History of The Pride of Kathleen Band


The Pride of Kathleen Band has a long history. Founded in 1950, it is one of the first high school marching bands to be formed in Polk County Public Schools. Over the years The Pride of Kathleen Band has promoted the principles of academic excellence, personal development, social enrichment, musical growth, group identity, recreative activity, school pride, and community service. Please have a look at some of bands history below.

Directors

  • 1950 Mr.George Moore
  • 1951 – 1958 Thomas Munafo “Tommy, the music man”
  • 1959 – 1960 John Thomas
  • 1960 – 1962 Ervin Hamme
  • 1963 – 1964 Ray D. Stevens
  • 1964 – 1967 Thomas Lynn
  • 1967 – 1975 Tom McDonald
  • 1975 – 1976 Howard Lerner
  • 1976 – 1979 Carol Greene
  • 1979 – 1981 Jim Devine
  • 1981 – 1985 Douglas Yopp
  • 1985 – 1988 Alan Clark
  • 1988 – 1992 Kenneth Nickse
  • 1992 – 1993 Christian Tordahl
  • 1993 – 1997 Chuck Fulton
  • 1997 – 1999 Rebecca Phillips
  • 1999 – 2002 Kevin Crawford
  • 2002 – 2003 Matt Buckmaster
  • 2003 – 2006 Luis Alvarez
  • 2006 – 2008 Chris Revett
  • 2008 – 2012 Gabriel Hinton
  • 2012 – 2015 Monica Eich
  • 2015 – 2018 Ronald Lagg
  • 2019 – Present Anithio Miller

Origins

The Kathleen High School Band was formed in the 1950 at Kathleen High School. The the yearbook then called Interarbores, has a picture of the 26 member band on the front steps of the Kathleen High School, holding wind instruments, and standing with Mr. George Moore. This is the first year any band shows up in the Kathleen High School yearbooks. Mr. Moore shows up on another page for “Jr. High Trainers” with “Band” under his name. This suggests the band started out as a Jr. High Band curriculum that grew with the students the following year into a Sr. High Band.

The following year Interarbores yearbook 1951 presented a two page spread of the 49 member band, in brand new uniforms, under the direction of Bandmaster Thomas G. Munafo. On the first page, there is a picture of the band sitting on the steps of Kathleen High, and the yearbook describes the band consisting of 10 cornets & trumpets, 1 mascot, 11 clarinets, 3 trombones, 2 sousaphones, 2 flutes, 2 baritone horns, 2 E-flat horns, 2 saxophones, 2 bell lyres, 4 drums, 6 majorettes, 2 “Prancing Devils”, and 1 drum major. The bass drum on display in front of the band displays the words “Kathleen High” with the Red Devil mascot head in the center. On the second, page is a photo of the band in a parade marching formation, with the band lined up 5 members wide, in front of the band are 5 majorettes, in front of them stands the dancing devils, and up front the drum major, mascot, and majorettes captain.


In October of 1951 an article titled “Kathleen to battle Ft.Meade” mentions the following, Kathleen’s two year old band, under the direction of Bandmaster Tommy Munafo, will put on a halftime show resplendent in new bright red uniforms.”. These photos and news articles indicate a well organized Sr. High School band was established by Bandmaster Thomas G. Munafo AKA. “Tommy the Music Man” in the 1951 school year.

News articles describe some of the activities the band took part in. In 1954, an article described an annual community concert dating back to 1952. There are also records indicating the band participated in local fundraising, parades, concerts, and events. 

The first Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA) District Contest the band participated in appears to be in 1953. At the time, FBA District Contests were held once yearly and included 3 contests in the same day. Marching Band, Concert Band, and Sight-Reading. In order for the bands to progress to the State level FBA Contest, they must score a Superior in 2 out of 3 of the contests at the District level events. The bands were also required to participate in a parade that same day. In addition, they also held Solo & Ensemble Contests the same day. The District Contests and scores are documented in newspaper articles from the era.

In 1955, the band scored Superiors in both the Concert and Sight-reading contests at the 1955 FBA District Contest and for the first time progressed to the 1955 FBA State Contest in Miami FL.. After performing at the state contest FBA records indicate they received an overall score of Excellent.

**** WORK IN PROGRESS, MORE INFORMATION TO COME ***

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