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Serendipity Shows Up
serendipity n. a seeming gift for finding good things accidentally
We've been searching high and low for a high school band performance of our alma mater, preferably performed by our own high school, but any high school presentation would do. We wanted the "feel" of what our alma mater sounded like to us back then rather than a "professional" presentation, as our memories are of youthful energy and emotion, not perfection. Wabi-sabi, if you will. After many months of looking we had almost given up on our gift of serendipity, but, as we've often seen, accidents do happen!
Gale Pruett Powell put out the word in Denison, hoping someone would have a recording we could use. Wanda Ramey, Sara Potts Delgado's sister, must have heard the plea. Just this year, Wanda's husband purchased a 33 1/3 RPM Microgroove vinyl record, titled Denison Yellow Jacket Concert and Stage Bands, Woody Woodard, Director, at a local garage sale and donated it to the DHS Alumni Museum. The album cover of this record, seen above on the player, is pretty cool! Someone made a handwritten notation - 5/29/64 - on the cover, leaving us to believe this was a project completed in Spring, 1964 - two years after we left high school.
Based on those few clues it seems that in 1964 the then Band Director, Woody Woodard, had a recording session of the Yellow Jacket Bands and Chorus performing 10 pieces of their best work. This session resulted in a vinyl record which survived almost 60 years in some former student's possession, unblemished, and perhaps, untouched! The museum loaned us the record for use on the website. It was converted to a CD resulting in such audio clarity that it's hard to believe this was recorded, with vinyl record technology, almost six decades ago. With the help of today's widget technology, it's now possible to present to you the Yellow Jacket Bands and Chorus of 1964.
This is a phenomenal find! Although these band members were not from the Great Class of '62, the seniors in this '64 band were sophomores as we were preparing to graduate high school and, as they worked to improve their musical skills, surely looked up to their 1962 class band members. We'll just pretend, while listening, that our classmates (pictured below) are sitting among the band members as they perform these musical selections. Not only are the additional nine musical pieces a good representation of our high school band's work, but the inclusion of the "Yellow Jacket Fight Song" at the end of our "Denison High School Alma Mater" is a truly serendipitous find. We didn't expect that bonus!
It doesn't seem possible that any of us could forget that booming voice, coming from Munson Stadium's loudspeakers every Friday night during football season, announcing that the half-time show would now begin with these legendary words:
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
THE PRIDE OF TEXOMALAND!
THE DENISON HIGH SCHOOL
To those of you who participated in the Concert, Stage and Marching Bands, we thank you for the example you were to these underclassmen from '64. They've done you proud. With this work they've stirred great memories of our time with you.