Estale Harris ’56 and Dick Daniel ’56 met on the Shenandoah campus in Dayton, Va. They went sledding on their first date 60 years ago — on January 31, 1954 — and married 10 days after graduation. After Dick passed away in 2011, Estale and her sons established the Richard L. “Dick” Daniel Scholarship in his loving memory.
“Dick completely worked his way through Shenandoah Conservatory. He washed dishes, took care of the laundry and did dance jobs,” explained Estale. He earned a Bachelor of Music at Shenandoah and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Maryland. He taught instrumental music for 30 years and was affectionately called “Mr. D.” by his students.
“He loved teaching and working with young people,” Estale said. “There were many highlights of his career. His bands played for three presidents, won first place at an international music festival in Mexico City and his jazz band played at Radio City Music Hall.”
Since Dick was the first saxophone major (tenor) to graduate from Shenandoah, the scholarship will benefit students majoring in saxophone.
“Dick would be very proud to help other students financially, since he personally knew what a hardship it can be,” Estale affirmed.