Deacon Band Scores “1”

This article is taken from the Thursday November 6, 1975 edition of the Clinch Valley Times. The article tells the story of the St. Paul Deacon Band in competition at the Alcoa Tennessee Band Festival.

The 70-member St. Paul Deacon Marching Band, under the direction of Richard Rudolph, was the sole representative from the state of Virginia in last Saturday’s Alcoa Invitational Band Festival in Alcoa, Tennessee, and brought home a Division I rating, given them unanimously by the three festival adjudicators. Saturday’s victory marked the first such designation by the Deacon Band since 1956, and represents the culmination of two-plus years of hard work and excellent leadership to get back to the rating level of “superior” designated by the 1.

The Band left St. Paul Saturday at 8 am eager and determined from a two-point at a “1” at the Lonesome Pine in Wise last week (their average score at Wise was 88, 2 points short of a 90, or a I rating), and reported an enthusiastic reception by the spectators at the Alcoa festival.

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Pictured in the center of the picture are St. Paul High School Principal Aubrey Ward (left)  and Deacon Band Director Richard Rudolph (right)

Their program included Macarena; Tattoo, from the opera La Boheme”; and Gospel John a lively number featuring a drum solo by sixth grade band member Roger Lipps.

Judging for playing, or musical achievement, was done in such areas as precision, control, phrasing, intonation, balance, and dynamics; in marching judgment was done on alignment, spacing and uniformity. The band was judged superior in all areas.

This year’s Band was led on the field by the following seniors: Therese Molinary, Drum Majorette; Karen Long, Head Majorette; B.J. Holmes, Field Captain; Rita Jordan, Squad Leader; Rita Turner and Debbie Hall, Majorettes; and Marisa Gordon, Squad Leader.

The two busloads of band members, who had worked on their music after school for 10 weeks to prepare for completion, returned to St. Paul at 12 midnight Saturday after the 4 ½ hour return trip and found congratulatory signs hastily arranged by admiring Band Boosters at the underpass and at the school.

Chaperones for the trip were Coach Jimmy Hall, Fredia Robinson, Alice Barnette, Mrs, Clyde Johnson, and Mrs. Richard Rudolph.

If you can identify anyone in the photo or have a picture of the St. Paul Deacon Band, from any year, that you might like to share please E-mail us at

Editor’s note:  This group photo of the 1975 St. Paul Deacon Band was submitted by Therese Molinary Fields.  Thank you, Therese, for sharing.



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