Stephen Terry McDermott Jr., born May 18, 1930, of Greenville, S.C., died peacefully at his home Feb. 8, 2011.
A pianist, composer and conductor, he taught courses in music theory and dance history at Stephens College.
He studied piano independently with professor Howard Wells and in the Extension Program at the Juilliard School of Music, New York City. He was music director for the Harriette Ann Gray Dance Co. and was on the artistic staff of the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp in Steamboat Springs, where he met his wife, Jenifer L. McDermott.
Former students and colleagues remember Stephen as a gifted academic teacher and inspiring musical improviser for dance-making. He used piano and an assortment of drums, mallets, cymbals, gongs, “a tambourine, a whistle and a duck call. Stephen could have made music with a peanut shell and a rose petal,” writes Susan Lee Lewis-Wu, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
He is survived by his wife and two cousins.
A private memorial observance in Greenville will be held at a later date.