Bob Barr Community Band’s Twentieth Anniversary Concert, Monday, Dec. 8, 7:30 P.M. at Jordan High

  High School memories flowed into my consciousness last night as I listened to the Bob Barr Community Band rehearse for its twentieth anniversary concert. I was there because my old friend Dr. George Corradino asked me to emcee the concert since I emceed the very first one twenty years ago.

  The Bob Barr Community Band was formed in 1988 and named in honor of highly successful Jordan Vocational High School band director Bob Barr because of his legendary contributions to his students at Jordan between 1946 and 1962. His Jordan bands won national band contests in cities such as New York and Chicago. He was also conductor of the Columbus Symphony from 1951 to 1962.

  Hearing a band from the inside is different from out in the auditorium, especially when you are playing an instrument. It goes beyond verbal description, just as music does that. It’s emotional, just as music is emotional.  I took this picture because this is where I played a snare drum, and sometimes a set of drums, with the original Bob Barr Jordan Vocational High School Red Jacket Band sixty years ago. Well, actually we rehearsed on the stage of the school’s one-thousand-seat auditorium because this band room hadn’t been built yet. 

Bob Barr Community Band Rehearsal, Jordan High, Columbus, GA

Bob Barr Community Band Rehearsal, Jordan High, Columbus, GA

  It is an extraordinary experience because you are a part of the whole that produces what can be – if you do it well – extremely moving results as the band, or orchestra, releases the emotion of great composers such as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sousa, Gershwin and others.  I took this picture from the percussion section because that was where I experienced the unforgettable conducting of the demanding, but highly inspiring Bob Barr.

  Remembering this, I can understand why these former high school band students come together to play for community events. They simply enjoy doing what they enjoyed doing most in high school. And this band plays for a lot of community events. 

  Monday night’s Twentieth Anniversary Concert will be at the Jordan Vocational High School auditorium starting at 7:30. Admission is $5. All proceeds go to the current Jordan High band.  Not only will you hear popular Christmas songs like “Sleigh Ride,” “Ring of Joy,” and “Christmas Classics,” but an original composition by the late Bob Barr, as well as such favorite marches as “Them Basses” and “The Footlifter.”

  Again, it’s Monday, December 8, 2008 at 7:30 at Jordan High auditorium, admission $5, with procedes going to the current Jordan band. Hope to see you there.

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6 Responses to “Bob Barr Community Band’s Twentieth Anniversary Concert, Monday, Dec. 8, 7:30 P.M. at Jordan High”

  1. Corum Mills Says:

    Dick—-You indeed brought back memories to me also. You and three of
    my brothers, Allan, and the twins Ted and Bill(deceased). Others I remember, I guess because they drug me to practice sometimes, was Tommy Webb, Gene Kelly, the Noble brothers, Bill Johnson, Ron Helton and Bobby Talley. Bobby saved my life in the sixties with emergency surgery. His lost to the medical world was a big one. Brother Allan is a retired farmer in Ohio and Ted is a retired State of
    FL worker and lives in Tallahassee. For me, I am retired and actually have been living in Bob Barr’s house on Howard Ave for 40 years!!!! In fact, I think he is behind me now watching what I write.
    The Teen Tavern Tooters were a great part of the history of music in this city. Do you remember when my three brothers and Benny Register had a quartet that sang around??? Mrs Register led the choir at the Church I grew up in—-Rose Hill Baptist……………
    Well, I could go on for a long time about one of my favorite subjects but that would be to long for now…….
    Hope to see you next Monday night and I will send this site to my brothers…
    I remember something else…..Allan was in the first band of Mr Barr. The twins were the when a lady, I think her name was Mansfield, was the director???
    That is it……………..

  2. Allan Mills Says:

    Very intreresting blog–I too was a member of the first Bob Barr band at Jordan High School and I also played in the Teen Tavern Tooters along with my twin brothers Ted and Bill Mills. I sat next to Bobby Talley for a number of years and enjoyed every minute. Wish I were closer so I could enjoy listening to the Bob Barr Community Band..For the past 56 years I have lived in Ohio

  3. dicksworld Says:

    It is good to hear from the Mills brothers. You might help me remember who was who. When in the Teen Tavern Tooters with me, one brother played bass and one played, I believe, a valve trombone. Good muscians, great guys.

    Bobby Talley’s loss was great. Not only was he a competant surgeon, but, as you know, a fine trumpet player.

  4. Ted Mills Says:

    What wonderful words and memories to relive a small potion of the past. My twin brother played the trombone (slide), and I played the valve trombone. I will never forget some of the times and experiences the Tooters had on many Friday or Saturday nights playing at Ft Benning. We were without instruments at the beginning, and posed for a picture advertising the fact we needed instruments. The citizens, both Adult and Youth came through and we were off!!! Jim Minor, a local musician that came out of the “Big Band” arena, became interested in Columbus and the Tooters. He left the traveling big bands and got a job as a commercial artist. He arranged many pieces of music for us and later even traveled
    to some of the dances we had out of Columbus. Emma Kate Mansfield left the teaching position at Jordan Vocational HS and became the Director of the Teen Tavern. We had a great building (thanks to Royal Crown ) Well I could go on and on, but we all grew a little wiser during these High School years, and would have kept going, but World War II broke in and many left for the military.

  5. Bob Brooks Says:

    I was delighted when you appeared to MC our band. I remember our times at WTVM a few years back when I was behind the floor camera trying to make all you stars look good, as you indeed were.
    Back in the 50s I performed in our Green Twp. High School band and orchestra, marching in parades and at games, back in Pennsylvania. Being an avid musician I went on to learn violin, saxophone, piano, and others, and kept my life interesting playing in string sections in orchestras from New York, to New Jersey, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, and teaching private students. My Iowa stint allowed me to perform with violin and saxophone in ballrooms in a 7-piece swing band, also.
    It is an honor to perform under the baton of Maestro George Corradino, and to have you front the group at performances.
    A fond memory was you and I sharing books re. the findings of pottery and other very ancient artifacts in Columbus and across America and the world.
    I’m anxious for the day when we can all learn how to get along in this world, to enjoy life, and see an end to discrimination, wars, and all the horrible things that music and the arts help us endure for the present.
    Then the world can be one enjoyable concert of beautiful sights and sounds. See you April 3 at the Springer.

  6. Bill Edwards-class of 59 Says:

    It has been a wonderful 20 years in the Bob Barr Community Band. As a charter member, it was such an honor to play trumpet with great players like Earl Baker,Gene Kelly & Jimmy Cross & to play French Horn with John Grantham. We were blessed beyond description to be able to return to the same band room to rehearse…where some of us had ducked the flying batons of Bob Barr when a sour note or other goofy thing overcame his patience. We have been given a “second chance” to play, to play better,& better & better.
    Thank you Dick, for playing your part in this terrific experience.

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