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First Name: Lowry
Last Name: Riggins
Bio: Lowry was born September 24, 1930 in Memphis, Tennessee. Just before the 7th grade he moved to Bartlett, Tennessee where he began playing the oboe and the clarinet. After graduation he joined the U.S. Navy as a musician and graduated from the US Navy School of Music. During his 4 years in the Navy, Lowry played oboe and English horn in various Navy bands while also playing saxophone and clarinet in the dance band groups. After his discharge he attended North Texas State College where he received his B.A. with high honors and received the P1 Kappa Lambda Certificate of Commendation for Musical Achievement. It was here that he met and married Carolyn Jean Klinker. He and his family moved to Illinois where he received the M.S. While at Illinois he was recipient of the A. A. Harding Award as outstanding bandsman from the University of Illinois. He later did advanced study at the University of Southern Mississippi and at North Texas University. His oboe teachers included Don Cassell, Robert Mayer, Lee Gibson, David Ledet, and Noah Knepper. In the early 60's Lowry and his family moved to Monroe, Louisiana where he accepted the position of woodwind teacher. During his college teaching career Lowry conducted the orchestra, the band, taught woodwinds, and worked with student teachers. He originated a class in instrument repair for future teachers. He performed in the Memphis Symphony, the Arlington Symphony, the Waukegan City Band and Symphony Orchestra, the Wichita Falls Symphony, and was a charter member of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and the Monroe Symphony Orchestra. He played for many years in the Contemporary Wind Quintet. He conducted the Dallas Business and Professional Men's Band, the Dallas Starlight Concert Series, the Texas State Fair Band, the Northeast Louisiana State College band and the Orchestra, and was an assistant to Doctor Worthington, director of the Monroe Symphony Orchestra. He was also personnel manager of the Monroe Symphony Orchestra. Lowry was one of the early subscribers to Jerry Corey's To The World's Bassoonists and joined the IDRS as soon as it was begun. He served as Secretary and as Treasurer, and was elected to the office of President three times. As President, it was his honor to serve while the Society met in their very first European Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. While President, he and the executive committee tried to find a "home" for the Society. Having to change locations every time a new treasurer was elected made things confusing for everyone concerned. Richard Meek was asked to try to begin the computerization of the Society. Richard quickly found that the job was too much for a teacher-performer to do while trying to make use of school computers. Consequently, Lowry, who had been dabbling in computers since the early Texas Instrument models agreed to take on the task with a home computer. Since there were no programs available to do the job, he decided to program one himself and set up the first office with a Radio Shack Model III which quickly grew to have four floppy drives. When the "PC" hit the market he puchased one with a "10Meg" hard drive and so begins the story of the modern day IDRS Office with its powerful computer and personally designed program. From the beginning, Lowry treated the Society as an extension of his family believing that one of the greatest points about the IDRS was its ability to have double reed people from around the world feel and act like one big family. After being a part of the Society since before its inception, he has now decided retire from the office of Executive Secretary/Treasurer.
Source: Double Reed 21/1 (1998)