1981 Alumni Band at NWOSU Homecoming
CHARLES OSCAR STOVER
Charles Oscar Stover started his teaching career as a Junior High vocal teacher in the Coffeyville, Kansas, public schools in 1935. In 1942, he moved to Kansas Teacher's College of Pittsburg as band director and instructor of brass instruments. He served 2 1/2 years as a bandsman in the U.S. Army and then returned to Pittsburg to resume his duties. He accepted the position of Supervisor of Music of the Coffeyville Schools in 1947. He was also the Junior College band director and taught other classes in music. In the summer of 1952, he was given a leave of absence to complete his Doctorate at Michigan State University. In the spring of 1953, he was hired as an instructor of brass instruments there. In the fall of that year, he was made full-time assistant director of bands to Mr. Leonard Falcone and percussion instructor. He served in that capacity and as summer Youth Music Director until the fall of 1960 when he accepted the chairmanship of the music department at Northwestern State College in Alva, Oklahoma. He served in this capacity until his retirement in 1976. He continued to do part-time teaching until the spring of 1982. He continued to judge festivals and give clinics until his death in 1989.
Mr. Stover was a a long-time member of MENC, the National Band Association, Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, College Band Directors National Association, Rotary International (Paul Harris Fellow), and Phi Beta Mu (Oklahoma State President for two years). He was on the Board of Advisors for Slingerland Drum Company for 12 years; he received a presidential appointment to the Board of Advisors for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He was listed in the "Who's Who in the South and Southwest" and in the "World Who's Who of Musicians." He was elected to the Oklahoma Bandmasters "Hall of Fame" in 1974. He has served as clinician and adjudicator in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Montana and Oklahoma.
Oscar left over 1000 LPs, hundreds of cassettes and reel-to-reel recordings in Alva. I have been going through them and digitizing those of historical interest. This page contains some of the highlights - Tom Clark and Alexandro Liberati of the Gilmore Band, Del Staigers, Henry Higgins, Herbert L. Clarke and more!
Being an MSU alum, the 1950s pictures really caught my attention!
About the Oscar Stover Archives
Oscar Stover kept scrapbooks throughout his life, along with recordings of performances and numerous memorabilia from his career. He and his wife, Catherine, had no children. After accepting an offer to serve as Director of Bands at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 2013, I initiated a general cleanup of the department, perhaps the first in over 30 years. As we dug through the boxes, Mr. Stover's personal effects were located and gradually reassembled. The find is nothing short of a miracle! The archives hold a portion of the history of the band program at Coffeyville High School (Kansas), Coffeyville Junior College, the band of the 13th U.S. Army Airborne Division (World War II), Michigan State University and Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Northwestern State College in Stover's Day). Numerous photographs and programs have been digitally scanned and uploaded as YouTube movies. In some cases, live performances from his library have been added to the slide shows.
The slide shows have been divided into the major portions of Mr. Stover's career, including Family Life in Coffeyville (Kansas), Early Career (Kansas), World War II, Post-World War II - return to Coffeyville, Kansas, Michigan State, Northwestern and Retirement. Click on one of the links below to enjoy the slide shows!
Two biographical sketches appear on this webpage, one to the left and a memorial tribute at the bottom of the page.
If you are a former student of Mr. Stover and would like to offer a story for inclusion in the biography, please contact me at the link at the bottom of the page.
1942 while Band Director at Kansas State Teachers College - Pittsburg
1913-1943 Kansas (Coffeyville, Emporia, Pittsburg)
1943-1946 The Army Band
1946-1952 Kansas (Pittsburg, Coffeyville)
1952-1960 Michigan State
1960-1976 Northwestern State College
1985 Falcone Alumni Band Tour (Italy)
Above: A picture of Catherine and Oscar before the duo leaves Cofffeyville for East Lansing in 1950. Stover probably continued summer studies in 1951, before finally moving to Michigan in 1952.
Hear Oscar play organ, piano and trumpet:
Oscar Stover was an avid collector of railroads and built his own train set in the basement of his house. The train set now resides at Cherokee Museum in Alva OK. Hear him describe pictures from a slideshow below. The slides have not been located.
August 7, 1989
In Memory of Oscar Stover (from the Memorial Service)
Charles Oscar, son of Addie Mae (Wood) and Charles Robert Stover was born April 15, 1913 at Coffeyville, Kansas. He passed away at Share Medical Center on the 3rd of August at the age of 76 years, 3 months and 19 days.
He began his musical training on drums at age six, and joined the community school band in his hometown of Coffeyville, Kansas, when he was in the sixth grade, then switched to cornet when he was a Junior in High School. He graduated from Washington High School in Coffeyville, Kansas, with the Class of 1930.
On August 23, 1936 he was married to Catherine Cooper at Columbus, Kansas.
He holds degrees from Coffeyville Junior College, and B.S. and M.S. degrees from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, and did doctoral work at Michigan State University. His first teaching position was in Coffeyville, where he taught Junior High School vocal and general music courses. In 1942 he was hired by his alma mater, Kansas State Teachers College [Pittsburg] as band director and instructor of brass instruments.
In August of 1942 he was inducted into the United States Army, where he served in the European Theater, and was discharged in January 1946.
In 1947 he left Pittsburg to accept the dual position of instructor of Music at Coffeyville Junior College and Supervisor of Music in the Coffeyville Public Schools. From 1953 through 1960 he was employed at Michigan State University as brass and percussion instructor, Assistant Director of Bands and Director of the summer youth program. In 1960, he came to Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva as Director of Bands and Chairman of the Music Department, retiring in 1976. He continued to teach part-time at Northwestern, while remaining active in the Alva community.
He served on the advisory board of the Slingerland Drum Company from 1936 to1968 [sic. 1956-1968], and on the President's Advisory Committee for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. from 1970 to 1975.
He was a member of the NEA, Music Education National Association, National Committees, College Band Director's National Association, Oklahoma Education Association, Oklahoma Music Education Association State Committees, Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu State President, Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Member, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity, Rotary Club, local President and Paul Harris Fellow, Alva Presbyterian Church - Elder, Choir Director and Advisory Committee.
Oscar's honors included Author of Article in Marching Bands and Majorettes on Parade Magazine in 1954; Rudimental Warm-up Routine 1957; Who's Who in South and Southwest 1972-1972; Outstanding Teacher Coffeyville Public Schools 1952; teacher of the year Northwestern State College 1968-1969; worked with Miss Oklahoma local pageants and Oklahoma State Pageant for a number of years, inducted in Oklahoma Music Education Association Hall of Fame in January, 1989, served as an adjudicator at Enid Tri-State for 26 years, presented the Alva Nescatunga Arts and Humanities Music Award in 1976, listed in Outstanding Educators of America in 1973, and World Who's Who of Musicians. He has served as clinician and adjudicator across the United States and has toured Europe numerous times with instrumental music ensembles. He was director of Blue Lake Fine Arts Junior Music Camp in Twin Lakes, Michigan the summer of 1987.
Mr. Stover was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Harold.
Oscar is survived by his wife Catherine of the home; and a brother and his wife, Hubert A. ["Pete"] and Jean of Coffeyville, Kansas and their daughter, Peggy Farmer of Phoenix, Arizona; three brothers-in-law and their wives, Dr. Calvin Macy Cooper, Jr. and his wife Julia of Fort Scott, Kansas and their two children, Calvin III "Trey" and Jan Magee; Richard F. Cooper and his wife Verda of Columbus, Kansas and their two children, Richard E. Jr. and Carolyn Cassiday; and Dr. Donald Cooper and his wife Dona, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and their four children, Dr. Donald Jr., Catherine Fowler, Cheryl Conway and Tad Cooper. A number of great nicees, nephews, and many friends.
About Oscar Stover
from the Alva Review-Courier, September 22, 1976
Oscar Stover One of Nescatunga Honorees
An award for his contribution in the field of music will be presented to Oscar Stover at the Nescatunga Arts and Humanities Council banquet Oct. 8 on the Northwestern Oklahoma State University campus.
Stover began his career as an educator teaching junior high vocal music in his home town at the Coffeyville, Kansas public schools in 1935. He moved in 1942 to Kansas State College of Pittsburg as band director and instructor of brass instruments. His work was interrupted by two and one-half years of military service during World War II, most of that time with the 13th Airborne Division Band.
He returned to Coffeyville in 1947 as instructor of music at Coffeyville Junior College and supervisor of music in the Coffeyville Public Schools. He was granted a leave of absence in 1952 to complete a year’s residency requirement toward an Ed.D. at Michigan State University. In the spring of 1953, he was hired as an instructor of brass instruments at Michigan State and in the fall of the same year was employed full time as assistant director of bands and instructor of percussion instruments. He was later promoted to an assistant professorship.
During his eight years at Michigan State University, Stover made two trips with the marching band to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, in 1954 and again in 1956. He was faculty advisor for Phi Mu Alpha, Sinfonia-Fraternity.
In 1960, he took over the chairmanship of the music department at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva, and has served in that capacity and as band director sine that time.
He is a member of Music Educators National Conference, National Band Association, Oklahoma Band Association, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, College Band Directors Association, Phi Beta Mu and Kappa Kappa Psi.
In 1970, he was named to the President’s Advisory Committee for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
He has authored several articles published in periodicals. A number of his percussion works have been published. He has served as a clinician and adjudicator in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma and Louisiana. He formerly served on the board of advisers for the Slingerland Drum Company. He was elected to the Oklahoma Band Masters Hall of Fame in 1974.
He was Outstanding Teacher in Coffeyville in 1952 and Teacher of the Year at Northwestern in 1969. He is listed in “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest” “Outstanding Educators of America” and “The World Who’s Who of Musicians.” In the fall of 1974, he returned to Michigan State as guest conductor of the alumni band at the opening of the football season.
Stover is a past president of the Alva club of Rotary International and is an elder and choir director of the First Presbyterian Church, Alva.
Stover was the associate director of the bbd part of the American Youth Midwest Bicentennial Band and Choir that went on tour to Europe this past summer.
He retired this summer from the NWOSU faculty, but is still on staff part-time as music instructor.
For the past five years, he has been director of the Miss Northwestern Pageant and was associated indirectly with the Miss Oklahoma Pageant. Recently, he has assumed the duties of state field director for the Miss Oklahoma Pageant.
Many local pageants in Oklahoma and the Miss Colorado pageant have been judged by the Alvan.
Stover and his wife, Catherine Elizabeth, formerly of Columbus, Kansas, were married August 23, 1936.
Among his hobbies, Oscar lists fishing, music and model railroading.