DEAN P. COREY
Dean P. Corey was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and he showed an early interest in music. In 1925, at the age of seven, he was taken to a concert by John Philip Sousa and his band. At the age of twelve, he began to play the flute in junior high school.
Later at Wintrow High School, he played flute and piccolo in the band under the legendary George Smith. He also played in the high school orchestra under Joseph Surdo, a boyhood friend of Arturo Toscanini. He studied flute with Robert Cavally at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and played in the orchestra under Alexander von Kreisler, who later became the longtime director of orchestra at The University of Texas Austin.
Mr. Corey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1940. He received a Master of Music Education degree from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in 1981. During World War II, he played in the 93rd Army Ground Forces Band from 1941-1945.
In 1943, Dean married Rebecca Ann Westmoreland. They have two children and five grandchildren, all musicians. He came to Arlington, Texas in 1949 as high school band director and Coordinator of Music Activities. He retired in 1980. For the first eighteen years at Arlington High School, the band was sponsored by the Vandergriff family of Arlington. They furnished instruments, uniforms and chartered bus transportation.
Dean is a member of the Arlington Community Band and still plays for weddings, memorial services, recitals and church services. He also serves as an adjudicator at solo and ensemble contests in the Arlington area.
The Arlington High School Band gave many concerts and entered UIL and many independent festivals over the years. Ratings varied mostly ones and twos, and an occasional three. At one point, the band had seventeen consecutive years of First Divisions in UIL Marching Contests. Many band students were selected to All-Region, All-Area and All-State bands.
The Arlington band had a wide reputation for marching and for football half-time shows. The band appeared in two nationally televised Dallas Cowboy half-time shows as well as two New Year’s Day Cotton Bowl pre¬-game and halftime shows. In 1964, the AHS Band toured Mexico and performed for the American Colony in Mexico City. On New Year’s Day in 1967, the band performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
In 1955, Mr. Corey initiated a jazz ensemble in the public school program, the first in his part of Texas. He also established an orchestra program in 1979. Today, this outstanding program is flourishing in all of the fifty-seven schools in the Arlington ISD.
Upon Mr. Corey’s retirement in 1980, a banquet and program was given by over 400 colleagues and friends. At the conclusion, the Coreys were presented with a gift of a sixteen day trip to Europe.
Now each year in October, a marching band show is held at the UTA Stadium featuring the five Arlington High School and eleven Junior High School bands, and the UTA Marching Band. This event is called the Dean P. Corey Marching Band Spectacular. In the fall of 1985, a dedication ceremony was held for the opening of the Dean P. Corey Elementary School.
In 1993, Mr. Corey was a charter inductee into the Region V Band Division of the TMEA Band Director’s Hall of Fame. In 1995, a reunion of ex-band students was held with over 500 in attendance. A band scholarship was established to be awarded to the outstanding band student each year at Arlington High School.
Dean Corey has stated that it was a great day when the Lord led him to Arlington, Texas and gave to him the opportunity to work with so many wonderful band students. He always tried to be an educator, not just a winner. Throughout his career, he began to realize what a tremendous and lasting impact teaching must have on students. He is grateful that he was privileged to be a small part of the greatest profession in the world – Teaching!