Nell Esslinger

 Singer, Musician

Born:Jun 5, 1903
Died:August 1, 1996, Madison Co., AL
Buried:Maple Hil Cemetery, Huntsville, AL
Daughter of:Judge William Francis Esslinger (b1868)


•  Daughter of William Francis "Frank" Esslinger and Blanche Russell Esslinger. - HHQ

•  Married Raymond G. Miller in August 1979. - HHQ

•  Education:
Certificate in Voice from Agnes Scott College
B.A., Voice Major, from the University of Alabama
Master's Degree in Music from the University of Illinois. - HHQ

•  "Decades of singing, which was her business, so filled her thought with beauty and rhyme that it was almost as easy for her to write in 'poetry' as in prose. Published songs include 'Bill Jacob Smith,' 'From Red Mountain,' . . . two female choruses, and three Christmas Carols. She has also set some of her poems to music, including "Between the Lines" (Duet for Piano and Typewriter, voice accompaniment), and 'Query,' a poem by Raymond G. Miller, whom she married in August 1979. Dante's 'Un Sonetto della 'Vita Nuova' so inspired her that she wrote and sang a paraphrase of it with flute obligato." - HHQ

•  She was on Record's List of Madison Countians of Distinction with the notation: Singer in New York. - Record

•  Three books by Nell Esslinger are listed in They are: "The Variety of Voice", "My Brother Russell", "Revised notation. But they are all out of print and said to have "Limited Availability" - Editor's Note

•  Both Nell and her brother Russell were member of the cast of a Broadway Production in the 1920s called, "Blossom Time'" - Russell Family

•  "The HCCA originated from a group directed by Miss Nell Esslinger and sponsored by the Music Appreciation Club, which presented excerpts from The Messiah at the First Presbyterian Church in December 1946. In the years that followed, the group continued to perform adopting the name "Trichoral" ? representing the union of three choral groups: The Music Study Club, The Music Appreciation Club, and The Huntsville Men' s Chorus. The Messiah performance became an annual affair with Miss Esslinger continuing as director until fall 1950, whereupon Mr. Clair Hardenstine, First Methodist Church's Minister of Music, became the director and the group adopted its current name." - Heritage

•  "In 1983 Raymond and Nell moved to Auburn, where she wrote a column for the newspaper The Eagle, for more than a year. Her Italian sonnet 'Sing' won second place in the Alabama Writers' Conclave competition in 1985. Her textbook 'Revised Notation,' which she is now teaching in public school, won a certificate in recognition of creative achievement from the Georgia Commission of Science and Technology in 1968." - HHQ

•  Last name sometimes spelled Eslinger (with only one "s") - Editor's Note

Related Links:

•  1920 Census - Birth date (information behind an membership fee wal)l. (Originally found at

• - Family blog (Originally found at

•  Heritage - The Heritage of Madison County, AL by Madison County Heritage Book Committee, submitted by James E. Zielinski, printed in 1998, p. 38

•  HHQ - The Historic Huntsville Quarterly, Vol. XIII, #2, Winter, 1987, p. 24-8. Poetry and Biographical information.

•  Record - A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County and Incidentally of Alabama and the United States, Volume 1, by James Record, © 1970, p. 341.

•  Roots Web - Death Record (information behind an membership fee wall).

•  Russell Family - Mentions Nell in her own family history.

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  HHQ
•  Judge William Francis Esslinger (b1868)
•  Record