Keith Bucher, our Principal French Horn, passed away on August 4, 2018. He first played with the Lamplighters in 1977. He studied at Northwestern University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and started his musical career in the US Marine Band in Washington DC. From 1978 to 1987 he was a fixture in the pit orchestras for major San Francisco musical theater productions and performed with many organizations from the Bay Area to Sacramento including the SF Horn Quartet which arranged and played Sullivan’s music for their performances. He served on the Lamplighters orchestra committee, assisted in the music library marking orchestra parts and always volunteered to play for the sing alongs. Keith especially enjoyed playing Iolanthe and Gondoliers, always loved Pirates and the orphan/often joke and enjoyed wearing his collection of Lamplighters ties for the matinees.
The memorial for Keith was held on September 23, 2018 at the Sacramento Dharma Center. There were Buddhist prayers, music and remembrances by family and many friends. Keith’s grandson Sol, tooted a few notes on the “French Horn” that Keith made for him out of a hose and a large funnel, sang “Row, row, row your boat” and then everyone sang with him. Gregory Sykes, Daryl Schilling, Katie Dennis and Adrienne & Tom Duckworth were also there and Larry Gardiner, President of AFM, Local 12 spoke and read a letter from Forrest Byram about his adventures with Keith when they were freshmen in college. Cara Jones organized a French Horn Quintet and Katie talked to her about including a Sullivan piece and playing in the group. We sent them music for Arthur Sullivan’s “The Long Day Closes” which they arranged for French Horns and Katie played with them. It was a beautiful ending for the ceremony.