Steven C. Curtis Endowed Vocal Music Education Scholarship Established at Southeast


The Steven C. Curtis Endowed Vocal Music Education Scholarship has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. Dr. Steven C. and Mrs. Janet L. Curtis made a gift to establish the scholarship.

The recipient of the scholarship will be selected by the Department of Music Scholarship Committee. The recipient will be a full-time Southeast student with a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average majoring in music education with a specialization in vocal music education.

Dr. Steven C. Curtis graduated from Southeast in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. He went on to earn a Master of Music Education degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Oklahoma.

Curtis began his teaching career in music at Woerther Elementary and Selvidge Junior High Schools in the Rockwood School District and at Cross Keys Junior High School in St. Louis County, Missouri.

In 1974, Curtis began teaching at the university level at Southeast. He taught conducting classes and classes that prepared future music educators, gave voice lessons and directed choirs for 10 years, a period he calls one of the most rewarding of his professional career.

In 1984, he accepted an invitation to teach at the University of Oklahoma (OU) in Norman, Oklahoma. Over the years, his choirs performed as invited honor groups at state, regional and national music conventions. Additionally, he led students on four international choir performance tours that traveled to Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Wales, Italy and Spain.

Curtis taught on the faculty in the OU School of Music for 21 years and served as the director of the School of Music for six years. After retiring from full-time teaching, he taught a class for four additional years that he developed while on the faculty, ending a 31-year career at OU. While an OU faculty member, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award. While director of the School of Music, he was honored with the Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award. Both honors were awarded by the OU Student Association on behalf of the entire OU campus.

He remains committed to his passion and is in his 31st year as director of music at the First Christian Church in Norman. He has led international choir tours with his church choir performing in France, Ireland and Croatia.

In 2019, Southeast’s Alumni Association recognized Dr. Curtis as an Alumni Merit Award recipient. Alumni Merit Awards have been presented annually since 1958 to Southeast alumni who have brought distinction to themselves and the University.

Curtis resides in Norman with his wife Janet. They were married at Southeast while working as resident assistants in Dearmont Hall.