2010-06-02 / Front Page

First MCHS Band Hall of Fame member inducted

by Selena Warren

MCHS Band Booster officers present Band Hall of Fame plaque to the first inductee: (L-R) Chasity Young, Selena Warren, Terry Toole, Sheila Allen, Kim Smith, and Kathy Morgan. MCHS Band Booster officers present Band Hall of Fame plaque to the first inductee: (L-R) Chasity Young, Selena Warren, Terry Toole, Sheila Allen, Kim Smith, and Kathy Morgan. Since this was the first year in the new school facility, the Miller County Band Boosters decided this year would be a great time to begin a Band Booster Hall of Fame.

The Band Boosters had agreed that the recipient of this prestigious award must have graduated from Miller High School and must have been in the band in each of grades 9-12. The recipient must also be of good character. They also agreed that the first award should be given to someone from the original band.

Selena Warren, Band Booster president, began the search for information on the first organized band at Miller County High School by scouring old yearbooks and talking with family members. Her search ended with 1952.

At that point Booster treasurer, Sheila Allen, continued the search for information at the Miller County Liberal. There she discovered that the band began during the 1949-1950 school year.

MCHS Band Director Richard Horne unveils the photo of the 2009-2010 Band that will hang on the wall of the new band room. MCHS Band Director Richard Horne unveils the photo of the 2009-2010 Band that will hang on the wall of the new band room. Mrs. Betty Jo Toole was sweet enough to pull their 1950 annual off the shelf to help with the research. A page in this annual contained a photograph of the 28 members of the first Miller County High School Band. The names of the band members were listed under the photograph as well as in a paragraph that told about the band.

It said, "The Miller County High School Band, sponsored by the Parent-Teacher Association, was organized this year for the first time in the history of the school. It was directed by Mr. Louis Friedman and on several occasions has performed for the student body and Parent-Teacher Association. It has also contributed much toward increasing enthusiasm in athletics. The entire county has shown interest and expressed their appreciation for the work of the director and band members."

Mr. Terry Toole then shared with Sheila some things he remembered about being a member of that band. He also made of copy of the picture of the first band to share with the Band Boosters. The Band Boosters had found their first inductee into the Hall of Fame, Mr. Terry Toole. He attended Miller County Schools for 12 years and was a member of the first band beginning in 1949 until he graduated in 1954, which made him a member of the original band for five years. All of those five years, he was the first chair trumpet player. As a band member, he performed at many concerts, marched in many parades including Thomasville, Cairo, Pelham, and others in surrounding towns, and played in the band that provided music for high school dances. The band also participated in festivals and received many superior ratings.

After graduating, Mr. Terry furthered his education by attending Emory at Oxford, where he was a member of the Air Force R.O.T.C. Drum and Bugle Corp. He then transferred to the University of Georgia. In 1956, he married Betty Jo Mason and continued college, taking night classes at Georgia State. In 1958, they began a family with the birth of Tammy and a couple of years later Donna was born. Both of their children were educated in and graduated from Miller County High School.

Mr. Terry and Ms. Betty Jo have three grandchildren, Garrett, Joanna, and Mason.

Mr. Terry has owned several trumpets over the years, which he donated to band students. He donated his last trumpet to Kyle Roberts, who was one of our own that graduated last year. His sister, Kelli, continues to use it now for practicing at home.

Mr. Terry is presently the editor and publisher of the Miller County Liberal, where he does a wonderful job publishing band articles and photographs. Music is still part of his life as he is a member of the United Methodist Church Choir.

Based on the extensive research and the information gathered, Mr. Terry proved to be the most worthy to receive this award. He was presented a plaque by Booster President Selena Warren and Treasurer Sheila Allen Tuesday evening May 25, 2010 at the Miller County Schools’ Spring Band Concert.

The Hall of Fame plaque with Mr. Terry's name as the first recipient, along with a photograph of the charter band, will hang in the new band room.

Congratulations, Mr. Terry, and thank you for your musical legacy.

See more photos of the concert and awards on our website

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