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Archive for Monday, July 9, 1990

MUSIC PROFESSOR FINDS RETIREMENT SUITS HIS TEMPO

July 9, 1990

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"If we're not home, we're golfing." Don Scheid's welcome mat says it all.

Since retiring from Kansas University in mid-June, Scheid has been taking it easy, and the anonymous person who left the welcome mat by his front door apparently knew how Scheid would be spending his time.

The former professor of clarinet and associate dean of the school of fine arts retired June 17 after more than 35 years at KU.

"We had a lot of camaraderie over the years," he said with a laugh. "Going way back, we had parties and picnics galore."

A timpani kettledrum with a large silver bowl in its center stands by Scheid's fireplace and serves as tangible evidence of the good times he shared with his colleagues.

HE AND George Boberg, professor of percussion music and dance, had a running joke for about 25 years.

"I'd say, `You know, George, we throw lots of parties and wouldn't it be great to have a timpani punch bowl?'" Scheid said. The joke culminated at Scheid's surprise retirement party, when Boberg presented the drum, complete with a hole cut in the top to accommodate a bowl.

Boberg said a former student gave him the timpani and he realized it was the perfect retirement present for Scheid. "I figured it was about time," he said.

The retirement party at Alvamar Golf and Country Club typified the spirit of Scheid's department. About 180 friends and colleagues showed up to wish him well. The last 35 years had the usual low points, "but there sure was a lot more good than bad," said the former professor.

SCHEID received a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in music from Michigan State University. He taught in Michigan public schools for four years before coming to KU in 1955.

At that time, fine arts offices were scattered across campus. Scheid's was on the second floor of Hoch Auditorium "overlooking the flowerbeds." Stretching his arms out to the sides, he said, "It was about this wide. They put in the piano and then built the walls."

As a member of the Faculty Woodwind Quintet and the Wind and Percussion Ensemble, Scheid performed in more than 100 concerts and recitals in Michigan, Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas and Kansas. He keeps a thick bound book of the programs from his performances.

SINCE ABOUT 1958, Scheid has been the announcer for the KU Marching Jayhawks both at home and on the road. He attended the band's Friday afternoon and Saturday rehearsals to ensure the halftime announcements were timed correctly. The marching band recognized Scheid's contributions at the Sudler Award Banquet in October 1989.

In the Lawrence community, Scheid served on the United Fund board and was an Explorer Scout sponsor. He also was a pilot in the Air Force Reserves for 41 years. He's currently on hiatus from civic involvement, however.

"I'm very careful about saying yes to anything," he said. "I don't like to join things just to be on a roster."

Scheid and his wife, Marian Scheid, have no big travel plans other than their coming trip to Michigan. "We try to get back about once a year," he said.

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