James Donald Tryer (Jim), 84, passed away on Sunday, April 23, in Kingsville, Texas. Jim was born on November, 20, 1932 in Port Arthur, Texas to Oscar and Vollna (Davis) Tryer.
Jim grew up in Port Arthur, Texas, and after high school attended the University of Texas- Austin, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in music and Master of Arts degree in German and linguistics. Showing an interest and talent for music at an early age, Jim studied piano in high school with East-Texas concert pianist William Lawrence Meteyarde. At the University of Texas his teachers were movie star and concert pianist Dalies Frantz and concert organist Gerre Hancock among others.
Before he finished his undergraduate degree, Jim took a couple of years off from college at UT to work as a piano salesman in Fort Worth, and then went to Germany to study at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Bonn and the Free University in Berlin. There he served in German Gymnasia as an assistant for English teaching. Like many musicians, Jim had an ear for languages and learned to speak German and some French on his travels.
After finishing his studies at UT, Jim was offered a teaching position at Texas A&I University and moved to Kingsville in 1963, where he taught German, organ and English at the University for 35 years. Jim enjoyed working with young people and after retiring from TAMUK he continued his teaching activities by contacting and teaching interested students through the means of the internet. He also served as church organist for several area churches during this time.
In 1987 Jim and his wife Mary with the members of the Music Club of Kingsville organized the Kingsville International Young Performers Competitions. With the help of concert-artist judges, the TAMUK music department, the King Ranch, local and area foundations, and the citizens of Kingsville this highly successful concerto contest drew aspiring young concert artists from all over the world to compete in the event. The Young Performers project continued for 28 years.
Jim is survived by his wife Mary, son Nik and grandson Nikolaus Davis, and daughter Mary Kathleen. Those who wish to do so may make a donation in memory James Tryer to the American Cancer Society, donation mailing address:
PO Box 22478
Oklahoma City, OK 73123
Phone Number: 1-800-227-2345
Services are pending in Port Arthur, Texas.
Jim was a great man who devoted his life to music, teaching, and encouraging young people. I was an accompanist for the Young Performers' Competition and marveled at the heroic effort of Jim and Mary to host an internationally recognized competition. They spent all year preparing, and even moved their wonderful 9 foot Steinway piano from their home to the college for the competition. Jim loved the social aspect of the competition, sharing stories from around the world with the judges. Jim didn't forget anything! My condolences to Mary, Nik and Mary Kathleen. I am grateful to have known Jim. His kindness blessed my life.
Annette ChanHouston, TX