Pat Curry, long-time music camp director

Pat Curry

Pat Bryan Curry, former chair of the Department of Music and former director of NAU’s summer music camp, died Aug. 29, 2010. He was 84.

Born on June 2, 1926, in Texas, Dr. Curry was the son of Grover Cleveland Curry and Eva May Pierce Curry and one of 12 siblings. He grew up in Duncan, Ariz., where his mother ran Ruby’s Cafe after his father died in a mining accident. Dr. Curry graduated from Duncan High School in 1944, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and earned his B.A. in music education in 1950 from Arizona State College in Tempe (now Arizona State University). He earned his M.A. at the University of Southern California, and in the late 1960s he received his Ph.D. from Brigham Young University.

Dr. Curry began at Northern Arizona University (then Arizona State College) in 1960 and remained until his retirement in 1986. He began as director of the University Orchestra, taught music education and was a violin instructor.

Dr. Curry also was conductor of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, director of the NAU Summer Music Camp for 24 years and founder and director of the Flagstaff Summer Festival of the Arts.

Among his many lifetime honors, Dr. Curry was named the Young Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Education Association, Arizona Music Educators Association’s Music Educator of the Year and the Arizona Daily Sun’s Citizen of the Year in 1986.

In 2007, the NAU Music Camp was renamed the Curry Summer Music Camp at NAU in his honor.

“Dr. Pat Curry was one of the most important figures in the musical life of Northern Arizona University, the city of Flagstaff, and the state of Arizona,” said Todd Sullivan, director of the School of Music at NAU.

Dr. Curry is survived by his wife, Lorraine G. Curry; two children, Bryan E. Curry (Roberta) and Barbara Curry-Kaufman (Lance); siblings Fay Wilkins and Bernard (Nard) Curry; and many other relatives in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.

The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra will dedicate its Sept. 18 French Connection Concert in memory of Dr. Curry. For tickets or other information, contact the symphony office.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, in NAU’s Ardrey Memorial Auditorium. A short musical presentation will be followed by a reception for family and friends. In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family asks that donations be made to the Pat B. Curry Music Scholarship Fund (#5250) at NAU.

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