Reflections: Remembering my high school band days


I grew up in a musical family and although I was trained on the piano, I wanted to be in the high school band.

The Cardington High School Band had become a marching band when football returned to the school in 1947.

Charlie Jackson was the director and he drew up a different band program to be given at halftime each week. Band members

called themselves “The Jacksonites”.

Luckily, I had the chance to be in the band when an opening came for a bass drum player. I took it and for the rest of my high school years I played in the band.

I wonder if the public is aware of the effort that goes into a halftime program. Charlie sketched the weekly theme on paper and distributed this to band members. Our positions were noted on the paper – so we would move from one spot to another outlining an object on the field while playing.

We played in warm weather and bitter cold weather – and sat in the bleachers ready to play when our team scored. I have a huge photo of the band taken in 1949 sitting on the bleachers and though we were in uniforms we were also wearing coats, hats, scarves, etc.but we were ready to play. In those days we had a school “Pep Song” and the school song.

Our games were played on the athletic field behind what is now the elementary school and they were well attended. People love football here. It was on that field that I had the only bad experience in the band We were marching across the field and I was beating my bass drum when the head broke. No more beat for the band that night. It was humiliating but you know -today no one remembers it but me.

What fun we had on the band bus as we traveled to the away games.

Before I graduated my three sisters joined me in the high school marching band, one played clarinet, another the saxophone and the third, drums.

Fast forward a few years – my own sons were marching band members during their high school careers and later my husband and I carried band instruments in our van to away games for several years. Only once did we lead the band bus astray and of course, it was in Columbus when we missed an exit.

Everyone had to turn around and we got some nasty looks that evening.

I appreciate the work that goes into developing the band. In the 1940’s a boosters group was organized to purchase uniforms and music. That continues today with an active Music Boosters working to support theband in every way. Some instruments, in my day were furnished by the school so outside supporters, one of whom was my mother, purchased

needed instruments.

A program is planned for the halftime show and it has to be worked up in a week. I salute all who have been members of the band through the years – I cannot imagine a football game without the music and color of the marching band. They go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned. Morrow County has four talented high school marching bands and it is great to see and hear them showcased at the grandstand during the Morrow County Fair.

September of 1946

Cardington girls playing on the local softball team included Beulah Beatty, Ruth Heacock, Gathel Crum, Alice Crum, Dorothea Stephens, Maxine Kelly, Barbara Lorimer, JoAnne Curl, Marcella Mumper and Sybil Higgins.

Paid admissions at the Morrow County fair totaled 10,500, nearly 1,000 more than in 1945. The 28 member Cardington High School band director was Charles Jackson

September of 1966

Pictured were the front walls of the new Cardington-Lincoln High School being constructed on State Route 529 east of the village. Air Force Captain H. C. Clinger was featured in a story in which the details of the Cardington native’s duties were described since his arrival at the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California. The 60 member Cardington-Lincoln High School Band was directed by George Marshall

By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

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