Remembering Christian Frederick


Christian Frederick Voegele 1955–2015

Christian Frederick Voegele, 60, died May 17, 2015, after a long battle with leukemia. He was born Feb. 6, 1955, in the borough of Queens, New York. In 1957 his family moved to Glendale, Calif..

Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Cal State Northridge University, but his true love and calling was music. Chris accepted a position from Walt Disney World and moved to Orlando in 1979 where his music career lasted for 36 years. He became “Professor Tommy” in the cast of the Hoop-De-Do Musical Review at Pioneer Hall where he met his future husband, Russ Denham. Chris also played at Coke Corner before moving to the Grand Floridian Hotel as the lobby pianist.

Chris always had a love for the harp and began taking lessons as an adult, which led to his harpist position playing two nights a week in the Grand Floridian’s Five-Diamond Victoria and Albert’s restaurant. He was a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the American Harp Society, and the World Harp Congress. He was also a frequent contributor to Harp Column’s online community discussion forums.

Chris is survived by Russ Denham, his husband of 33 years. His passing is a loss to his family and friends and the musical community.

—Ann Cotroneo, for July-August 2015 issue of Harp Column

Original Post by Harp Column Staff on May 18, 2015

We are extremely sad to report the passing of Christian Frederick—a long-time member of the Harp Column Community—who lost his struggle with leukemia on May 17. Chris was a full-time musician at the Walt Disney World resort as both a pianist and harpist since 1979. From 1989 he played at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort performing in the lobby and at the upscale Victoria and Albert’s restaurant.

Chris posted this 2009 performance at “The Villages”  to YouTube:


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  1. Sherj DeSantis on

    Such a great loss for us, and yet a wonderful addition to heaven. He was wonderful to talk to, a sweet and gentle spirit. Rest in Peace Chris.

  2. Thought of Chris this week while teaching at the Midwest Harp Festival! He was such a wonderful person, and loved to shower us all with his “wonderfulness”! There will always be a niche in my heart for Chris! We loved to talk about how much we loved doing what we were doing. He always said he was so lucky to be able to do what he wanted to do because it gave him such joy to provide for others. His music was just that! A gift and blessing to us all. RIP my dear friend!

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