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Corrigan Times - Local News

Copyright 2017 - Polk County Publishing Company

 

Local band director inducted into Hall of Fame

 

SAN ANTONIO – Former Corrigan-Camden and Livingston school band director Gerald Fagan was inducted into the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame during ceremonies Saturday, July 22, at the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster Fraternity convention. A total of 11 men and women are included in the 2017 hall of fame class, which is selected by a standing committee. Candidates do not have to be a member of Phi Beta Mu to be eligible but are required to be at least 65 years of age (or deceased) and retired, have taught a minimum of 10 years in the state of Texas, and have produced and maintained a consistently outstanding band program. Fagan was born Feb. 15, 1942 to Emmitt and Callie Fagan in Scottsville, Texas, just outside of Marshall. His father worked for the Texas and Pacific Railroad while his mother worked for Bell Telephone. They encouraged his musical interest and at the age of five, his mother had him singing anywhere she could find someone to listen. However, his true love of music was developed by his grandfather who played the fiddle, violin, mandolin, and sang with his band, and at church. His grandfather's musician friends would gather every Friday night for an all-night hootenanny. Fagan said he loved every minute of the fun-filled music. Before Fagan could continue his musical education in elementary school, he was struck with polio in 1948, leaving him with a very weak left arm and left leg. He knew that he wanted to pursue music in some way, but did not know if it was possible. He knew he would have to choose an instrument that could be played with the right hand, so sax and clarinet was out of the question. He began his music education at Marshall Elementary School, where in the fifth grade he was taught to play the cornet by Mrs. Joyce Cowan, as well as singing and square dancing. He went on to Marshall Junior High and played the cornet and baritone for director John Owens. Mr. Owens was a great influence in high school, introducing Fagan to military marching, state and regional tryouts, solo and ensembles, and the Prescott system that Fagan used throughout his career. After high school, he attended Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. The SFA band was under the direction of Jimmy Hudgins and when Fagan first met his new director, he found him doing one-arm push-ups on the band hall driveway Fagan thought "Wow, I better not mess with him." Hudgins had been a Marine Corps boxer. While at SFA, Fagan was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha and Delta Sigma Pi Social Fraternity. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1964, and a Master of Arts in 1973. After graduating in 1964, Fagan took served as band director for the then Class B Big Sandy ISD in Big Sandy, the Class A Joaquin ISD, the Class 2A Troup High School, the Class 3A Hallsville ISD and LD Bell High School in Hurst. Moving back to East Texas, Fagan settled in Center, where the band had not been to a UIL contest in seven years. After he arrived, the band managed to make a first division at the UIL Marching Contest and each following year was better with more first divisions. In the fourth year, the band traveled to Monterrey, Mexico and played concerts that were greatly received. From there Fagan move to Rusk ISD for five years, but missed his fifth sweepstakes award by one judge. Cleveland ISD was next and the band earned the sweepstakes award in the 4A class. Tarkington was another small 3A band and went on to win another sweepstakes award. The next 14 years were spent going from Corrigan-Camden ISD to Livingston Junior High and each band continued earning sweepstakes honors. After 32 years Fagan retired but then went right back to teaching for another 10 years helping schools that lost their directors, some full-time and some part-time. Fagan also serves as the director of the Livingston Community Swing Big Jazz Band and is a former director of the Livingston Area Community Band. Fagan and his wife Bobbie have six children, Susan, Sharon, Shelly, Jerry, Christy and Meredith.

 

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