KMEA Hall of Fame
Larry J. Harris
Inducted in 1998
Larry J. Harris graduated from Pratt High School in 1956 and Wichita State University (BME) in 1962. He earned a Master of Music Education from The University of Kansas in 1974. He began his teaching career in Garden City (1962-68), and then accepted an orchestra position with the Topeka Public Schools (1968-95), teaching strings at the elementary, middle, junior high, and senior high school levels. Mr. Harris was the sole director of the Topeka High School Orchestra from 1968-95. Under his direction the Topeka High School Orchestra performed twice at the KMEA Annual State In-Service Workshop. Mr. Harris directed the Topeka Youth Symphony and co-founded and directed the Topeka Junior Orchestra. He founded the Topeka String project which broadened the parameters of string pedagogy in Topeka by offering both a traditional and a Suzuki curriculum. For several years, Mr. Harris directed the Washburn University Summer Strings. He twice assisted with the Mid-America Kansas High School Orchestra Trip to Europe. Mr. Harris was an active member of National School Orchestra Association (NSOA) and American String Teachers Association (ASTA). He served as KASTA President from 1990 to 1992. He was a frequent string clinician and was a regular member of the first violin section of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra.