James Morgan Thurmond – Lieutenant, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report:

James Morgan Thurmond, 89, a retired Navy lieutenant and music professor who once headed the Navy School of Music in Washington, died June 21, 1998 at Genesis Nursing Facility in Silver Spring, Maryland after a stroke.

Mr. Thurmond was a professor emeritus of music from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., where he had taught from 1954 until retiring in 1979. He also wrote a textbook on music, taught part time at Gettysburg and Messiah Colleges and Temple University, and was associate conductor of the Harrisburg Symphony in Harrisburg, Pennyslvania.

Before joining the faculty of Lebanon Valley College, he served 19 years in the Navy, retiring in 1951. He was the principal horn player in the Navy Band during the early 1930s. A few years later, he helped to organize and run the Navy School of Music in Washington, which later became the School of Music for the Armed Forces.

During World War II, he was in charge of the school and all fleet bands for the music branch of the Navy.

He was a native of Dallas and a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and American University. He received a master of arts in music from Catholic University and an honorary doctorate degree from the Washington College of Music in 1944. A resident of Silver Spring, he returned to this area five years ago.

He was a member of the Music Educators National Conference, Retired Officers Association, Military Order of the World Wars and the International Horn Society.

Survivors include his wife, Marie S. Thurmond of Silver Spring; a daughter, Marianne T. Kearns of Topeka, Kansas; and two grandchildren.


On Sunday, June 21, 1998, JAMES M. THURMOND, JR., of Silver Spring, MD, beloved husband of Marie S. Thurmond; father of Marianne T. Kearns; brother of Sally T. Minton. Also survived by two grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Patrick's Church, Norbeck and Muncaster Mill Roads, Norbeck, MD on Monday, June 29 at 11 a.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Patrick's Church, 4101 Norbeck Rd., Rockville, MD 20853.

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