Rae Jeanne Boeving, consummate musician, instrumental music educator, and skilled band/orchestra conductor, who taught instrumental music at all ages and levels for five decades, passed away on February 1, 2021 at age 73, in her sleep.
Born on July 2, 1947 in Chicago, Rae's family moved to Arizona when she was 5, and again to San Bernardino at age 6. She excelled in music at Eisenhower High School in Rialto, and participated (under her dad's encouragement and guidance) in the San Bernardino Drum Corp.
Rae graduated from CSU Fullerton, where she was mentored by the renowned band director Benton Minor. Her early teaching career spanned 18 years, beginning in 1973 at Nogales High School, and continued on to La Quinta HS, and Sonora HS, where her high school bands consistently excelled in an era when women band directors were not common at the high school level. Former Nogales student and unofficial "adopted daughter of Rae," Catalina Aguilar, remembers Rae's words "PRIDE - show your pride. She taught many students from gangs - tough kids, lost kids, quiet kids, difficult kids - she made them winners - she made "no one" someone."
Rae Boeving also taught at Arrow Bear Music Camp, and CSU Fullerton Music Camp. While at Nogales High School, Rae gave up her lunch hour to teach elementary school students bussed in from the Rowland USD. She knew the importance of young students having a solid technical foundation. Mid-career, she also augmented her teaching, working at the National Music Service Company in Anaheim.
In 1990 she joined the music educators in Long Beach USD, where she taught literally thousands of elementary and middle school students, in 22 different schools, until her retirement in 2012. As a trumpet major, Rae's expertise was in playing and teaching winds, but after attending a Southern CA Suzuki Institute where she heard multitudes of pint-size musicians playing stringed instruments with both musical and technical proficiency, she threw herself into a decade of Suzuki violin lessons and camps. She passed these strings skills along to thousands of beginning violin students at the many Long Beach elementary schools where she taught them by the hundreds.
Quoting elementary music parent Suzanne Folwick from the "Friends of Rae Boeving" Facebook page: "Was she tough? Certainly. She wanted each student to be the best they could be. She instilled a sense of accountability, responsibility & and an awareness of what was required to succeed (practice, practice, practice). Was she proud of her students? Absolutely. Nothing compared to the day of a concert. Students' energy levels were high, they dressed & behaved (albeit with guidance) professionally. Rae would continue to follow her "charges" throughout middle & high school as well. She attended ensemble festivals, performances, and private recitals outside of school. Her support was unending."
Post-retirement, Rae went on to play trumpet, cornett, and french horn semi-professionally with college groups, the Golden State British Brass Band, and a woodwind quintet. Her skill and joy as an educator and orchestra director was unleashed in her final years as she conducted the Leisure World Symphony Orchestra to new heights of achievement.
Ms. Boeving left an indelible mark on all who were privileged to be part of her musical circle. Her passion in teaching, her dedication to the music industry, her wit and high standards (her favorite bumper sticker reads "Tune it or Die!"), and her commitment to fine technique and musical expression in all of her students are hallmarks of her half-century career. Throughout Long Beach there are countless students that she inspired to perform with excellence, be successful and responsible human beings, and commit themselves to a better way of life, a great many of whom went on to have careers in music.
There will be a "Celebration of Life" ceremony for Rae at 9:30 AM, on Friday, July 2, 2021, at Christ Presbyterian Church, 5225 Hayter Ave, Lakewood, CA. 90712, with a luncheon for all immediately following the service at the church. She will be interred at Forest Lawn Cypress.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the "Rae Boeving Memorial Scholarship" through the Long Beach Education Foundation to provide summer music instruction to a deserving LBUSD student transitioning from elementary to middle school band/orchestra. [https://www.lbschools.net/Departments/Education_Foundation/
Published by Gazette Newspapers from Jun. 23 to Jul. 9, 2021.