Stanley Curtis - In Memoriam

1933 - 2020

"If anyone asks how I want to be remembered, please say the following about me:

1) He meant to make things better

2) What a voice!"

Obituary and Tribute Video: Stanley Curtis

Article in the Times Herald-Record: Music was his life---Stanley Curtis dies of Covid-19

Obituary in OperaWire: Conductor and professor Stanley Curtis dies aged 86


Tributes from our favorite composers:

From Henry Mollicone:

Dear members of the Warwick Valley Chorale,

I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Stanley Curtis.

It was a great pleasure for me to come to Warwick and meet Stanley, along with the members of this enthusiastic group. I’m glad I had the opportunity to sit with him and chat during dinner. I felt that he was a very special person, and we had a nice chat about Music, and about life.

I send my best wishes for the future of the choir. Hopefully at some point we shall cross paths again.

Warm wishes and condolences,

Henry M

PS Please be well and take care of yourselves during this viral crisis. I send all of you my blessings and good wishes.


From Gwyneth Walker:

I am overcome with grief in reading your email. Words fail me at this moment.

Thank you for letting me know about Stanley's passing. I keep you, Stanley and all of your chorus in my heart.



From Ivo Antognini -

Thank you very much for telling me about Maestro Curtis' death.

I'm so sad about this 🙁

I remember him very well, his humanity, his love for choral music.

He certainly was a good man with a big heart.

I'm sure that he changed the life of many people and this is the most important thing.

The picture with him that I have in my Carnegie Hall album has now an even more value.

Please bring my regards to the choir and thanks again for informing me.



Post by Scott Curtis on WVC's FaceBook page, Friday, April 10, 2020:

"Hi guys, ... Here’s a couple of songs from Dad. I’ll let him say goodbye through the love he’s shared with so many of you, music. We love you Dad. "

From "Songs of Love: Stanley Curtis in Recital" - a concert given at SUNY Orange on January 31, 2016:


From an LP recording of the concert of Handel's Messiah in December 1968 by the Vassar College Choir and Amherst College Glee Club and featuring Stanley Curtis, Tenor:

See the comments and tributes to Stanley from the many members of the WVC community here on WVC's facebook page.

Photo by Scott Curtis

Gail Johnson and Stanley Curtis before the 2018 concert at Carnegie Hall

Stanley was Professor Emeritus from Orange County Community College, having taught in the choral/vocal field for thirty plus years. Over the course of his career, he had extensive performance credits as a tenor soloist. He initially toured Europe in the US Army with the Fifth Division Red Diamond Chorus. Subsequently, he was engaged as a staff singer for the West German Radio/Television Network in Cologne, Germany. In that capacity, he performed major choral works under prominent conductors; including the world premiere of Arnold Schoenberg's Jacob's Ladder in Vienna. As a soloist, Stanley has appeared in performances of more than fifty sacred works. American solo appearances include performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Syracuse Symphony. In addition, for several seasons, Professor Curtis performed at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in choral works with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy. As a recitalist, he enjoyed the distinction of being accompanied by Aaron Copland and Ned Rorem in performances of contemporary music.

Stanley Curtis at the helm Photo by Ed Bailey

2011 marked the 25th anniversary of Stanley's stewardship at the helm of the

Warwick Valley Chorale.

Here is the entire concert:


Stanley and Gail collaborating at rehearsal.

Photo by Ed Bailey

We gave this quilt, that we were originally going to raffle at our Warwick concert in May, 2020, to Stanley's wife, Betty, with the blessing of Chorale member, Vienna Aubert and her sister, Gloria, who made this beautiful quilt.