Brother Ken: The Man Behind the Music

Bro. Ken prepares to perform at St. Peter’s Church. (Photo courtesy of St. Peter’s)

(COVINGTON, La.) — For almost 40 years, Bro. Ken Boesch, FSC, has had a prominent and inclusive role not just on the St. Paul’s campus but in the community as well.

“I came to St. Paul’s in the summer of 1978,” Bro. Ken said. “I finished my undergraduate degrees in 1976, from the College of Sante Fe, and I joined the Brothers in 1973. When I finished my undergraduate degrees, I was assigned to teach at De La Salle in New Orleans in 1976, and then after two years, I was assigned to come to St. Paul’s, and I’ve been here ever since.”

Bro. Ken has played a crucial role on campus since he arrived, teaching English, Music, working in the dorms, and currently teaching Religion for pre-freshman and sophomores.

“I worked in the dorms for 16 years,” Bro. Ken said, “And, basically, you’re responsible for some 35-40 kids 24/7.”

During this time, St. Paul’s had students from Central and South America, many of which were under Bro. Ken’s guidance. During the weekend, Bro. Ken would take the students places in order to keep them busy.

“We would take (the students) to different theaters on the weekends,” Bro. Ken said, “or go to shop at the mall, and different camp activities on the weekends — so we tried to keep them busy.”

Brother Ken prepares to start the school year four decades ago. (Photo credit Conifer 1979)

There were many times when Bro. Ken had to keep the students occupied, but there was one time like no other. This was the 1986 cold freeze that hit the school.

“Back in 1986, we had this horrible cold weather,” Bro. Ken said. “It began to rain, it turned to sleet, and the temperature dropped to the 20s. We were stuck with a hundred-something kids in the dorms, and we had to do something with them because the electricity was out. We could still feed them, because the cafeteria had ovens that were gas.”

On top of the harsh condition, the power had gone out in Lasalle Hall.

“It was darkness,” Bro. Ken said.“The school wouldn’t give the order to let the kids go home, or the kids who could go home. We (went) 36 hours without electricity, stuck with kids, and it was rather interesting (and) difficult to make sure everyone was safe, but everyone was.”

Bro. Ken also witnessed the fiery demise of Dixon Hall, which he called ‘monumental.’ He remembers hearing knocks on the doors, and people saying that Dixon Hall was on fire. The chapel had to be hosed down by those on campus due to the flaming debris raining down from the building.

Bro. Ken has done many things on campus, but also has been heavily involved in the community.

“I’m director of the Brother’s community down the street,” Bro. Ken said. “So, I make sure that goes smoothly and well. I’m also Director of Music at St. Peter’s Catholic Church; and I also play music at other churches for weddings and funerals.”

Bro. Ken is also frequently listed as musical director for the Marian Players’ productions and is accustomed to performing theatre music.

“I used to also do many musicals in different little neighborhood theatres,” Bro. Ken said. “I would even play in New Orleans for musicals.”

The people Bro. Ken has worked with in music cite his enthusiasm and prowess.

“He’s a great player,” senior Marian Player musician Nick Ashton said. “It’s always a joy when he walks backstage, and he makes all the musicians around him better.”

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