Written by: Patrick Cash
November 22, 1947: The Mars Hill College marching band was met with overwhelming support and admiration as it performed in the annual Memorial Day parade on November 11 through the streets of downtown Asheville. Accompanied by the Lee Edwards High School Band and the American Legion Band, the MHC marching band displayed its “musical ability and military style marching” along the three-mile parade route. Those in attendance noted that the MHC marching band outperformed its counterparts, as many in the crown were to have remarked favorably during the group’s performance. Following their performance, the Mars Hill College marching band received an invitation to perform at the Optimists Bowl game on December 11 and at the American Legion Convention in Asheville the following spring.
The 1947-1948 Mars Hill College marching band consisted of 45 members who were under the direction of Mr. James Hall, an accomplished musician himself who had immense experience in both band and orchestra directing. Students performing in the marching band received no academic credit for their work, instead choosing to join for the pure enjoyment and love of music. These students’ would often rehearse for 8 to 12 hours a week outside of their academic requirements. Officers for the 1947-1948 Mars Hill College marching band were President, Jack Dyer; Vice-President, Bruce Carter; Secretary, Macklyn Mackie; and Treasurer, Frank Lawton.