Music professor gives his final encore

Erin Wrinkle

Norval Crews retires after 43 years of service

Saxophone, clarinet, flute; is there any instrument Norval Crews can’t play? Probably not. Crews has dedicated 43 years of his life teaching music to students at MSU, and in a few short weeks, he will be retired.

“I awakened one morning and realized I was 74 years old and would soon be 75,” Crews said. “It was just time to ‘check-out.’”

Crews graduated from Waxahachie High School in 1956. In 1960 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music from The University of North Texas, and by 1962 he received his master’s in music education.

During his senior year he married his wife, and they have been enjoying music ever since.

Crews’ first job was in Lawton, Okla. “I was the junior high band director and the assistant high school director,” he said.

The next part of Crews’ journey was being inducted into the Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but he didn’t let that affect his love for music. “I spent three years in the 77th Army Band. First as a member and then as the director,” he said.

Upon leaving the military, he was employed by Cameron Junior College as the director of bands and the woodwinds instructor.

By the fall of 1970, Crews was gracing Wichita Falls with his presence. He was employed as the director of bands which included directing the symphonic band, the jazz ensemble and the athletic band.

“I also taught music education classes, applied woodwinds lessons and was the summer band camp director,” he said.

Over time, Crews’ position evolved and he focused more on teaching classes to music majors and minors as well as non-majors with the music appreciation class.

Having been at MSU 43 years, he has made many memories and held many different positions. Crews also held the position of the president of the faculty Senate.

For many years, you could find him judging for the all-state bands.

Crews was also a clinician and featured soloist at the Texas Music Educators Association convention for several years.

But Crews’ love for music won’t stop once he retires.

“My wife and I perform as The Crews Duo,” he said. “We play for various occasions in the community.”

Crews also plans to teach a few more private lessons for woodwind students at local public schools. When he isn’t teaching, he plans on doing a little composing and assisting other band directors when he’s needed.

The music department will surely miss the multi-talented Mr. Crews. Forty-three years of experience and expertise will be hard to replace.