Taking action now and for the future

The enduring impact of Steve and Nancy Lange’s commitment to music education

Stephen Lange playing the organ with a big happy smile on his face.

Nancy and Steve Lange met in the late 1960s in an MSU classroom. Little did they know they would embark on a journey that would leave an indelible mark on the world of music education.

Their passion for music led them to earn an impressive six degrees from MSU, with five of them in music. In 1970, Steve started work at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Lansing, where he served as organist, choirmaster and minister of music. He earned his Ph.D. from MSU in 1978. An accomplished organist and choir leader, Steve made a big impression on generations of people through his patience, relentless positivity and musicality.

“Steve taught, inspired and loved people of all ages, but his favorite students were always teenagers. He delighted in their energy, joy, openness and unlimited ability to learn,” Nancy says. “Financially helping future MSU voice and organ students is a way to continue sharing  this love.”

Steve retired in 2015 after 45 years at St. Paul’s. He passed away in Jan. 2023, leaving his wife, Nancy, to carry on his legacy.

To honor him, Nancy established the Organ Scholarship in memory of Dr. Stephen Lange at MSU.

Nancy’s honoring of Steve and her dedication to the future of music education did not end there. In a gesture that speaks volumes about her commitment to nurturing musical talent, she documented through their estate a generous bequest to create the Stephen R. Lange and Nancy R. Lange University Music Scholarship for students focusing on organ or voice.

Her gift ensures that the Lange legacy will continue to thrive, providing opportunities for aspiring musicians to follow in the footsteps of Steve and Nancy.

Pictured above: the late Stephen Lange, playing the organ. Photo by Rod Sanford.

LEARN MORE about support for the College of Music by contacting  Associate Director of Development  BethAnne Kunert at kunertel@msu.edu or by calling (517) 353-4331.