Colleen Harris

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Early Life & Education

Colleen Riggs Harris was born in 1929 to Ben and Myrtle Noble Riggs, and grew up in Chandler, Arizona. She learned piano at a young age and earned her pilot’s license before she received her driver’s license. Harris was Valedictorian in both 8th grade and high school.

Harris was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Brigham Young University. She graduated from BYU, where she sang as a Soprano, in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music.

She attended graduate school at Northwestern University and graduated with her husband Jerry Harris.


In 1970, Harris started work at BYU. She taught women’s chorus and private voice lessons. She and her husband were professors in the School of Music at BYU from 1970 to 1991, when they retired.

Harris sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 12 years.

After retiring, she continued to devote herself to music. She was the director of a community choir for mature women, who sang at rest homes.

Harris passed away on February 2, 2014. Her husband passed away later that same year.

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