Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Southeast alumnus and retired professor shares his love of music, receives merit award

Friday, November 8, 2019
Dr. Steven Curtis
Photo from University Communications

Alumnus and former music professor Steven Curtis uses his love for teaching music to motivate students.

Curtis made his way back to his alma mater for Homecoming weekend. He was one of four alumni to receive the Merit Award presented by the Southeast Alumni Association.

Curtis said he was surprised when he learned he was nominated to be a recipient of the Merit Award, but feels it is a great honor to receive it. Curtis received his award at the Copper Dome/Merit Recognition Dinner on Friday, Oct. 25.

Curtis graduated from Southeast in 1967 with a Bachelor of Music Education. While earning his undergraduate degree at Southeast, Curtis met his wife Janet. The love story continued as Curtis said his brothers Kevin and Brian Curtis also met their wives at Southeast.

Upon graduating, Curtis began teaching in St. Louis, at Woerther Elementary and Selvidge Junior High School in the Rockwood School District. He would eventually move on to teach at Cross Keys Junior High School.

In 1974, Curtis returned to Southeast and taught conducting classes, directed choirs and prepared future music educators for a career.

After his time at Southeast, Curtis served as the director of the School of Music at the University of Oklahoma at Norman for six years, taught as a faculty member and lead choirs that he directed across the world to perform accumulating over 30 years of work.

During his time in Cape Girardeau, Curtis also had a question and answer period with three future music teachers at Southeast. Curtis said he and the students had a great time conversing and learning about each other.

For Curtis, itís his love of teaching that has kept him involved with music for so long.

ďI think thatís why I decided to become a music teacher, so that I could share the same kinds of experiences that I had as a young person, and then I was able to share that joy with others,Ē Curtis said.

Curtis still displays his love for teaching music in his role as the choir director for his church choir in Norman, Oklahoma, for the last 29 years. According to University Communications, Curtis and his wife now reside in Norman, Oklahoma.