Raymond Knight Casey
1917 - 1990
Ray Casey, a violinist and well-known arranger and conductor, was associated with three Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities during his career as a musician. He was arranger for and conductor of ad hoc orchestras associated with Chapel Records and numerous performers and events in Southern California.
Ray was born in Loma Linda, California, on March 20, 1917, the oldest of five children of Ira L. and Ethel Elizabeth Knight Casey. Music was an important activity in the home since his mother was an accomplished pianist and pioneering music teacher in the Adventist church. When he was ten, the family moved to the Washington, D.C., area. He attended Shenandoah Valley Academy and then Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, where his mother taught in the music department.
While he was a student at WMC, Casey conducted the college orchestra and taught violin from 1938-40. He served in the military during World War II, working as an arranger and composer for the U.S. Navy Band. In the 1947-1948 school year he was an assistant professor at Union College, where he directed the band and orchestra. His concerts were regarded as program highlights of that year.
Casey then moved to the West Coast, where he became known for his conducting and composing and arranging skills. He was a sought-after musician, associated with numerous events in Adventist churches and other settings. He was living in Loma Linda, California, at the time of his death on June 16, 1990, at age 83.
Sources: 1920 and 1930 Census Records; The Ethel Knight and Ira L. Casey Tree, Ancestry .com; The Sligonian, WMC school paper, 1930s; 1939, 40 Golden Memories, WMC yearbooks; Conversations with Anna Lee Schander (Union College), 1970s; Pacific Union Recorder, 12 March 1947, 25 October 1971, 27 November and 11 December 1972, 26 March 1973, 6 January 1975, 4 February 1990, 4 February 1991.