The College of Music is thrilled to announce the establishment of the June Conyers Montgomery (’54) Scholarship Fund, a new endowed scholarship fund for the College of Music. The funds will directly support the studies of undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Music for years to come. This scholarship, established by June’s son, Joe Montgomery, will be a lasting tribute to the vision and commitment of June Conyers Montgomery, who has led a remarkable life as a musician, teacher, composer, mother, and grandmother.
For as long as June can remember, she wanted to pursue music. June came from a household with musically gifted parents who nurtured her musical inclinations. She still recalls her first piano lessons in the second grade – which were a surprise gift from her parents. Within a few years, June was playing piano and violin duets with her father at home, in church, and even at weddings. In high school, June accompanied the chorus and played for Sunday church services. She also pursued several other activities in school, including cheerleading, softball, and student government. When it came time for college, June took her love of music and diverse interests to Florida State University.
June has exemplified all the qualities of an enthusiastic and loyal Seminole throughout her life. June garnered a plethora of accolades during her studies at FSU. Upon arriving at Florida State, June became a member of the Freshman Senate. From there, she was elected President of the Sophomore Class in 1951. She also served as Vice President in charge of Women’s Government, Chairman of the Honor Court, Junior Counselor, and President of the Inter-Faith Council. June was also President of Garnet Key and the Mortar Board. She was elected to the Homecoming Queen Court for two years, served as a Village Vamp, and was the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Hop Queen of her class. June especially remembers the personalized nature of the School of Music, and how impactful it was to her successes and friendships across campus. From visits with university presidents to meeting Ernst von Dohnányi or greeting Carlisle Floyd in the hallways, these encounters are lasting memories for June and a hallmark of life as a College of Music student to this day. June graduated with honors in the class of 1954, completing a degree in piano performance. In her senior year, June was inducted into the FSU Student Hall of Fame.
After college, June married Edwin Montgomery, a young Presbyterian Minister. They had three sons together while leading active lives focused on the church and family. June encouraged her boys to pursue interests as diverse as her own, and participated in their school lives, scouts, camping, football, and band. June also directed the children’s choir at church and taught private piano lessons at home. When her youngest son began school, June started teaching elementary music. She spent six years teaching elementary school and was selected as an Outstanding Elementary Teacher of America.
When June and her family moved to Lake City, she returned to teaching private piano lessons and became interested in pedagogy for young musicians. June has published over 40 books on music theory and history for elementary through secondary students, several of which were joint publications with her longtime collaborator and fellow FSU College of Music alumna, Martha Mier. Additionally, June is a prolific composer, with nearly 40 pieces in publication. June also played the Carillon bells at the Stephen Foster Memorial State Park for many years during their operation. While publishing, June also served as a clinician and lecturer across the country. As recently as 2021, June remains active as a pianist and judge in her community and throughout the southeast.
Reflecting on the role of music teachers in students’ lives, June says, “when a child has your full attention for that hour or thirty minutes… you can have a lot of influence on a child’s life.” June remains dedicated to her students, and loves knowing that she has made a difference in the lives of young musicians across the country. Through all her accomplishments, June holds her family as the most important part of her life. She loves seeing her children and grandchildren, playing games, baking, and sparking their love of music.
Today, the Montgomery family can proudly claim four generations of Seminoles. Joe Montgomery, son of June and Edwin, alumnus of FSU, and proud father of three daughters who have all graduated from Florida State, is honored to witness a legacy of strong women educated at FSU. “Florida State… imbues in these women in my life such strength and confidence,” says Mr. Montgomery. “It is very satisfying.”
June’s own legacy extends across generations and all over the United States. Her life has been one full of love, education, and music. The creation of the June Conyers Montgomery (’54) Scholarship Fund in her honor will continue her legacy of musical excellence, enabling countless students to pursue their passion for music and make positive impacts of their own in perpetuity.