ORMOND RALPH PARKER
Born in Emporia, Kansas on March 17, 1909.
He received his B.S. and Masters degree in music from the College of Emporia and in 1934 he was hired to be the band director at Emporia High School and Lowther Junior High School. He served in the United States Navy from 1944 – 1945 and resumed his teaching position at Emporia High School, where he remained until his retirement in 1971. Throughout most of his career, he also served as director of the Emporia Municipal Band. He died on October 16, 1978 in Sun City, Maricopa, Arizona.
As a music educator, he is well known for mentoring an astounding number of professional musicians, particularly for a community the size of Emporia.
Here is a partial list (in alphabetical order):
LARRY ALDERSON (saxophone / clarinet) – United States Air Force Strategic Air Command Band.
ROSALEE ASKEW-LENIGAN (piano/accordion/organ) – Ada Leonard All-Girl Orchestra.
ROY BURNS (drums) – Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton and many more. Drummer for the Merv Griffith Television Show. 2004 International Percussive Arts Hall of Fame inductee, 2019 Emporia High School Hall of Fame inductee, 2021 Emporia State University Frank A. Beach Hall of Distinction inductee. Founder and CEO of Aquarian Drum Head Company.
RANDALL GRUNDY (trumpet/keyboards) – Red Dogs rock & show band.
JOHNNY MAYHAN (saxophone/clarinet) - United States Navy Band, Paul Lavalle’s World’s Fair Symphony Orchestra, and many more.
MARSHALL MCNUTT (trumpet) – Prez Prado, Jimmy Dorsey, Les Elgart.
JACK MOUSE (drums) – United States Air Force Academy Falconaires jazz band, Clark Terry,
Stan Kenton, Janice Borla and many more. 2019 Emporia High School Hall of Fame inductee, 2022 Emporia State University Frank A. Beach Hall of Distinction inductee.
MARION PLUMMER (trombone) - Henry Mancini, Randy Brooks, Ray McKinley, Bob Crosby and many more.
CARL VAIL (euphonium) – United States Naval Academy Band.
ED WORTMAN (trumpet) – Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman.