Associate Professor Emeritus
Associate Professor Emeritus
Caryl Worthington Conger, retired Associate Professor of Music Emeritus and former Director of Accompanying and Chamber Music, is a pianist in the collaborative arts. She studied for her Masters of Music in Piano Performance at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Raymond Dudley and at the University of Kentucky with Nathaniel Patch. While residing in Chicago she was a student of Mary Sauer, pianist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Frederick Schauwecker, renowned pianist known for his collaboration and recordings in the vocal arts.
Known as an expressive and exuberant pianist, Conger continues a lifetime affiliation with the low brass world which she began in the early 1980’s at the University of Kentucky with Skip Gray, Professor of Tuba. She performs annually at the U. S. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conferences in Washington D. C. and has recently performed in venues including the 2003 International Women’s Brass Conference in Normal, IL, the 2002 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Greensboro, NC, and the 2001 Conference in Lahti, Finland, the 1999 Southeast Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference, the 1998 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Minneapolis, MN, the 1996 and 1998 Colonial Euphonium and Tuba Institutes, the 1995 International Brassfest, and the 1992 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Lexington, KY. Among her recital partners have been low brass artists such as tubists, Daniel Perantoni, Patrick Sheridan, Harvey Phillips, Roger Bobo, and Eugene Pokorny, and euphonium artists, Brian Bowman, Steven Mead, and Roger Behrend. Other instrumental performances have included recitals of the duo sonata repertoire, especially with woodwinds and brass, and guest artist appearances at the Sonneck Society, the Southeastern Composers League, the College Music Society, horn and saxophone conferences, and as a soloist with the University of Kentucky Brass Ensemble.
Conger was on the faculty of Radford University from 1985 until the spring of 2003 actively contributing to the Department of Music and to Radford University. As a classroom teacher she regularly taught Accompanying Class, Honors Art of Music for non-music majors and Introduction to Music Literature for the incoming freshmen music majors. In 1991 she received the Alpha Lambda Delta “Outstanding Teacher” award for her work in the classroom. Ms. Conger was particularly active in all areas of direct one-on-one student contact, including teaching applied piano and coaching most student chamber ensembles and collaborative student efforts in the department. For four years during the summer she served as a Faculty Recital Pianist for the Virginia Governor’s School for the Performing Arts and for two years was the Assistant Director of the Honors Program.
In 2003, Ms. Conger was honored to be the recipient of the Donald N. Dedmon Professorial Award for Teaching Excellence at Radford University.
As a pianist Caryl Conger considers the concert stage home. While at Radford University she participated both as a pianist and as a coach in numerous student performances, Honors Recitals, Departmental Recitals, and Senior Recitals, as well as in Faculty and Guest Artist Recitals. Her annual recitals with voice professor, Clarity James, were always a popular event on campus. Her contributions to the “New Horizons” program each spring helped make it a creative and varied program of 20th century music.
Conger’s musical passions and interests include the repertoire for 4-hand piano and two pianos. Along with Pamela Trent, a Radford University faculty pianist, they formed a piano duo entitled “Un Poco Piu” (“a little more”) in 1997 and presented annual programs at the university. Other specialties are in the art song repertoire, music composed by women, and music of the 20th century. A great deal of her time was dedicated to performing and promoting new music both for solo piano and for chamber ensemble.
Among the compact disks on which Conger is featured are “Roger Behrend Euphonium” (with Roger Behrend, principal solo euphonium with the U. S. Navy Band in Washington D. C.), “Genesis” (with euphoniumist Brian Meixner), “Time Chants” (music composed by Bruce Mahin, a member of the Radford University music faculty), and “Perantoni on Perantoni” (with world famous tubist, Daniel Perantoni, Professor of Tuba at Indiana University). On this recording is a work entitled “Fantasy”, commissioned by Conger for tuba and piano from composer, Daniel Crozier, former member of the Radford University music faculty.
Beyond the classroom and performance Conger was Director of the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition & Festival which completed its 23rd year in 2003 at Radford University. This competition with annual Guest Artist, renowned pianist Gyorgy Sandor, attracted fine pianists from around the world to the campus of Radford University to compete and celebrate the music of Bartok, Kabalevsky, and Prokofiev.
Since retirement, Caryl Conger has moved to the mountains of Colorado in Estes Park just outside the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. She continues to pursue her passion for music rapidly becoming involved in the music scenes of Colorado. Outside of music her life is filled with books, Native American arts, travel and her love of animals including her four dogs and daily encounters with elk, bighorn sheep, coyotes, mountain lions, and all the other local favorites.