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First Name: Lowry
Last Name: Riggins
Bio: Lowry Riggins Lowry first got involved in the society when he started reading Gerald Corey's To The World's Bassoonists and his interest grew into a love affair with IDRS. Lowry held the offices of secretary, treasurer, and president of IDRS before he helped establish the permanent office of executive secretary-treasurer in 1983, an office he held with distinction until his recent retire-ment. Lowry remembers the early years of IDRS when the society's records were stored on a Radio Shack Model III computer with 4 floppy discs and 160K memory. There was a time, early on, when Lowry personally loaned IDRS $400 to keep it afloat. Happily, those days are behind us, for our operational budget is around $100,000, thanks in no small part to Lowry's administrative skills. Lowry was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Like many of us, his first instrument was the clarinet before he moved up to a military system oboe in the ninth grade. During his years at Bartlett High School, a wonderful thing happened in Memphis: a real oboe player moved to town, Don Cassell. Don encouraged Lowry to learn to make reeds and practice systematically. At age 17, Lowry had his first international experience: he joined the Navy. Stationed at Great Lakes (near Chicago), he got the opportunity to study with Robert Mayer (honorary member, IDRS). He later was stationed at Pearl Harbor (during the early 1950's) and played in a band that toured throughout the Pacific. After completing military service, Lowry went back to school, earning his undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas (Lee Gibson) and his masters from the University of Illinois (David Ledet and Noah Knepper). His professional career included public school teaching in Illinois and Texas and a repair business in Dallas. Northeast Louisiana University called Lowry in 1964 to teach woodwinds and serve as assistant band director. He later taught classes in repair, played in the faculty woodwind quintet, and conducted the university symphony. Lowry was one of the organizers of the Monroe Symphony where he played first oboe alongside his wife, Carolyn who played second. Carolyn, Lowry's wife, best friend, and partner of 42 years, passed away last year. Their children are Sharon, Michael, and Linda.
Source: Double Reed 21/2 (1998)