Last February, hundreds gathered at a memorial service to say goodbye to Dennis Bowen, retired faculty member, SJPS Foundation Board Secretary and proud member of the first class of the St. Joseph Public Schools Performing Arts Hall of Fame.
Dennis enjoyed a successful career doing what he loved as St. Joseph High School’s Director of Choral Activities, musicals, and variety shows from 1960 to 1987. His shows and concerts were legendary and to this day, most alumni can sing the jazzy opening theme song to Showtime, which Dennis co-wrote with colleague Bob Brown. In 1961, Dennis wrote the school’s Alma Mater, which is still proudly sung today. He was a beloved teacher, mentor and counselor to thousands of students, many of whom kept in touch over the years. Dennis affectionately called them “his kids,” and he was always “Mr. Bowen” to them.
Inspired by the outpouring of love and desire by Dennis’ kids to commemorate his extraordinary life, a small group of Dennis’ friends led by Bill Marohn embarked on a mission to find an appropriate memorial project that would benefit the district, while making Dennis proud. After numerous brainstorming sessions the group landed on the perfect project – a new Steinway concert grand piano, fitting for the beautiful John and Dede Howard Auditorium at the Performing Arts Center at St. Joseph High School. 
Fundraising for the Steinway at St. Joe project is underway. The first priority is to replace the Steinway concert grand on stage at SJHS prior to the holiday concerts in December 2023. If fundraising efforts exceed the cost of the Steinway grand, additional funds will go toward replacing the aging piano inventory district wide.

DONATE TODAY by credit card

Make checks payable to SJPS Foundation and mail to 2580 S. Cleveland Avenue, St. Joseph, MI  49085. Please write Steinway DLB in the memo line. 

Thank you!