Markwood Miller Holmes was born in Lexington, Nebraska, on August 18, 1899, and died in Frontenac, Kansas, on January 24, 1994. In 1917, he enrolled at Kansas City's Horner Institute of Fine Arts to begin his musical education. In 1919, he became a member of the school's staff and started to teach violin and piano. He was also named concertmaster of the Institute Orchestra in the same year. He went on to teach strings at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, which contributed to his workload. He went on to receive degrees from the Conservatory and the University of Tulsa during the next several years. Holmes wanted to further his studies by enrolling in a school in Paris, France, in 1925. He toured France, Belgium, Tunis, Algeria, and Morocco with the Vandelle String Quartet as the second violinist. In 1929, he moved to the United States, and in 1930, he started teaching at the Kansas City Conservatory. He would go on to become the principal second violinist of the recently founded Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra for the next three years, until 1947. Holmes became the director of the violin section at Kansas City's Pro Art School in 1937. Holmes was a string teacher in the Fort Scott, Kansas school system from 1943 to 1945. In 1944, he published his first violin system book. Holmes didn't start teaching at Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg until 1947. (now PSU). He taught violin and piano at the university and wrote numerous violin and piano compositions while there. After 22 years of teaching at Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg, he retired in 1969. Following his retirement from PSU, he taught music theory and violin at Fort Scott Community College. In 1979, he received the Kansas Composer of the Year award. He was later honored by the American String Teachers Union in 1980, where he was credited for exemplary leadership.
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