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Professor founded children's choir

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Bernard Gastler, founder of the Austin Children's Choir, died Saturday of a stroke. He was 80.

Founded in 1986 by Gastler with the support of Concordia University Texas, the choir has performed throughout the country and locally. Gastler served as the choir's conductor and artistic director for 23 years.

During his career, Gastler worked as an elementary school teacher and minister of music at Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Arthur and at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Austin, where he has also served as an organist. He became a professor of music at Concordia University in 1982 and later retired.

Gastler is survived by his wife, Ruth Meyer Gastler, and two children, Connie and Gregory.

Memorial services are pending.

jvanryzin@statesman.com; 445-3699