at Yale University, and continued to study with the best concert pianists while giving at least 80 recitals during his performance years. Perhaps the highlight of his performances was to do Beethoven’s C Minor Piano Concerto, with orchestra under the direction of Richard Karp, founder and director of the Pittsburgh Opera.
While on the faculty and as chairman of the music department at Saint Vincent College, he taught countless young people how to play the piano, and particularly enjoyed their successes when they were able to play in recital every spring in the Science Center Amphitheater. In addition to performance and teaching, Father Joseph enjoyed directing choirs and choruses in the abbey, college, and with singers and players from local communities.
Father Joseph founded and administered the Saint Vincent Concert Series, treating audiences to first-class recitals and concerts at a high professional level. He was chair of the Department of Music, director of the Saint Vincent College Concert Series, director of the Department of Music concerts, the Saint Vincent Camerata, the Saint Vincent College Singers, the Saint Vincent College Troubadours and associate professor of piano. He performed over 80 piano recitals, conducted numerous choral performances, presented over 350 concerts in the Saint Vincent College Concert Series, and presented 40 student piano recitals.
Father Joseph served the Archabbey in its educational apostolates since 1972. He was named Acting Chair of the Fine Arts Department (2001-2002). He has also been on the faculties of Seton Hill College, Carnegie Mellon University (1980–1987), and Duquesne University (1992–1996). His previous assignments include: chorus director at Saint Vincent Preparatory School and Saint Xavier Academy (1968–1969), and director of the Saint Vincent Camerata (1972–1980 and 1996-2004).
Father Joseph was a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Society, the College Music Society, and the American Music Scholarship Association. He was a past adjudicator for the Carnegie Awards of Carnegie Mellon University (1983–1987).
He also served on weekends in the parishes of Immaculate Conception Church in Irwin, Pennsylvania, Saint Anne’s Church in Wilpen, and Holy Trinity Church in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
The body will be received in the Elizabeth Roderick Center, Saint Vincent Seminary, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 8. Viewing will be from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Saturday and 3-5 p.m. on Sunday in the Roderick Center. The body will be transferred to the Basilica for the vigil service at 7:15 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. Monday, November 10 at in the Archabbey Basilica.