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Mark Kelly

Has Attended the Midwest Clinic:  I first attended the Midwest Clinic in 1956.

Joined the Board of Directors in:  1988

A Life in Music: I started at Central Ward Grade School in about 1934-35, when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. William Gower, Sr. was the band director and my mother took me to Central Ward once a week for a clarinet lesson. Now, it seems far too young to start, but that honestly was the case. When we got home, she would sit with me and go over everything Mr. Gower had included in the lesson. Had it not been for my Mother's willingness to do this I probably would never have started the clarinet lessons. There was a 'buddy' of mine, same age, who lived up the street from our house and he had started on the violin, so I guess my folks thought I should do something with music too. I received my BA in1950 and MA in 1952 from the University of Iowa and completed advanced graduate work there in 1965-66 as a graduate assistant to Fred Ebbs. My greatest musical inspirations have been William Gower, Sr., Himie Voxman, Fred Ebbs and James Neilson. My Centerville, Iowa high school bands performed at the Midwest Clinic in 1957 and 1963. These are truly 'golden' memories for it has proven that the students in those bands to this day still recall the trip and concerts and all that went with it. Grade points were never higher and the Centerville community responded as a bond of success coming to this 'coal mining community’ of 5,000. When I am in Centerville I never fail to meet someone who was in one of those bands and hear their testimony of a 'once in a lifetime' experience--musical and social. Those students (25 as I recall) who participated in the 1961 Midwest doing a chamber ensemble clinic have the same feeling of emotional success. There was standing room only in the room at the Sherman House.

Favorite Midwest Moments:  I remember the evening when John Paynter asked if I might be interested in serving on the board. It was a Friday evening before a BGSU Symphonic Band concert (1987-88) and John was the guest conductor. We were sitting in my office maybe a half hour before the concert (my mind was on the concert!!!) and hearing John pose that question took quite a little effort for me to put that question ahead of concert concerns. Time proved that I did say yes and the concert did go on. At my first board meeting in the Midwest office in Barbara Buehlman’s basement, John led the way by seemingly giving me the wrong instructions of where to find the various forms and reports in the meeting notebook. I guess that was my initiation.

Hopes for Midwest Clinic Attendees: Find mentors you respect and 'pick their brains.’ Always try to associate with those who are acknowledged as professional, caring and successful.

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