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JVHS Music History (1946 - 1978)

The Jordan Band was reorganized in the fall of 1946 when Robert M. Barr assumed the position of director.  Mr. Barr had been stationed at Fort Benning and had become acquainted with Jordan Vocational High School when a group of soldiers, under his direction, sang in an assembly program at the school.  Mr. Taliaferro, principal, and Dr. Shaw, superintendent of schools, were able to secure Mr. Barr’s early release from the army so that he would be available at the beginning of the next school year.  


There were seventeen students present at the first rehearsal, held in the auditorium.  However, the growth of the band was rapid; and by the spring of 1947 the band entered the district music festival, receiving a “superior” rating.  


The success of the program was due in great part to the enthusiastic support of R.H. Taliaferro, who never missed a performance and went on all trips with the band until his retirement in 1968.  


In 1949 the band made its first national appearance, winning second place in the Lion’s International Convention Parade in Chicago, Illinois.  The band returned as guest band to the next convention, held in Atlantic City.  


The band won first place in the American Legion National Convention in New York in 1952.  The contest consisted of competition in concert and marching.  Concert selections were “Wings of Victory” and “Egmont Overture”.  On the field the band played “Gate City”, “Stars and Stripes Forever”, “My Hero”, and “Merry Widow Waltz”.  


Chattanooga Tennessee was the scene of a concert by the Symphonic Band at the Southern Music Educators National Conference in 1952.  This was followed by appearances by the brass choir at the 1953 Mid-West Band Clinic in Chicago Illinois and the Woodwind Choir at the Southern Music Educators National Conference in New Orleans Louisiana in 1955.  


All rehearsals were held on the auditorium stage until the completion of the band room in 1955.  The construction was finished the day before Christmas vacation began and, in honor of the event, the band moved into its new facility and played “Stars and Stripes Forever” standing, as there were no chairs and stands available at that time.  


One of the highlights of the 1956 Mid-West Band Clinic in Chicago Illinois was the concert by the JVHS Symphonic Band.  Guest conductors included Lt. Colonel William Santelmann, Dr. Raymond Dvorak, Glenn Cliff Balnum, Leonard Smith, and Arthur Brandenburg.  Guest trumpet soloist was Byron Autrey.  


The first of several television appearances for the band was on the Dave Garroway “Today Show”, broadcast from Warm Springs in 1957.  


In 1958, the Jordan Band became one of the few bands to perform coast to coast by virtue of its trip to Los Angeles California to play for the Music Educators National Conference.  The concert, held in Philharmonic Hall, featured Dr. Miklos Rozsa conducting his composition “Themes and Moods from Famous Films”.  


During the years the band has performed in the following states:  Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Indiana, Oklahoma, Florida, New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia.  


On May 11, 1959, the band presented the first Searchlight Tattoo ever given by an American high school band.  The event, which received national publicity, was repeated each year through 1962.  


During the Christmas vacation in 1964, Robert Barr resigned, and George Corradino and John Owen finished out the school year.  Joe Price was named band director in June of 1964.  

The first Fine Arts Week was inaugurated in 1966.  The program, featuring the band, chorus, drama, and jazz band, has become an annual occasion at Jordan.  


On February 18, 1967, the band made its first national appearance in ten years, performing at the Southern Instrumental Conductors Conference at the University of Southern Mississippi.  Guest soloist was Raymond Young, and guest conductor was Larry Kirkland.  


Other nationally known musicians who have appeared with the band during the years include Dr. Frank Simon, Ernest Glover, Dr. Alan Bone, Robert Lowery, and “Doc” Severensen.  


In the fall of 1969 the band performed at the Atlanta Falcons-New York Giants football game in Atlanta Stadium before a packed house and a national CBS television audience.  


The Georgia Republican Party selected the Jordan Red Jacket Band to be the official Georgia entry in the 1969 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington.  The trip, made by train included a two day tour of historical sites, was financed by a mass effort raised by the band parents and members.  A new banner was designed for the march down Pennsylvania Avenue, and the music performed was “American Legion March”.  


The Mississippi State Reading Clinic was the scene for a concert by the Symphonic Band and Orchestra in January of 1968.  Guest conductor was Jimmie Howard Reynolds.  


After several years with reduced numbers caused by school integration and new district lines, the band was up to full strength in 1975 and returned to perform at the Atlanta Falcons-Philadelphia Eagles football game in Atlanta Stadium.  


Dr. Joe Barry Mullins was guest conductor as the band again played for the Southern Instrumental Conductors Conference on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in February of 1977.  


On March 10, 1978, the Symphonic Band received its 31st consecutive year of awards in concert at the District Instrument Festival.  


The Symphonic Band entered its first competitive event in 26 years on April 29, 1978 and won all superior ratings and the “Best in Class AAA” in the Six Flags Open Band Festival in Atlanta Georgia.  Selections performed were “The Purple Pageant”, Second Movement from “The Unfinished Symphony”, and “Symphonic Suite”.  



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Atlantic City (1949) Bob Bar (2) Symphonic Band (1950's)

Robert Bar

(1919 - 1988)

Atlantic City (1950)


Symphonic Ensemble (1950's)