Clifton Volney Cowles, Jr.

1926 - 1991

Clifton Cowles, a brass performer and conductor, taught at three Seventh-day Adventist colleges and in the Southern California Conference in the 1950s.

He was born in Michigan, one of six children born to Hattie Olive Hansen and Clifton Volney Cowles. Both he and one sister, Eleanor (later Krogstad), pursued music as a career. He graduated from Enterprise Academy in Kansas in 1944 and then attended Union College, where he graduated in 1949 with a B.A. in music, having played euphonium as a member in and as a soloist with ensembles under Carl Engel, Ray Casey, and Charles Watson.

Cowles married Margaret Bernice Lindquist in June 1948 in South Dakota. They returned to UC, where he finished his degree while teaching music at Union College Academy, now College View Academy.

Cowles then taught for a year at Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, and then returned to UC in 1950 to work as an assistant to Charles Watson in the band program for two years. During that time he took graduate work at the University of Nebraska and completed an M.Mus. in 1952.

He then accepted a position as director of the band and orchestra at Southern Missionary College, now Southern Adventist University, where he taught for two years. In 1954, he became band instructor and director for Southern California Conference schools.

He completed a D.Ed. (music education) at the University of Southern California in 1963. His dissertation was titled Aesthetic Judgment of High School Music Students. Cowles was living in Jonesboro, Arkansas, at the time of his death at age 64.


Sources: 1930 U.S. Federal Census Records; South Dakota Record of Marriage, 1 June 1948; Lake Union Herald, 21 September 1965, 14 (father's obituary); 14 June 1966, 15 (Mother's obituary); Columbia Union Visitor, 22 December 1949; 6 April 1950, 6; Union College Year books; The Journal of True Education, December 1950, 24; Southern Tidings, 10 December 1952; 25 November 1953,3; 1953-1954 Southern Missionary Bulletin, faculty listing, 12; Review and Herald, 1 January 1953; 23 September 1954; Online listing for dissertation (University of Michigan); Social Security Death Records; Gravesite Photo by Kim Inboden (2005).