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Penner, Abe F. (1929–2019)

Proper Title

Abe F. Penner fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

5 cm of textual records

Biographical Sketch

Abe F. Penner was born on April 11, 1929, to Peter P. Penner and Lena Giesbrecht. He was baptised in 1940 and joined the Foam Lake Mennonite Brethren church in Saskatchewan. Around 1951, he was married to Helen. He graduated from Bethany Bible school in Hepburn, Saskatchewan. Around this time, he and his parents moved to Steinbach, Manitoba. From 1959 to 1965, he sang with the Sacred Music Society of Manitoba, often featured as a tenor soloist.

Penner continued his studies at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas, in 1964, which led to the completion of graduate studies at Wichita State University in 1970. In Kansas, he attended the Parkview Mennonite Brethren church where he conducted the choir and functioned as minister of music.

In 1970, he took a three-year assignment with North American Baptist College in Edmonton as director of the Department of Music. At this time, he joined the Baptist church. Here he conducted the King’s College Choir.

In 1984, he was diagnosed as a “Coronary Vascular diseased patient with Angina” and resigned from King’s College. He was featured as guest conductor at Fraserview Mennonite Brethren Church in 1987. By that time, he had joined the Mennonite Brethren Church again.

Abe passed away on January 28, 2019.

Custodial History

The material in this collection was donated by Abe Penner in 1997. The majority of the material was published material and was added to the CMBS music and hymnal library.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection was collected by Abe Penner as it related to his musical career. It contains Penner’s testimony, music, and music programs that Penner was involved with. Also included is a list of all the material donated by Penner.


  • Volume 1022.
  • Described by Conrad Stoesz November 5, 1999.

File List

Volume 1022

  1. Testimony notes given upon joining Lendrum Mennonite Brethren church. – after 1984.
  2. 22 concert programs from Sacred Music Society of Manitoba, Tabor College (Hillsboro) and King’s College. – 1959–1974.
  3. 2 Music Harmony Assignments. – after 1965.
  4. Fraserview Mennonite Brethren Church Concert choir selections and program. – April 12, 1987. – Note: Abe Penner was guest conductor for this event.
  5. Original manuscript in three parts: A. Rebellion B. Search C. Commitment by Ted Nichols. – 1967. – Note: This work was premiered by the Tabor College choir in 1967. Ted Nichols was composer in residence at Tabor College that year and wrote this work for the choir. The folder also contains a number of other mimeographed pieces of music.
  6. General list of items sent to CMBS. – August 7, 1997.
  7. Abe F. Penner’s library: A detailed list prepared by CMBS staff. – 1998. – Note: This list does not include the material listed here.
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