Remembering Douglas Lowry
Douglas Lowry touched so many people’s lives in innumerable ways. We invite you to share your thoughts and memories.
Thank you, Douglas Lowry, for all you have done for the Eastman School, and for all of the lives you have touched in different ways. Rest in Peace.
— Jarryd Elias, BA in Applied Music: Percussion Performance, 2015
Dear All, I really got to know Doug in preparation for the Renee Fleming concert which we conducted together. It was a great collaboration, and it was such a success. Getting her here to do a concert was one of his greatest achievements, getting a workable program an even greater one. I am in his debt for giving the orchestras a chance to shine in such a highly publicized event. I always felt his support, his admiration for my art, and his understanding for the problems I encounter on a day to day basis. Thanks dear Doug, for simply being you.
With sincere gratitude,
Professor Neil Varon, Director of Orchestral Activities
My wife Amy and I had the pleasure of meeting Dean Lowry in 2007, in October for the parents weekend at Eastman. Our son Chad, was a freshman in classical trumpet performance in 2007, and we were so impressed with Dean Lowry’s vision of Eastman, and it’s responsibilities to not only the young adults at the school, but to the music world around us. We knew he was bright, innovative, and a visionary, with a warm and sincere personality. It is sad to lose one so young and gifted, but his legacy will live on, not only at Eastman, but throughout the music world.
Ricky and Amy Goodman
Chad Goodman trumpet, graduating class of 2010
Doug was a remarkable leader, and I was terribly honored to have worked with him at NASM and in other ways over the past years. He was witty, intelligent, kind, articulate, and represented Eastman beautifully. I offer my most sincere condolences to his wonderful family, and to the many colleagues and friends who knew him and loved him.
Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D. ’85, MA ’78, Dean, College of Music and Fine Arts, Loyola University New Orleans
The first time I met Doug was to talk about the Women in Music Festival. I was a little nervous, of course (meeting “the boss”), and wanted to make a good impression. Doug, on the other hand, wanted to have a grasp of my contract, which had been a patchwork of various responsibilities. And so, one of the first things Doug asked me was: “What the hell do you do here?” I had the choice to respond with shock, defensiveness, or a good laugh. My response was to laugh,
and the meeting went mighty fine after that.
Doug was always encouraging and supportive–he emailed me when I graduated with a master’s degree in Arts Administration–and being grateful for what people did to make Eastman special. He always knew what to say, witty and heartfelt.
We will miss him…
Sylvie Beaudette ’93
Assistant Professor, Accompanying & Chamber Music
Dean Lowry was so kind over the years while I was working on the organization of the vocal competitions. He was sincere, interested, supportive and fun! Thank you to his lovely family for sharing him with us all.
— Pamela Levitt
Douglas Lowry, you were simply the best. I thank you for your leadership and for your kind heart. I will always remember you as a man of great knowledge, a man who cared and loved many. You touched many hearts with your wisdom, knowledge and contributions to the world of music. I have been honored and blessed to have worked under your direction and guidance. Your recording of Freedom Zephyr is a treasure that I will cherish forever. I received great solace from that magnificent work. Thank you once again Dean Lowry. Rest in Peace. We love you eternally.
Yvette Singletary, MS
Composition and Humanities Departments
Eastman School of Music
I had the rare good fortune to work with Doug at both the University of Southern California and at the University of Rochester. In both places he was a breath of fresh humanity, grace, and consummate professionalism. Doug managed to convey soulful artistry without ever offering a hint of the diva. When we were at USC we both had more hair. I will sorely miss Doug as a colleague and send my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
University of Rochester
When I shared the news of Doug’s passing with my admissions colleagues, I received many thoughtful condolences. This one is from the assistant dean of admissions at USC, where Doug was associate dean in the 90s:
“We at USC Thornton share in your sadness and great sense of loss over Doug’s untimely passing. As you may know, Doug was Associate Dean of the Thornton School back in the 1990s. I remember meeting him as an undergraduate student and being incredibly inspired by him during that formative time in my own life. I was privileged to later be able to call him a mentor and he was largely responsible for giving me my “break” in music school administration. I appreciate your President’s words about Doug: “[his] charm, wit, and intelligence inspired generations of students and colleagues.” I heartily agree. That is precisely how so many will remember him.”
And this from the dean of admissions at CCM where Doug was dean before coming to Eastman: “Doug was my former boss at CCM and a true friend. His inspiration, wit and musicality touched many of us in Cincinnati. He will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and the entire Eastman Community.”
On a personal note, Doug remains an inspiration to me as I attempt to balance my work in admissions with my life as a musician. In my first meeting with him he emphasized how important it was to continue being a musician. It was a critical time for me to hear that – especially coming from him – and I continue to take it to heart.
Matthew Ardizzone, Associate Dean of Admissions, ESM
Doug and Marcia served as faculty hosts for an alumni trip on the Danube River several years ago. We spent days together touring ports of call, listening to music aboard the river cruise boat and in Vienna and elsewhere. He lectured about the history of the waltz and the state of music instruction. As he always did, he spoke with just the right balance of history, knowledge and humor.
Doug was boundlessly enthusiastic, forging relationships with the passengers from our group as well as others aboard the ship. We shared a drink together on the roof of that ship one day; he offered me a cigar, which I should have
While I worked with him on a number of occasions, he was at his finest in that setting. He was so at ease with everyone he met, from the young college student on the trip with her parents and grandmother to the two older alums who had met and fallen in love at Eastman. He made it look effortless.
His mark on Eastman is indelible. My sympathies to Marcia and the Lowry family.
AVP for Advancement and Alumni Relations
Dear Everyone, In the short time that I and other Rochester Music Hall of Fame board members got to know Doug Lowry, it was evident that he was a wonderful person. He helped make it possible for the RMHF to hold it’s induction ceremony at Kodak Hall. Even though we were an upstart organization he was very supportive of what we were doing, and gave us the opportunity to showcase our induction ceremonies in the most prestigious venue in Rochester. It’s no coincidence that we have been able to bring Rochester’s greatest music legends back to Rochester because our event is held at the Eastman Theatre’s Kodak Hall. I remember the first meeting we had with Doug Lowry and Jamal Rossi, I was a little nervous, and all of a sudden my cell phone went off loudly. I was embarrassed, but Doug cracked a joke about the same thing happening to him. He was so down to earth. Thank you Doug for all you have done. You will be greatly missed.
President, Rochester Music Hall of Fame.
Dean Lowry was an exceptional leader for this school and he cared deeply about the students. I remember a town hall meeting at the dorms last year. All students were invited to attend and all the deans took time out of their day to be there. Not many students attended the meeting, which gave those of us who were there a chance to speak. Dean Lowry went around the room and spoke to each one of us. He looked us in the eye when we were speaking and asked questions about school, dorm life, etc. He genuinely cared about all of us, and that will never be forgotten.
Rachael Sanguinetti, BM Music Education, MUA 2015
As an undergraduate in the class of 2012 at the Eastman School of Music, I got to hear the late Dean Lowry speak numerous times. I was immediately impressed by his ideas and conduct: passionate, eloquent, intelligent, original, and graceful. From the very first time he addressed our incoming freshman class, I sensed this was a man who could not only be trusted, but should be listened to, and with great intent, even though I did not always agree with him. I was as attentive as I could be whenever I had the opportunity to read or hear his words, and many of his ideas concerning community engagement have influenced my own.
But I found out later that Doug was far more than this. It was later, as a Junior and Senior at Eastman, that I sought his guidance with two of my friends in starting a new ensemble dedicated to breaking down boundaries in new music
performance. He set aside a substantial amount of time to speak with us privately when we had little more than a dream. I remember him listening patiently as we blurted all our many ideas out, most of them wildly ambitious. When he finally spoke, his enthusiasm for our idea, as well as his council on how to focus and direct it, were so comforting and helpful that we all walked away substantially more excited about our new ensemble than before. Four concerts and a road trip later, in Spring, we spoke to him as a group one more time. After showing him what we had accomplished, he said something I’ll always remember, which made me feel very proud: “You made chicken salad from chicken shit!”.
I met with him privately and with another friend on two more occasions, the latest being in early March 2013. It was the last time I’d see him alive, and we had brought another wild entrepreneurial venture to his table, this one even more impractical than the last. Nonetheless, he sat back in his chair, and slowly got some concrete ideas out of us, made suggestions for how to attract donors, and requested we submit a more detailed outline of the idea, with possible future meetings to come.
The latter part of the meeting however shifted entirely to our personal lives. He wanted to know what each of us was doing in the next year. My plan was to hike the Appalachian Trail, and my friend’s plan was as radical a change from
conservatory life as mine. He smiled, proceeding to passionately and knowledgeably discuss with us topics as diverse as meditation, international affairs, philosophy, et al. At one point, he paused, and said something like this:
“The things you two are talking about are abstract, and if others initially don’t respond to your ideas with enthusiasm, or don’t seem to value them, don’t worry. Keep doing what you’re doing, keep thinking about the big picture, the big ideas; the value of these things takes a longer time to impress itself upon others, but eventually you’ll find allies.”
I share all this in hopes of painting at least some picture of the kind of person I knew Doug to be. He cared about students’ ideas and projects, but was neither condescending, nor a yes-man. Forthrightness is not something that can
be taken for granted, and Doug’s genuine care for not only the ideas of others, but their humanity, made him a very special person in a sea of administrative bench warmers. One sometimes felt he was being restrained by a behemoth of
conflicting interests he could not entirely control, and whose weight limited the greatness he always knew (it was clear in his speeches) Eastman could become.
But in the end, this never seemed to bother him. Just as he continued to work tirelessly through his illness, he never complained about the limitations or compromises which always accompany anyone in a managerial role of a large
institution, let alone one filled with so many temperamental artist types as myself. One sensed he simply set about doing the work he knew must be done, and which could be done, and was realistic about how far he could or should push
anyone into the more grand areas of his vision. Indeed, one of the recurring themes in his speeches was a diversity of perspectives as the necessary antecedent to breakthroughs, in any field, and emphasized that it was likely going to be from the bottom up, not the top down, that classical music was to be articulated henceforth.
Doug made a deep impression on me. If I was feeling brazen, I’d call him my friend. When I heard of his passing, I was still in Maine, and despite the serenity of my surroundings and the accompanying thrill of recently finishing the trail, I was deeply saddened. I felt not only that I had lost an ally, but that the students as a whole had as well. Anyone in the trenches of a conservatory knows how important it is to have someone high up willing to go to bat for the difficult, but just path. Dean Lowry was such a person. He “got it”.
I’d like to share one more thing he said to me:
“I can only hope that at the end of my time here, I will have gotten the lid off this school just a little bit. If I can do that, I’ll be satisfied.”
You did far more than just peel back the lid. I hope we finish what you started. You will be missed.
Kyle, BM ’12
Dean Lowry was a great leader, thoughtful and competent musician, and a personally generous and kind man. He generously took time to meet with me as an undergraduate and taught me a lot about the classical music business and the academic music environment. I’ll never forget his unique combination of dignity and high self-expectation with humility and kindness. Truly a loss, not just for the ESM community, but for music leadership in general. There are more than a few arts leaders who could learn much by following his example.
-Jay Villella BM 2011
We are heartbroken and thinking of Marcia, the Lowry family, and everyone at Eastman mourning the loss of a brilliant and kind man. He had so much more to contribute, teach, and do.
My family and I know Doug through “Jazz on the Pond,” an annual concert to benefit jazz scholarships at Eastman. He has been our friend and partner from the outset and never missed a concert, even when he wasn’t feeling well. Together, we funded scholarships for 80 Eastman students and had an absolute blast. The experience has been a highlight of my life and it’s no surprise that Doug was a driving force of its success.
We will miss him, terribly. Already do.
Jazz on the Pond
Belasco Family Foundation
I knew Doug back when we were both students at USC. It was such a pleasure to watch him grow into the great leader he was. And it was with great pride that I watched him become the Director at Eastman. Doug will truly be missed.
Tom Hornig BM 84, MM 86
I did not have the pleasure of meeting Dean Lowry personally, but I have been very impressed with his leadership of the Eastman School. My condolences to the entire Eastman community, as well as his immediate family.
Brian D. Rozen, PhD., 1998
Good morning Lowry family and friends: With great sorrow we received the sad and tearful missive from Kellie about Doug’s passing. We can barely imagine the depth your loss will have on you, his colleagues, and students. Our remembrance of Doug is his remarkable kindness he showed our family some years ago. Doug was gracious sharing his knowledge and counsel with regards to our daughter, when she was considering her various university and college choices. Doug was gracious with information to be considered by us, which was very much appreciated, resulting
a few years later with her graduating from a university in California. Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with you.
With Sincere Sympathies,
Shelley Erwin and Phil Eisenhauer
The first time I met Dean Lowry was to talk about the “China Connection Project” in 2008. I remembered Dr. Fox brought me to his office, I was very nervous, I am not sure if he would be interested the project, or even trust a student to make the project happen. Surprisingly, he showed great interest, and certainly great support later on. Lots of memories for our China tour in 2009… I was so honored that he wrote a piece for me called “14 days” for this tour, however, unfortunately, due to my hands problem, I couldn’t perform it by the time. What a pity!!
Dean Lowry was truly a remarkable leader, and musician. I am so honored to have worked and performed with him. His direction and guidance will influence me forever!
Dean Lowry, We will miss you….
Liu Liu, DMA, Piano Performance, 2007
About one week before stepping down as Dean and knowing what lay before him, Doug took his most valuable time to meet with my brother and his 17 year old son, a prospective Eastman student who had traveled from Virginia to Rochester. These two were strangers to Doug but his willingness to give of himself at such a time in his life is a testament to his concern for students and his love for Eastman and its best interests. I will never forget his generosity of spirit.
Martha Ellison, BM ’66, MM’68
Eastman Board of Managers
To rephrase President Seligman’s remarks: ” Doug was a polymath and a global thinker and a great listener”. Anyone who engaged Doug in conversation realized that they were speaking with a man of broad scholarship who possessed unique human insights into working with people and institutions. Even a brief encounter with Doug left one walking away with a sense that their work was valuable to the Eastman mission. At the same time, Doug was a gifted composer/musician. A perfect match global and specific skills in one being. Thank you Doug.
Ruth Cahn, ECMS faculty member/ ESM 1968
I used to play guitar with Doug Lowry when he was barely twenty, and it seemed he had the potential to be a popular artist playing blues and folk music. His voice combined the richness of Johnny Mathes and the blues soul of Steven Stills. As years passed, those days ended and he became a classical conductor and composer. He was a man of high intelligence and great humor in addition to possessing great skills as a musician. His loss is truly a loss for all of us.
Amateur blues player, retired teacher and writer
I have never been to Eastman, but I have known Doug and Marcia for a great many years. Doug and I first met while playing various free-lance jobs in Los Angeles (Doug was a superb trombonist) and we then ended up playing at the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival as members of the orchestra and resident quintet. So I was able to see many different sides of the man. I think what impressed me more than anything else was just how incredibly productive he was, and how he was always involved in something that was a passion for him. Doug had a positive influence on so many different types of lives, and not only just through his deeds but also through the type of person he was. I think we have all lost both an inspiration and also a friend. And I will miss the many times we laughed together.
Tony Plog, composer and trumpet professor.
My wife Adaline and I had the pleasure to know both Doug and Marcia in the late 70’s and early 80’s at the University of Southern California. Adaline and Doug worked together for a while at Sea Grant. As students we felt dirt poor, but the richness of our friendship and the great times we enjoyed have yet to depart our conscious thoughts. I will never forget the many times I came to pick my wife up from work and was given a part to perform in one of Doug’s “plays” that he
was always writing to entertain and amaze the Sea Grant group.
-Daniel Klemmedson, DDS, MD ; Tucson, AZ
Doug was exceptional not only as a leader of the school but also as a human being. He lived in and passed beyond this world with exemplary grace. Sharing his passion for Shakespeare with my classes, he told one student that he read Shakespeare daily, and another that he regarded Shakespeare as the greatest “composer” of all time. I will always remember with fondness his visit to my class to discuss his marvelous composition “Wm’s Ghosts” as well as music he had written for productions of Othello and King Lear. There was nothing flashy or self-regarding about his presentation. His focus was always on the students and their reactions to the pieces. When I try to imagine what kind of human being William Shakespeare might have been, I like to think that he possessed many of the same qualities that we came to associate with Doug: exceptional warmth, generosity, good humor, and wit. I feel so lucky to have known Doug and to have had him as our leader.
My deepest condolences to Marcia and the Lowry family,
Jonathan Baldo, Department of Humanities
I have just learned of Doug’s passing, and I am terribly saddened by this news. A long time ago now, Doug and I were fellow students at the University of Southern California. Each of us moved around the country a number of times, but we managed to stay in touch, particularly as a result of our connections to the National Association of Schools of Music. In recent years, we would talk at the annual meetings of NASM, and when I learned of his illness, I was, of course, very concerned. Periodically, I would send him a note to see how he was doing and to praise him for the amazing strength of will that he displayed in dealing with this illness. Each time that he replied to my inquiries, he always had something
positive to say. Of course, it would be inappropriate to share here his particular comments, as they were very personal, but what I can say is that I admired him for the humble and extraordinarily courageous manner with which he dealt with his illness.
Doug was a highly gifted musician, who was talented in so many areas of music: composition, performance, education, etc. As a fellow music executive, I can say that Doug was highly respected by all of the members of NASM. His impressive
leadership skills and innovative ideas became known widely throughout the profession. Like all others who have shared thoughts and feelings about Doug, I, too, miss him. Our beloved profession has lost a totally dedicated and passionate advocate.
My deepest condolences to the entire Lowry family.
Mario J. Pelusi
Director of the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music
Professor of Composition and Theory
My goodbye reminiscences about this great talent are somewhat different…
In 1975 I retired from the Navy to accept a position at the University of Southern California as first Director (dean) of their Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies (IMCS). For me, the world of academe was solidly in another universe. But not to worry, because I was ‘captured’ by a gifted graduate student and his extraordinarily talented wife: Doug and Marcia Lowry. And if anyone knew ‘the system’ and how to make it work for IMCS, they did!
Doug, worked part time for the Institute. He was an immense asset in all things from working with a turgid university administration to being our chief ‘morale officer’. Meanwhile Marcia became my administrative assistant, the best I had
ever worked with. The two of them pulled me back from the brink on more than one occasion as I learned my way around USC.
Over our years together I developed a great respect for Doug’s intellectual agility, creativity and just plain ‘horse sense’. I felt that if I had sent to central casting for a principal support team, they would have sent me the Lowry’s. Please note, nothing said about music… They just knew how to run things in the difficult world of academe. These tributes make it very clear that Doug worked that magic wherever he went.
While not a musician, I grew up with the classics and always loved discussing music with Doug and attending his performances. My wife and I were early supporters of his Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles. Over
the years it brought us great joy to watch his professional development as a composer, conductor and musician.
I left USC 30 years ago and left behind that valued colleague. However Marcia joined my new consulting practice in Los Angeles as office director. So I was still able to keep up with Doug’s career developments through her. The association ended in the early 90’s when I left California.
During the years since then, the usual Christmas exchanges told us about Doug’s professional and family achievements. But we never met again. However, none of his success as a leader in music was a surprise to me. All that potential was
evident when we first started working together at USC in 1975. In truth, I often thought he and Marcia could have run IMCS without me…
I shall hold close memories of those years when Doug, Marcia and I were embarking on new journeys. Doug was one of the most remarkable people I have ever met in my 81years of trudging around this planet. We are all poorer with
his departure from this world.
Don Walsh, Captain USN (ret), PhD, NAE
Professor and Dean USC 1975-1983
I wish to express my sincerest sympathy to the Lowry family, I hope that you take solace in knowing that your husband (father) was a wonderful dean and that he was loved by us all. He helped me personally on several occasions when I was having difficulties coping with stress. I will always remember how he took time from his busy schedule just to talk with me for over an hour. I will remember Doug, not only as a brilliant mind and talented composer but also as a compassionate person.
Doug, you will be long remembered by your colleagues and the students who knew you. You did so much for th Eastman School of Music and you touched the hearts and lives of so many. Rest in Peace.
Chair of Theory and Composition at the Eastman Community Music school; graduated 1996 in Composition, 1996
I had the pleasure and privilege of collaborating with Doug Lowry in my role as Chair of the Board of Friends of Eastman Opera. Doug was a wonderful supporter of our organization. He donated financially, but more importantly gave of his time and his enthusiasm. He and Marcia always attended our signature events. A few years ago, he stepped in at the last minute to deliver a keynote address when the scheduled speaker was unable to attend.
Doug was quick to praise FEO and other groups that support Eastman, and modest in accepting praise toward himself. I will never forget the gusto with which he conducted the student orchestra during the Renee Fleming benefit concert. On behalf of the Friends of Eastman Opera, I extend our deepest sympathies.
Chair, Friends of Eastman Opera Board of Directors
Doug Lowry cared a lot about people and how music relates to their lives. Whether it was faculty, staff, student,
supporter or concert patron, he always engaged directly and genuinely. I appreciated that Doug really “got it” – that music should nurture the soul and alter people’s reality. Doug cherished the fact that he was a leader in helping people achieve this in their lives. I loved the man — he will be missed but never forgotten.
Mark Davis Scatterday
Conductor, The Eastman Wind Ensemble
Dear Doug, You were one of the finest human beings I have known. Working under your leadership was a privilege and a high point of not only my career but my life. You made all of those who were not musicians or scholars at Eastman still feel important and respected for our unique talents. I loved your quick making decisions on design. The one that stuck out at you first was the one you went with. I grieve for your family. Your life looked beautiful and you were taken from Earth far too early. Missing you.
Karen Ver Steeg
Creative Director, Eastman School of Music
Doug possessed the unique and highly sought-after capability of being both humble and noble. This world could use many more Doug Lowrys.
Louis P. Ciminelli
Dean’s National Council
Dean Douglas Lowry came quietly to Eastman but he brought vigor, energy, clear thinking and a sense of
professionalism as he gently, but firmly pushed ESM towards the 21st century. He was a respected musician and composer, a consummate educator who managed to bring out the best in all of us. At the same time he was totally approachable. Eastman has lost a Giant. May he rest in peace. We mourn with the Lowry Family.
-Leatrice Eckber Gochberg, Class of ’61, B.M., former member of the Board of Managers and an Honorary Trustee.
Shortly after starting graduate school at Eastman, several colleagues and I decided to form a student-run ensemble, Sound ExChange, to “shake up” the classical music concert experience. We created somewhat of a buzz and at the beginning of the following semester I was called into Dean Lowry’s office. I was terrified. I walked in and Dean Lowry said, “There’s the shit disturber.” I became more terrified. I sat down and Dean Lowry began sharing all of his ideas for possibilities Sound ExChange could explore in Rochester. I took notes furiously and in my head thought, “Just do everything he says.” I quickly realized that Dean Lowry didn’t call me into his office to tell me what to do with Sound ExChange; he just wanted to share ideas and show support. In fact, he seemed to have unshakable confidence in our ability as students to try something completely new and crazy on our own outside the walls of Eastman. But we had no idea what we were doing! I thought to myself, “Does he know we might fail? We could make Eastman look really bad.” I think Eastman is unique because not only are the faculty committed to teaching us how to become the best artists possible, they encourage us to think for ourselves and to try new ideas and approaches that hopefully will have an impact on the world of music. I was touched to see this belief and confidence emanate directly from Dean Lowry and I believe it will continue to resonate throughout Eastman.
Thanks for believing in all of us, Dean Lowry.
Emily Wozniak, MM ’14
Few people have made as great an impression on me as Doug Lowry. His courage throughout the last few years dealing with his medical problem is to be admired. He kept fighting and took care of business regardless of his pain. He has made a lasting impression on me that I will remember forever. He will be missed but never forgotten.
John H. Beck, Professor Emeritus of Percussion
Our relationship was founded on simple neighborliness. Doug would pause during his morning run or walk to say hello to Janis and praise her (futile) efforts in the garden. Thankfully, we got together with Marcia and Doug from time to time to share a drink and stories on our porch or theirs, but not nearly as often as we wished. We knew from our first meeting that Doug had extraordinary gifts. We assumed there would be many moments to share with him and Marcia in the years ahead, and we are saddened beyond words that Doug will join those moments only through our vivid memories of him. Marcia, be strong; we love you.
— Janis Gogan and Ashok Rao, neighbors for a time in Rochester, and forever in our deep affection.
If it is possible for someone to be a model person in every respect, that was Doug Lowry. Optimist, Realist, Progressive, Teacher, Guide, Wiseass, Mentor, Friend, and a startlingly Complete Musician.
My first meeting with him was one in which I was welcomed to the Eastman Community. My second was one that encouraged my own path of conducting, leadership, and mentorship within that community. And, my last was to say thank you and goodbye.
The miracle of his life, of course, is that we get to carry forward the very best of his work, in every one of our own personal journeys; enriched by his being and his momentum.
Doug, you are sorely missed, but your influence is a source of joy and life that will be felt by many thousands, for many decades.
Requiescant in pace et Musica Meliora
Institute for Music Leadership Faculty
From your friends at the University of Cincinnati, we thank you for your time here and for making the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the university, itself, a better place. While here, you composed a piece for then President Zimpher’s investiture called, “Christen the Voyage.” May that music accompany you in your new journey. To your family and friends, heartfelt condolences on the loss.
Doug Lowry was very much responsible for having the Rochester Music Hall of Fame hold it’s successful induction ceremonies at the Eastman Theatre’s Kodak Hall. We are all so grateful for his support for the Rochester Music Hall of Fame, and his wonderful contributions to our community. Thank you Doug so much for everything.
If Eastman is a portal to a better world (and it surely is, one where serious music is the raison d’etre and is made with the utmost passion and skill), Doug was and will be a superhero in that world. Such a place demands deep, deep listening. Doug listened. He listened to who you are: as a musician, as a complete human being with a unique history, and most importantly as a spirit with unlimited potential. This was a gift. In the short time I knew him, every encounter of his I witnessed with members of the ESM community was made special by his genuine interest and insight into each individual. The genuine superhero doesn’t demonstrate power, but instead brings people together with encouragement and without fanfare, and makes rivers flow. Doug was all that and much more. He remembered all, and we should always remember him.
-Bevan Manson, composer/ jazz pianist ( BM, 1981, MM 1983)
My first semester as a Visiting Teacher of Voice in 08/09 at Eastman School of Music and every year since, now as an Assist. Professor Of Voice, I was and have been moved and impressed with Dean Lowry’s words at our school wide convocations. His insights about education and in particular this school’s role in developing the “complete” musician, following George Eastman’s mission for his school, were invigorating and inspirational to me as a new faculty member.
Professor Jan Opalach
I am shocked and saddened to hear of Douglas Lowry’s passing. He was a warm, intelligent and talented composer and educational leader. He will be greatly missed.
Ted Mann, ’58
I am deeply sorry for the loss of Doug Lowry–a truly kind person. My thoughts are with Marcia and the Lowry family. Personally I only had very few chances to interact with Doug during my relatively short time at Eastman but I recall one particular event when, as a newly hired faculty member, I was invited to perform at one of President Seligman’s events, in September of 2011. Doug had just undergone surgery but he bravely managed to attend the dinner and the subsequent concert. The following day he called me because he was so curious about a short selection I had presented: the Nocturne by Ottorino Respighi. Despite his knowledge of the major orchestral works by the Italian composer he was excited to find
out that there were a few other gems for solo piano as well. I recall that I sent him a copy of the music so he could peruse it. That gesture alone made me think highly of him as a musician and I was touched to see that a very busy
person such as Doug would take the time to investigate a few pages of rather unknown piano music. I will never forget his speeches, his intelligent look, let alone his sense of humor both at faculty meetings and receptions, as well
as his ability to create a contagious enthusiasm. Thank you, Doug, for your hard work and dedication to your colleagues and the Eastman School of Music. You will be remembered.
— Enrico Elisi, Associate Professor of Piano
I was so honored to meet and get to know Doug during his tenure at ESM. I could never do his job, much less do it with the grace, skill and ease he always so wonderfully projected. One of my fondest memories of Doug was when I was graduation speaker for Eastman a few years back. My topic was “failure” – how we learn and grow from our failures and mis-fires over the years. I made a quip about not earning a performer’s certificate on trumpet somewhere during my talk.
Later in the ceremony Doug improvised an “Official ESM Performer’s Certificate” on a piece of blank paper and presented it to me in his best flowery language. It was a riot, and so funny and unexpected in the middle of such an formal ceremony. His love of life, sense of humor, and creativity were all sort of wrapped up in that moment for me. We shared stories of our various health challenges after he was diagnosed and that was very special to me (I was diag. with MS right around the time we first met in 2007).
We miss you Doug, your spirit lives on in our hearts-
Jeff Beal, composer & trumpet – class of 1985
Hello to everyone that had the honor to share in Doug’s life. I was fortunate to know Doug as a family man. His soul was with his music but his heart never left his home and the family he so dearly loved. The strength he gained from his family is what allowed him to share his love for music. I am sad and heart broken to loose such a wonderful brother-in-law but I know his spirit will continue to transform the world.
I LOVE YOU DOUG.
Always your sister-in-law Kellie Erwin-Rhoads from Golden, BC Canada
My husband is Howard Potter, Associate Dean and Director of the Eastman Community School. I know how much Howard loved Dean Lowry and he cried many tears this October. The Memorial Service was outstanding — just outstanding. It reaffirmed not only the many gifts and contributions of Dean Lowry but also reaffirmed the importance of the Eastman School of Music – of its history, its students, its teachers and its future in the 21st century. Thank you Dean Lowry. Thank you also to his beautiful family — our thoughts and prayers are with you!
Most sincerely, Margaret Potter, wife of Assoc. Dean Howard, Potter, mother of Chris Potter – BM and MM, Eastman School of Music. And while I am a development and communications director for Genesee Land Trust — I am a perennial student of music (all my electives were Music History) — we are an Eastman family.
I had the opportunity to meet Dean Lowry at an alumni event in southern CA. He really understood Eastman’s needs and had an innovative perspective with regard to evolving the programs at Eastman and the support the school needs. I am truly saddened by his death.
– Dr. Dorianne Cotter-Lockard, BM in Violin Performance, 1978
I first met Doug when I was in my senior year of high school and I auditioned for the University of Southern California during a regional audition at the Interlochen Arts Camp. More than eight years later our paths crossed again when he interviewed for the Dean’s position at CCM while I was a graduate student there. When I introduced myself to him, I was shocked that he immediately recognized me and recalled my audition and the recruiting correspondences we had so many years earlier. But that was Doug, a truly generous people person who was always fully engaged and made everyone, even a lowly high school auditionee, feel valued and important.
When he assumed the position of Dean at CCM, we had the opportunity to work together on several projects and his door was always open for long and engaging talks about the state and future of classical music. He loved to talk, but he
I thought of Douglas Lowry as a mentor and role model, and it was a pleasure when as Executive Director of the Starling Project Foundation, I was able to commission Doug to write a piece, The Meadow Ground, which was premiered at the
Aspen Music festival by the Starling Chamber Orchestra and later performed by the same group at the Kennedy Center, two performances I was able to attend. Later, I was able to work with him when I became Director of the American
Classical Music Hall of Fame while he served as Chair of our National Artistic Council. His support of the organization and its mission was one of the reasons I accepted that position.
Doug will surely be missed by many and his loss felt throughout the music community. To Marcia and his family, friends, colleagues, and students, I send my heartfelt condolences.
Executive Director, American Classical Music Hall of Fame
DMA UC-CCM 2003, MM UC-CCM 1999
I met Doug in my capacity at the time as VP of Development at UC. Having grown up near Cincinnati, I was fully aware of the reputation and amazing work done at CCM. So, I was a bit nervous when I first met him at a reception — this was sometime in the summer of 2002 if my memory is sound. Anyway, we met, and I am suitably impressed and thought, well I didn’t mess that up. He was obviously smart and talented and I figured we would do well together but have little in common beyond our desire to have CCM and UC do well.
Later at the reception, he comes up to me and whispers in my ear, USC would kill Ohio State in football! He had found out I had come from there. It was so much fun – I thought – this guy gets football too? We laughed practically every time we were together, and probably should not have a couple times. He was wise and warm and funny and just a bit subversive which I loved. The world is less bright without him with us. I had not seen or spoken to Doug since I left
UC years ago which I regret – I am sad about his passing yet it makes me smile to think of this remarkable talent who also had such a wide range of knowledge and interests. My condolences to his family.
– Dan Grafner
Remembering Douglas Lowry; teacher, conductor, and friend. We shared four years at USC as Doug began to climb the administrative ladder in 1991. It was a ladder that was meant for him, but he never lost the common touch; taking time to share a impromptu discussion or manage a difficult issue that required sensitivity and patience. Doug possessed many gifts and served some of our nation’s finest music schools, not just as a skilled administrator, but as a gracious musician and human being. I regret we had not spoken in several years. He meant so much to our profession and left us too soon.
With grateful admiration and appreciation,
Laurence L. Marks, DMA ’94, USC, Music Education/Conducting
Director of Bands, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Doug demonstrated early his skill, talent, and unassuming greatness in our 1st hour Concert Band. I was fortunate enough to sit next to, tutored by and witness his early genius in music. His humanitarian tendencies and kindness was felt by all that new and associated with him. Though only in high school, his greatness was already shining through and his kind influenced us all.
-Ted Marshall, Classmate ’69