Skip to main content
Guests homeNews home
18 of 50

Remembering 45-year Legacy of Late DMC Music Faculty Member David Irving (VIDEO included)





23:54 PM


Retired Professor Emeritus of Music served music community both on and off campus

One more time_final concert  in Richardson Performance Hall_David Irving.jpg

One more time_final concert in Richardson Performance Hall_David Irving.jpg

Irving earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the world-renowned music program at North Texas State University in Denton (now the University of North Texas). Before joining the DMC Music faculty in 1972, he worked as a high school band director. After 45 years, the beloved educator retired in 2017 and was bestowed the “Professor Emeritus” designation in 2018.

A jazz lover since his high school days, Irving was considered an authority on jazz in the Coastal Bend. He was an ardent supporter of the Texas Jazz Festival, which was initiated in 1959 from a group of students who gathered to play jazz in Del Mar College’s Harvin Student Center.

Irving was probably most known for teaching jazz studies and directing the MWF Jazz Band at DMC. Annual performances that were part of the Jazz Guest Artist Concert Series that he organized were always highly-anticipated events that brought notable jazz artists to play with the MWF Jazz Band, along with conducting masterclasses. Artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ed Shaughnessy, Lee Konitz, Tom Braxton and “Blue” Lou Marini accepted Irving’s invitations over the years, some more than once.

Masterclass with Blue Lou

Saxophonist Lou Marini (left), better known as “Blue Lou” and of Saturday Night Live and “The Blues Brothers” fame, participates during a masterclass with Del Mar College Music students as DMC Music faculty member David Irving (right) instructs students with the MWF Jazz Band. The date for this photo is not known, but it is one of the earlier visits by Marini to perform as part of the annual Guest Artist Concert Series that Irving organized for 42 years before retiring in 2017. Both Marini and the late Professor Emeritus of Music Irving attended North Texas State University, and the famed saxophonist played with the MWF Jazz Band five times overall as part of the series. (Credit: DMC Music Department)

Guest Artist Concert Series_David and Lou)Final Concert

During his final concert of the Guest Artist Concert Series before retiring in 2017, the late Professor Emeritus of Music David Irving is shown directing the MWF Jazz Band on April 13 that year with Saxophonist Lou Marini, known as “Blue Lou” and of Saturday Night Live and “The Blues Brothers” fame, accompanying the MWF Jazz Band on-stage in Richardson Performance Hall. Marini taught masterclasses and performed with DMC students five times at the invitation of Irving, and both musicians attended the famed music program at North Texas State University. During his 45-year career with the College, Irving organized the annual concert with different guest artists for 42 years. (Credit: DMC College Relations)

David Irving and Saxophonist Tom Braxton_Masterclass

Del Mar College Music faculty member David Irving (left) introduces International Artist and Saxophonist Tom Braxton to students in a masterclass held on what is now known as the Heritage Campus. Braxton joined the MWF Jazz Band Rhythm Section and the Jazz Combos ensemble for a concert in Wolfe Recital Hall in October 2015. At the time, the guest artist had shared performance stages with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Philip Bailey, George Duke, Jonathan Butler, Marcus Miller and Sheila E. Irving’s ability to invite and engage well-known artists with his students expanded their learning opportunities during masterclasses and performances on-stage with the artists. (Credit: DMC College Relations)

Irving also had a special affection for the Corpus Christi Municipal Band, a community pops ensemble that has played outdoor summer concerts in Corpus Christi since 1952. He spent many years as a musician with the Band and was drafted into numerous other roles. After several moves to different venues over the years, the band now performs its summer concerts at the amphitheater on the College’s Heritage Campus, a move at the time that made Irving a natural choice to serve as band manager and act as emcee. Irving’s dry wit and affinity for corny jokes made him a favorite with audiences. Even the most groan-worthy jokes were made genuinely funny thanks to his sly, knowing delivery.

Late Professor Emeritus of Music David Irving_Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Award

Late Professor Emeritus of Music David Irving_Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Award

Irving’s affections also extended to his association with Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a national fraternal society for music. He became a Sinfonian in 1960 while at North Texas and served as advisor to Del Mar College’s chapter beginning in 1977; and in 2015, Phi Mu Alpha bestowed to Irving the Robert J. Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award. Irving cited Rogers, who was a pianist and professor at North Texas who died in 2013, as his mentor during the DMC educator’s time at the university.  

Irving’s teaching, music performances and learning opportunities inspired many students to complete music degrees and become music educators as well. Many more students became members of music ensembles and continued their learning and appreciation of various music genres. 

It’s not something I chose to do. Music is something people are just called to.

David Irving, Retired Professor of Music Emeritus, about his lifetime devotion to music


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.

Latest DMC News