Oral History -

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Donna Reed wanted to continue to provide music lessons even after retiring from teaching in a traditional school setting. After 30 years as a music education teacher in the public schools, Donna retired and turned to providing private lessons at Mississippi Music.

Jesse Robinson grew up in Benton, Mississippi, the son of a Holiness Preacher. His father was always very encouraging of Jesse and his music, which was a major source of empowerment for the young bluesman. While still a teenager, Jesse was playing in and around Jackson for Sam Myers and Jimmy King.

Duncan Goff was a band director in Mississippi for 33 years. His first teaching job, at a junior high school, showed Duncan he was in the right line of work as it was a meaningful experience.

Marc Johnson was a band director for 27 years and in retirement felt he could help the younger generation of directors. While working for Mississippi Music as a school road rep, Marc has been able to do just that.

Sam Hart’s father was a preacher who sang with his siblings as the Hart Brothers. Sam grew up surrounded by music and was encouraged to join the school band in the sixth grade. In 1975, after studying music education, Sam was hired as a repairman for Wright Music in Jackson, Mississippi.

Doug Williams heard his father singing as far back as he can remember. As a member of the Big Five gospel group, his father encouraged his children to sing in church. Doug sang with his two older brothers as part of the Williams Brothers, a group that performed and recorded for several decades.

Jason Stanfield has always enjoyed finding new and funny sounds, which means he really enjoyed the synthesizer developments of the 1990s! He worked for Mississippi Music in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in the early 1990s where he fell in love with music retail.

Richie Jones Jr. began playing drums professionally when he was 12 years old for teen clubs and skating rinks. While gigging, he developed skills in production and worked for Morris Brothers Music in Jackson, Mississippi, which led to his interest in music retail.

David Schommer was playing in the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band when he approached the conductor, David Miller, and inquired about forming a swing band. David had the vision of a swing community band that would play the roots music of the area, jazz, and the blues, in the hope of keeping the music alive. Mr.

David Miller is the band director who had the vision of a musical outlet for adult musicians in mostly non-music careers when he helped establish the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band. He was active in school band programs as a kid and played French horn in college, after which he became a band director in Florida all while serving twenty years in the US Air Force.

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