Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Parker Band Leader Leaves on High Note; Derby, 2001 Inaugural Parades Cap Long Career

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Parker Band Leader Leaves on High Note; Derby, 2001 Inaugural Parades Cap Long Career

Article excerpt

Byline: TIM GILMORE, Times-Union correspondent

After 34 years of teaching music in Jacksonville, Terry Parker High School Director of Bands Ward Green is retiring.

While his career has taken him to band performances in the Bahamas, Latin America and a presidential inaugural parade, Green said Terry Parker's recent band performance in the Pegasus Parade of the Kentucky Derby "is a good way to go out on top."

Green also has taught at elementary and middle school levels, but has taught high school for 28 years. In that time, he has seen a lot of changes.

"Bands have gotten much better, and directors help one another to become better," he said.

Nevertheless, Green is concerned by the effects increased standardized testing may have on music and other arts.

"Testing is having an impact on band and the arts in general. Students are being squeezed out of the arts, but we're here to teach the whole kid," he said.

This is a good time for Green to go out, however, because he is going out on top: The Terry Parker High School Band was one of a handful to march in front of 200,000 people in the 49th annual Pegasus Parade in Louisville. The parade accompanies the Kentucky Derby.

Marlene Hayes, whose daughter Amber is Terry Parker's color guard captain, said such honors are a natural result of Green's teaching commitment.

"Mr. Green has always strived to teach the students proper playing methods, proper decorum, and winning awards and being asked to perform in such events is rewarding to him," Hayes said.

Amber Hayes, a junior at Terry Parker, said she has learned a lot from Green and will be sad to see him leave.

"I've learned a lot of leadership skills and learned to interact and learn from others. It's like a family," she said.

Marlene Hayes said Green's impact on Amber has helped her emerge as a leader.

"She was shy when she joined the band unit and now she is captain of the guard. His leadership and training helped her become a leader," she said. …

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