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Clyn Barrus, director of music department at BYU, dies at 54

Clyn D. Barrus, the director of Brigham Young University's School of Music and conductor of the Utah Valley Symphony Orchestra, died Friday, Feb. 27, 1998, of complications from brain cancer.

Mr. Barrus, 54, was "a brilliant and talented musician. All of us who enjoyed his musical leadership will miss that grievously," said BYU spokesman Lee Bartlett.Mr. Barrus is credited with taking the university's music department and developing it into a school within the College of Fine Arts and Communications.

His mother taught piano and organ in Rexburg, Idaho, and he played with the Ricks College Community Orchestra as a youth. As a 17-year-old, he studied music at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, a private conservatory.

Three years later, Mr. Barrus served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe. After his mission, he married and returned to Austria to study at the Vienna Academy of Music and perform with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra as its principal violist.

During the 1960s, he and his wife, Marilyn, returned to the United States, where he earned a doctorate at the University of Michigan, then performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra and the Minnesota Youth Symphony and taught viola at the University of Minnesota.

He came to BYU in 1985 to direct the university's orchestra and teach music. In 1992, Mr. Barrus was appointed chairman of the music department.

Mr. Barrus also conducted the Utah Valley Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 1997.

Funeral services are scheduled Tuesday, March 3, at 1 p.m. at the Oak Hills LDS Stake Center, 925 E. North Temple Dr.