Dr. Stephen R. Lange

Age 76, died peacefully at home on January 26, 2023. He was born April 29, 1946, in LaPorte, IN, to the late Walter and Dorris Lange.

Stephen graduated from Three Oaks High School, and earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees from MSU. He was the minister of music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lansing for 45 years, and the director of the Lange Choral Ensemble for 47 years. In addition to his mastery of music, he was also a master woodworker. He loved the outdoors, especially canoeing, and he enjoyed traveling.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Lange.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at Central United Methodist Church, 215 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Church of Christ, Scientist, Greater Lansing, or to the MSU College of Music Organ Scholarship in memory of Dr. Stephen R. Lange.

Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.

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64 Messages to “Dr. Stephen R. Lange

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Marilyn Maloney
January 27, 2023 at 3:18 pm

He was a wonderful man and musician. May he Rest In Peace and Rise in Glory.

Renee Nichols
January 27, 2023 at 3:36 pm

I am so sorry to hear this – he was a wonderful man and inspired many with his music and love of music.

Barbara Heany
January 27, 2023 at 4:25 pm

I was so blessed to have this amazing yet very humble man in my life and the lives of my children and grandchildren. I am heartbroken. My deepest condolences to Nancy and his loved ones.

Sara Larner
January 27, 2023 at 4:51 pm

He was a wonderful man and mentor growing up. He always had a smile and a song! He will be sorely missed. Prayers of comfort and peace to Nancy.

Marti Narezo
January 27, 2023 at 5:49 pm

Dr. Lange was an extremely prominent figure in my childhood years through High School and even into my adult years. I appreciated the way he would wrap theology and history into the music we were learning. I find myself humming anthems and hymns often. “Well done Good and Faithful Servant”

Michael Clark
January 27, 2023 at 6:18 pm

What fond memories I have of him when he’d come to our high school and work with the guys. My condolences to Mrs. Lange who was also an amazing teacher and person.

Dianna Campbell Erickson
January 27, 2023 at 6:33 pm

Hopefully everyone child has some special adults in their life. One of my special adults was Steve Lange my choir master at church. I started choir early due to having speech issues. Dr. Lange created so many opportunities for me and helped build my self esteem and voice through out my adolescence. Between performing in Godspell twice, going to England and Wales and studying at the Royal Church School of Music, cantering the psalms during church services, singing in nursing homes, Easter Sundays, singing the Hallujah Chorus on Easter not Christmas, singing the Doug Austen piece, creating a record, Legends and Carols, Maundy Thursday, and Christmas Eve services he had a hand in creating many memories of my childhood. One of my favorites was when he took the choir around to all the churches in downtown and we discussed the differences and similarities in the architecture and philosophies. I know so many hearts are breaking for this man that taught us so much about music but I know he will live on due to the impact he has made on all of us.

Geneva (Baldwin) DeVries
January 27, 2023 at 6:47 pm

Dr. Lange was a constant figure in my high school years. He was the man beside Mrs. Lange in all that she did. He was at our school working with the men and giving perspective to all groups. Open and giving of his time and talents to those who asked. A true quiet strength of a great man who will be greatly missed. I am so sorry to have missed working with him again by such a short amount of time. Well done Mr. Lange. You made a difference in people’s lives that have carried on not only to my generation but to those in the next generation as well that I have been blessed to encounter. You will be missed.

Joshua Irwin
January 27, 2023 at 6:54 pm

Dr. Lange was a phenomenal teacher and human being. I had the luxury of having him critique my S&E pieces when practicing with Nancy throughout High School. His love for music was unmatched and he will be missed immensely.

Carol Ingells
January 27, 2023 at 7:33 pm

There are no words to express how I feel about Steve Lange. He was like the brother I never had. Countless kids’ lives were touched and changed by his patient caring and teaching. His influence has “forever ripples”. My deep caring to his dear wife, Nan.

P.K. Van Voorhees and Family
January 27, 2023 at 8:00 pm

Nancy much love to you and I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so very heartbroken. We have ALL lost. Dr. Lange WAS the church for me – I remember fondly the first Christmas season in choir when he took over as the choirmaster – we all went caroling downtown – it was a mixed age group of children and adults and we all had such a blast. He made that church community come together by his very passion for not only music, but his belief in God, scripture and in doing the right thing. I’m so glad my children got a chance to be in choir with him, and one got to go on the renowned England trip! Thank you for sharing him with us. We were all influenced for the better by both of you. I think he was there for so many of us in the church community through so many life milestones, achievements, and in my family’s case, a huge tragedy, with an empathetic heart. He was an enormous and important part of our lives. There is an old saying about never underestimating your influence on a single child as it will affect a multitude of others 100 years from now. I think this is so true, especially in Steve’s case. Sending you love and hugs.

Marion McGee
January 27, 2023 at 8:26 pm

Dr. Lange had such an amazing and positive effect on so very many. He was a very special man.

Debbie ingraham
January 27, 2023 at 9:10 pm

Dr. Lange was a huge part of the lives of our children and later to Dan and I. He mentored our children and taught them many lessons. My sincere condolences to Nancy.

Kelsey Bushong
January 27, 2023 at 9:49 pm

I love the Langes. I enjoyed every week of voice lessons with Dr. Lange and always had endless respect for them as individuals and a couple. Prayers for Mrs. Lange and my heart hurts for you. Let us know if there’s anything you need.

Doug kahl
January 27, 2023 at 9:50 pm

As close to an angel as I have had in my life. Truly an inspiration and role model.

Kelsey Bushong
January 27, 2023 at 9:55 pm

I remember him surprising Mrs. Lange during dress rehearsal of Beauty and the Beast for their anniversary I think it was. We all sang Tale as Old as Time and they danced in the middle.

Tamara Hicks-Syron
January 28, 2023 at 7:13 am

I was so sad to learn at his passing. Singing in his ensemble was a very special time in my life and I am so grateful he gave me that opportunity. Gentle hugs to his wife, Nancy.

January 28, 2023 at 8:07 am

I feel like I am a better person for having Dr. Lange in my life for a few short years. I often relay the story about how when Eric and I walked it to pick out the music for our wedding and he already had a pile on his desk of what he thought I would want. He had never meet Eric but he was still spot on for both of our likes. Both Steve and Nancy were wonderful chaperones when we went to England. My thoughts and prayers go our to Nancy.

Carol Spangenberg
January 28, 2023 at 8:20 am

It is hard to add to all of the above comments. Steve was a person who inspired those around him and inspired us to be the best person we could be. I had the privilege of working with him for over 25 years, and he was a great influence to our children of which i can never repay. He loved to teach and include Biblical knowledge and history into the music he taught. He was great organist I can remember sitting by the altar just listening to the beautiful music he played. Our prayers are with Nancy and his family and know how much he was loved.

Allen and Susan Deming
January 28, 2023 at 8:24 am

So sorry for your loss Nancy!! Dr. Lange was always so patient with both of our kids as they learned to sing in high school. What a talented and special individual. Wishing you a healing heart!
Allen and Susan Deming

Connie Powe-Watts
January 28, 2023 at 8:36 am

Our family was blessed to have Dr. Lange in our lives. Someone wrote that he was the church to them. We moved to Lansing in 1980 and I joined the church choir. Steve and being part of the choir became church to me, too. He delighted in our music and was the kindest, most loving soul. And, such an excellent teacher as he walked us through the meaning of what we sang, as thoughtfully as he would choose the pieces for his concerts with the Lange Chorale. My daughter continued that love and respect as she was in the St. Paul’s Children’s Choir and then as an adult, the Lange Chorale. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the life and love of this man and his impact on our lives and everyone he touched. Nancy- yours and Steve’s love is a visible lesson of devotion and faith. Our hearts are heavy for your loss.

Kathy Beard Jenkins
January 28, 2023 at 9:17 am

So sorry for your loss, Nancy. He will be greatly missed. He brought so much music to so many people. I was in Nancy’s high school choirs as were my husband and my children. My daughter sings in the Grand Rapids women’s chorus and I sing in Voca Lyrica. I was also in the Lange Early Music Ensemble. Thank you both for giving us foundations in music which have made us lifelong musicians. Both my kids were in your children’s choir. Take care Nancy. You are in our thoughts.

Amy Nevius
January 28, 2023 at 9:19 am

Dr. Lange provided a talent and love for music many people don’t appreciate. Though I did not work with him personally, his passion was shared with everyone he met. My condolences to his wife Nancy, who was a significant mentor in my life.

Mark DePue
January 28, 2023 at 9:56 am

My Condolences and prayers for comfort to my high school vocal music teacher, Mrs. Lange. I remember Mr. Lange’s presence and support of all of our activities at Grand Ledge High School. I have such fond memories of those times.

Barbara Beard Sealy
January 28, 2023 at 10:02 am

Nancy, no words can comfort the loss you are experiencing. I remember all of the work you both did for all of us at GLHS musicals and madrigal dinners. Such a fine man and musician. Thank you for sharing him with all of your students.

Heather Worthington (Williams)
January 28, 2023 at 12:36 pm

Dr. Lange was such a blessing to me. He led our youth choir from St. Paul’s in 1987 to London, York Minster, Edinburgh and the Royal School of Church Music at Harrogate. It was an experience that has stayed with me and informed my faith to this day. Nancy, I am holding you in my heart today. I know that he is making beautiful music in heaven right now. May he Rest In Peace and Rise in Glory.

Carlotta and Stephen Woodward
January 28, 2023 at 12:55 pm

So very sorry for your loss, Nancy. Our kids were so incredibly lucky to have you and Stephen teach them the passion for music. It is because of you two that Mike became a music teacher and now a director. Stephen was so gifted! Thank you for sharing him with so many! Our hearts go out to you. Much prayers and love your way.

Diane Talsma
January 28, 2023 at 1:18 pm

What a great man! What a wonderful servant of God!! We are all blessed to have had Steve in our lives. I have a vision of him directing a choir of angels in heaven.

Nancy, I am so sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Lauren Hansen
January 28, 2023 at 1:43 pm

Steve, I will miss our many years of musical collaboration. You brought joy to so many and were one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever known. Keeping you and Nancy in my thoughts.

Linda Weller
January 28, 2023 at 1:52 pm

What can I say that hasn’t been covered?!?! This quiet, gentle man and my husband worked so well together. He mentored and gave tried and true advice—but only when asked. A cheerful disposition along with a quick sense of humor made him a delight to be around. With all his talents and accomplishments he was never boastful or “stuffy”. I secretly adored watching him on Sunday mornings. It never got “old” for him—playing and directing!! My condolences to Nan and all the family!

Tess Miller
January 28, 2023 at 2:23 pm

My condolences and love go out to Nancy and everyone who knew Stephen. His kindness and love of music are the first things that come to mind when I reflect on him. It was such a joy playing flute in his ensembles for several years, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to know him for even one slice of his life.

Barb Hamm and Paul Potts
January 28, 2023 at 2:42 pm

Steve had that rare quality of always bringing out the best in others including enthusiasm for children of all ages. Our boys were in choir for several years during which they reaped the benefits of his teaching and traveled to Great Britain as “England Choristers”. They respected and admired him and he in turn brought out the best in them. His sensitivity, musical prowess, and dedication to the church were extraordinary. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his beloved wife Nancy.

Terri Irwin
January 28, 2023 at 2:47 pm

The whole Irwin family loved Steve so much. He was so important in our son John’s life as well as our grandsons Joshua and Jacob. He continued to help Nancy as she provided voice lessons to both Joshua and Jacob, much to their delight. Nancy, we are so sorry for your loss but hope you take solace in the fact of how many lives Steve impacted with his music and his ministry.

Elizabeth Demers
January 28, 2023 at 3:14 pm

He was an incredibly talented person whose influence cannot be measured. I’m very sorry to hear of his passing.

Jan and Bill Kahl
January 28, 2023 at 3:49 pm

Steve was truly a blessing from God to all who knew him. Our children developed a lifelong love of music because of him.

Nancy- our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Elizabeth Crabtree Naida
January 28, 2023 at 7:53 pm

There are no words to adequately describe the influence that Dr. Lange had on my life. He was one of the main reasons that I became a music teacher, and outside of my parents, my biggest support and encouragement in this regard. He taught me so much more than music though; he greatly influenced my faith (he was the person who gave me CS Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” as a high school graduation present, a pivotal read for me) and truly taught me what it meant to give any musical talent that I might have been given in this life, back to God. His humility, character and faith had an enormous impact on me, and I will be forever grateful for his presence and influence in my life. Rest in Peace Dr. Lange! You are in my prayers Mrs. Lange!

The Van Koeverings
January 28, 2023 at 7:57 pm

I am so, so sorry to learn this news. Steve was a truly marvelous human being, teacher and friend. Prayers for all of us who will deeply miss the music, the man, and the memories.

Kevin Cushman
January 28, 2023 at 8:28 pm

Dearest Nancy, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Steve was a wonderful person and a great musician. You both helped me so much on my own musical journey. The Angels in heaven now have a new addition to the heavenly choir. I offer my prayers to you and all who had the pleasure of knowing Steve and making hours of gracious music together!

Alex Karkau
January 28, 2023 at 9:21 pm

Dear Mrs. Lange, I’m so sorry for your loss, my heart hurts for you. I’ve always loved and appreciated everything that Mr. Lange did for me, teaching me voice lessons and being my accompanist for solo and ensemble. He was such a loved person and achieved so much. He made a huge difference in my life and I will be forever grateful. My family will always be here for you.

Amy (Fowler) Ashcraft
January 28, 2023 at 9:25 pm

I am so sorry to learn about the passing of Mr. Lange. Just this morning, I had uncovered my very first passport, used for our 1991 trip to England. What a wonderful experience that was, and to this day I remember it fondly.

Mr. Lange was Church for me, for all of my childhood years. I remember my dad taking my into the choir room one Sunday in 1982 after church when I was about six years old and introducing me to Mr. Lange. I was so nervous, with all of the older kids rushing in after the service, but his kindness and patience reassured me that I was in the right spot. That interaction was the first of many, and lead me to a love of singing and some of the most positive experiences I’ve had in my life. Countless Wednesdays and Sundays, Christmas and Easter Services, Graduation Sundays (I will never forgot my graduation Sunday in 1993) were made more special by him. They were glorious, and looking back, so spiritual and unparalleled.

We were blessed to have been a part of all that he created.

May you find peace, Mrs. Lange, in the days ahead, knowing the breadth and depth of his impact.

Martinich Family
January 28, 2023 at 10:29 pm

The entire Martinich family offers our sincere sympathies to Mrs. Nancy Lange and family. Both brilliant and creative musicians. You brought joy to many. You taught a love of music to all who knew you. Rest in peace. We lift you up to the Heavens.

Joycie FS
January 29, 2023 at 1:25 am

We had the privilege of knowing Steve and his wife Nancy through church connections. It was a blessing to have had the opportunity to hear some of their lovely concerts as well as Steve’s outstanding organ music in church. Steve and Nancy were and still are a wonderful couple. It was a pleasure seeing them so devoted to each other and devoted right up to the present time. Happy memories live forever and always abide with us and them. We also enjoyed hearing about their travels. Blessings to Nancy, her family and everyone who knew them. –Joy and Rich S.

Jennifer Sharp
January 29, 2023 at 10:29 am

I have fond memories of Dr. Lange from high school, a wonderful musician. My thoughts and prayers are with you Mrs. Lange

Dan, Julie and Molli (Ferency) Templin
January 29, 2023 at 10:32 am

Dr Lange and Mrs. Lange were the Lansing music pillars of awarded accomplished vocal choirs and emsembles….we will always cherish the beautiful memory of Dr.Lange playing the organ and Mrs. Lange directing the Grand Ledge Madrigals as they performed among other selections, Lacrimosa in the 11th century old Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore in Assisi, during their 2006 spring break trip and tour of Italy. So grateful for his dedication, passion and ever willing expertise…God Bless

Kaitlyn Narezo-Kleman
January 29, 2023 at 11:55 am

There are no words to describe how amazing of a man Dr Lange was! He was such a patient, kind and loving man. He was more than just a music mentor. He treated each and every child he taught as his own. I am so very grateful for all the love & support he gave my family over the years. I know he is singing with the Angels above!

Richard Hall
January 29, 2023 at 12:08 pm

Steve was a terrific musician and a wonderful person. I learned a lot about both from singing in his Ensemble many years ago. Thank you Steve.

Marilyn Earley
January 29, 2023 at 3:00 pm

What a beautiful, kind, sense of humor and beloved person. Steve had the talent to bring out the best in every person he worked with. The Earley family have been blessed to have Steve Lange in our lives. Prayers to Nancy and family.

Pam Irwom[eo
January 29, 2023 at 3:49 pm

Words cannot express SteveLange. In addition to his wonderful choral leadership he was a man of deep faith would made the Bible come to life. Both John and I felt blest to have been associated with a man such as this. Loved his wonderful partnership/love with Nancy who also shared so much with us. Thank you God

Jeanne and Gary Leadley
January 29, 2023 at 6:45 pm

We will truly miss Steve, our kind and friendly Torch Lake cottage neighbor for many years. He always had a smile and friendly greeting when we walked by. We knew when he was practicing piano as the beautiful music would drift into our nearby yard. May his memory bring peace and love to all his family.

Frank DeWald
January 29, 2023 at 7:01 pm

I have had the privilege of calling both Steve and Nancy friends and colleagues for many years. Many of my Okemos HS students got their start with Steve at St. Paul’s, and Nancy and I often combined our choirs to perform major works together — sometimes conducted or accompanied by Steve! His passing is a major loss not to just friends, family and former students, but to the entire Lansing musical community. He was a loved, cherished and highly respected man who will be greatly missed. Dear Nancy, Ingrid joins me in sending our most heartfelt sympathy. May you find comfort in the memories and in knowing he was an inspiration to us all.

Marc Meyers
January 29, 2023 at 7:08 pm

Steve Lange was an inspiration to me growing up. Singing in the ensemble secured my love for choral music. He will always be one of my favorite people as well as conductors. So sorry for Nancy. He will be deeply missed by so many.

Miriam Grey Geller
January 29, 2023 at 8:03 pm

Dearest Nancy,
I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved Stephen! Though I didn’t know him well, I could tell what a fine man he was and just how devoted the two of you were to one another! ! I have always admired you and you were a big part of my feeling like I i was a kid that was special and that had potential to succeed in the arts. You made all your students feel welcome in your class! I can’t imagine what you are going through; but I can understand a bit as I just lost my brother to 2 year pancreatic cancer battle a week ago. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss . I have read all the many comments and Stephen was loved by so many. May God Bless you Nancy and watch over you as only he can. Sending you a big hug. Miriam Grey

Linda Laurenz
January 29, 2023 at 8:26 pm

Nancy, As your neighbor I witnessed how you loved Steve so well. I am so sorry for your loss.

Diane (Emerson) Somerville
January 30, 2023 at 2:59 am

Like so many others, my heart has been aching since I heard of Mr. Lange’s passing. He was a light in my life growing up singing in the choir; so many memories of him and Nancy, at church and on our trip to England. I know there are so many of us that are fortunate to have those memories. My favorite memory of Steve is looking to him as he directed us at the end of singing, as we held the last note and he cut us off. He always had a little smile in that moment that made my heart sing. My favorite memory of Nancy was when she graced St Paul’s with her presence and sang with the choir on Sunday. When I was lucky enough to be sitting next to her, I was so in awe of her beauty and her beautiful voice. Special moments that can never be duplicated; it makes me happy and sad at the same time feeling his loss. My heart goes out to you dear Nancy. You have my love and hugs.

Christian McDaniel
January 30, 2023 at 12:36 pm

Dr. Lange had a huge impact on our lives – from having my oldest child in choir and music lessons, my wife chaperoning one of the trips to England and getting to see our child perform, to seeing him perform Cesar Franck’s Stations of the Cross at St. Paul’s. It was one of the most moving spiritual experiences I have ever had. Stephen and Nancy provided kind, disciplined guidance to the music program and that was our child’s favorite experience at St. Paul’s. We will all miss him tremendously.

George and Marilyn Blackney
January 30, 2023 at 3:29 pm

Dr. Lange was my first organ teacher. Without his guidance I never would have attended MSU
as an organ student. Both George and I had the privilege of singing in the Lange Chorale
several years before moving to Minnesota. His leadership was inspiring. Our sincere
prayers for Nancy and family.

Dick Lehman
January 30, 2023 at 6:03 pm

On the tennis court where I had the pleasure to know Steve, he was admired both for his skilled play and spirit of sportsmanship. He gave every match his best shot and there were many of them. But his game was always balanced by an equally good measure of friendliness and fair play. We will miss him as a good player and good sport.

Lori (Austin) Olin
January 30, 2023 at 9:29 pm

I am truly so sorry for your loss. I did not know your husband, but as I read the many wonderful comments about him, he sounds like he was a ‘one in a million’ man. My prayers go out to you during this very difficult time.

Lucy Finkel
February 1, 2023 at 10:35 am

I am overwhelmed with trying to summarize and articulate the impact that this remarkable human had on my life… Dr Steven Lange recognized, in me, and so many others, a love of music, and a desire to connect and communicate emotion and meaning through music, and nurtured this desire through kindness, compassion, patience and love. Dr Lange created a creative environment that supported curiosity, encouraged introspection, and facilitated space for deep spiritual exploration. I am forever indebted to this man for sharing, so generously, his enormous spirit and unfailing humanity. His life was a blessing and I am so grateful to be a page in the story of this beautiful human’s existence.

Brian Horvath
February 2, 2023 at 11:33 am

So sorry for your loss, Nancy. I only knew Steve through playing tennis with him. I always enjoyed playing with Steve and Nancy, they were good players, but more importantly they were very nice people. They were always cheerful and friendly and I was glad whenever I had the opportunity to play with them. He will be missed!

Conrad and Judith Donakowski
February 3, 2023 at 1:43 pm

Steve Lange showed us how always to do the best thing in the best way. He exemplified how to select and teach repertoire apt to the occasion. His explanations and program notes were definitive motivations to his performers and audience to seek deeper meaning in the music.

Ashley Deming
February 3, 2023 at 1:45 pm

I am so grateful to the Langes for the gift of music they brought to my life. From children’s choir through high school, I have so many memories of their talent and love of music and teaching. Dr. Lange was always so kind, patient, and talented. The appreciation for music of all kinds is something I am passing on to my daughter and I have you both the thank for that. THANK YOU for it all! I’m so sorry for your loss, Mrs. Lange.

Lucy (Head) Dhegrae
February 3, 2023 at 10:24 pm

I asked Dr. Lange when I was in high school why he did not have any children—kind of a rude question, but I guess I didn’t know any better at the time. He told me that indeed, he had dozens of “children.” Had he children of his own, he wouldn’t have had as much time for us. I will never forget him telling me this.
As one of his dozens (or hundreds?) of children, I will always remember how he exuded love. He beamed it at you, wrapped you in it. How lucky we all were that he shared his life so generously.

With Dr. Lange, music was all about the soul. The deep “why” was always present. Twenty years later I can say that this is beyond rare for a musician, professional or otherwise. And yet how lucky I was to take it for granted in my formative years.
He always encouraged me to share my voice from a place of devotion and love, never ego. Making music with him was sacred, and that will always stay with me and be the standard against which all other musicking is measured.

He attracted like: his community was full of kind, loving individuals for whom music was soulful and sacred. I am so grateful I knew him, and am grateful for the community that continues in his legacy.

Thank you, Dr. Lange. God truly shined through you.

Brian DeBar
February 9, 2023 at 7:44 pm


My deepest and sincerest condolences. May God grant you the strength to weather this separation until you can be rejoined in the hereafter. Its not overstating to say that all who knew you both could sense the soulmate nature of your relationship. Never once did you speak of Stephen that love’s light didnt sparkle in your eyes.

I want to echo Barb’s sentiments of thanks for your sharing him with us, your students. While it was, without question, motivating to work with him musically, it was also life instructive to see such shining role models of love and companionship.

Peace be with you, and warmest regards always.


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