Nancy Luikart was born Aug. 24, 1936, in Sioux City to Clair John and Bernadine (Smith) Conway.
Luikart was West High School’s founding Choral Director. She was a Westside girl and PROUD OF IT! She was born up on California Street August 24th 1936. The hills of Riverside were her domain. She had many happy hours exploring West side with her brothers and sisters and her horse Molly. Nancy was a gifted vocalist and she loved sharing her music with others.
She graduated from Sioux City Central High School in 1954, where she was chosen All Central. She attended the University of South Dakota and graduated with a B.F.A. degree in music education. She also studied voice at the Chicago Conservatory of Music in the summers of 1958 and 1959. She was also a district and regional winner of the, National Association of the Teachers of Singing, and a vocal winner in 1958. She furthered her studies at the University of Nebraska as well as Kansas University. She taught vocal music in the secondary schools of Sioux City for 30 years.
Some of her performance highlights include: singing with the Sioux City Symphony, the Sioux City Coral Association, the Shrine Chanters, the University of South Dakota Band, the Yankton College Orchestra, Sioux City Community Theater, Lamb Productions, Morningside College Choir recitals and orchestra, Morningside Choral Union, Morningside College Theatre and the Metro Opera of Waterloo, Iowa. She was a featured soloist at the Sioux City Band Shell for more than 40 years, and a Messiah soloist throughout the Midwest. Other career highlights include singing with Danny Thomas and William Warfield. She sang for a special reception in Sioux City for then-President Gerald Ford.
When Sioux City schools built West High, Luikart, was asked to take on a young program with students who were being separated and sent to high schools all over the city. Luikart decided that West High’s vocal music department was going to be strong, successful and happy at West High. She helped write the schools fight song, select the Wolverine mascot and the schools Classy Green and cream. She loved West High and the kids. She was one of them and she was proud of it.
A guiding life principle of hers was to use her God-given music talent to bring joy to others, especially to young people. Nancy’s “Philosophy of Life”, written in 1955 states that, “I would like to be a concert singer, but if the Lord didn’t mean me to do this then I will teach his children the music. Oh, what a gift to the world music is, think of how dull life would be without being able to express ourselves through music.”
Luikart, 68, passed away December 26, 2004. Family, friends and West High Music Alumni gave to establish the Nancy Conway Luikart Music Scholarship to be administered by the Siouxland Community Foundation.
The Luikart family would like to thank all of those who gave so generously. The Luikart family would like to see this scholarship grow and touch young professionals’ lives. We are now excited to announce the first winner of the Nancy Conway Luikart Music Scholarship. The award recipient for 2014 is Alexis A. Larvick from West High School in Sioux City, IA who will be attending Northwestern College in Orange City, IA this fall.
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