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Special show planned for halftime

Contributed

This Friday night, the Tallassee High School Band will be staging a different kind of halftime show for its Homecoming game with Alabama Christian Academy at J.E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium.

The Tallassee Tigers are having an outstanding season in football with a 5-1 record and an energized fan base.  The band program scored straight superior ratings at contest and is the largest band in Elmore or Tallapoosa County this year. 
 
But last week, "Colonel" Edwin R. Watkins, who served as Band Director for Tallassee City Schools from 1950-1987, passed away at age 86 after a long illness.  He was legendary not only for his length of service, but for his stern discipline and quality musicianship.  He wrote the drill and music for over 220 different halftime shows during his career as band director, and his legacy looms large over the modern-day "Pride of Tallassee" bands.
 
Friday evening, the Watkins family will be honored with a Proclamation by Mayor George McCain and a unique and memorable musical presentation by the members of the band staff who served before, during, and after the Watkins era:
 
Linwood Erb -- band director 1987-1993, currently assisting with Tallassee band program
Vicki Baker -- majorette and color guard instructor, 1962-2002, owner of Heart of Dance studio
Megan Watkins -- granddaughter of Ed Watkins, currently majorette instructor for Auburn University
Brooke Barron -- former drum major of THS Band, currently auxiliaries sponsor
Sgt. Mike Hammonds -- THS graduate, currently jazz band instructor for Tallassee bands
Dr. Craig Aarhus -- band director 1997-2000, currently band director at Mississippi State University
Don Evans -- music teacher on several occasions in the 1990s and 2000s, currently teaching in Forsyth County, GA
Amanda Patterson -- former majorette and color guard sponsor, now auxiliaries coordinator at Huntingdon College
Kerry Palmer -- band director 2000-2001, now principal of Trinity Presbyterian School
Don Bryant -- drum major in 1964, faculty member at THS, band booster president 1989-present
Michael Bird -- middle school band director
Robby Glasscock -- high school band director (2001-present)
 
Our conductor will be W.C. Bryant, who was the first Drum Major for Mr. Watkins at Tallassee from 1950-1953.
 
This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for this particular group, all coming back to honor the man they called The Colonel.  He was a charter member of the Tuscaloosa County High School Band, served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, graduated from the University of Alabama, came to our town 62 years ago and never left. 
 
You are invited to join us.  The crowning of the Homecoming Queen and Her Court will take place at Pre-Game along with honoring the returning Class of 1993.  For Post-Game, the Pride of Tallassee will perform what would have been its halftime show in its entirety.  The THS Band will appear at the Huntingdon College Invitational Band Contest on Saturday in Montgomery.  The Tallassee Band was also recently selected as the performing band for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game held at Cramton Bowl, and is the featured band for the Alabama Association of School Boards annual meeting, both in December.

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