Berneita J. Hansen
is honored with a Brick from Floyd L. Hansen
Berneita was four years old when it was discovered that she musically gifted with perfect pitch, the ability to recognize or sing any given isolated musical note. She was immediately enrolled in music lessons and by age seven she was performing at churches, civic meetings and socials.
By the time she was a teenager, she was a proficient musician and entertainer. She was organist at the Polar Bear Restaurant, church pianist at West side Christian Church, and a strolling accordianist in a variety of entertainment settings. While in high school, she was a finalist in the national talent competition, the "Horace Heidt National Talent Contest" and was invited to perform with the Hormel All-Girl Orchestra.
She played instruments ranging from strings to woodwinds. But the keyboard was her specialty, the accordian, piano and organ. She often performed publicly on the marimba and vibra-harp.
After two years at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, she began a private teaching career that spanned forty years. She and her husband were co-owners of the June Frisby Academy of Music, where she was activity director producing music shows for clubs, churches, care homes, company parties and community events.
Berneita was also well known in the Wichita community for her work with the League of Women Voters, Wichita Piano Teachers Guild, Monica House and as board member and president of the Downtown Lioness. Much of her community service was centered around opportunities for disadvantaged girls.
Berneita was a wife, mother, grandmother, and a special friend to 500 students over the years, many of whom sought her guidance and assistance with special personal circumstances while learning from her the art of music and performance.
Her early death in 1993 silenced the music that came to her so naturally. But her influence will continue to be felt by all who listened to her, shared with her in performance, or were taught by her.