Cape Central Music

I didn’t have much to do with Central High School’s music department. I could barely play my radio, let alone an musical instrument.

Mother used to make the argument, “Learn how to play the piano and you’ll always be popular at parties.” Somehow or another, I don’t think it would have made much difference in my case.

I ran across these two photos of Dale Williams, head of the music department. The 1964 Girardot was dedicated to Mr. Williams (1926-1964) and to Joycelyn Hook (1946-1963, Girardot Literary Editor Elect).

I couldn’t find anything in The Missourian archives that gave any more information about the circumstances of their deaths. Joy was mentioned in a story April 5, 1963, for winning two of three A Division debates she was in. It looks like she might have been partnered with Helen Miner.

Music at Central High School

When I was in Cape last fall, I toured our old high school, now a junior high school. I shot these photos in the music department.

Gallery of Music Department Photos

Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to step through the photos.

15 Replies to “Cape Central Music”

  1. I believe my mother told me many years ago, after I graduated in ’63, that Mr. Williams collapsed during a concert at the high school. It may have been that he had a heart attack. This would have probably been during the late 60’s or early 70’s.

  2. vocal music was and still a huge part of my life. dale williams, golden flentge, and carol ledbetter were a big part of the start of that. i was on stage at the lutheran school the night dale died. he collapsed and died on the last line of the last song of the night. a spiritual that ended with “to my heavenly home up in the sky, roll chariot roll” that was the last thing he heard. not sure of the validity of the details but i think tommy holt of troop 4 scouts tried artificial respiration. as i remember, he had just had hemmorid surgery and blood clots from it was the cause of death. it was a tramautic night for all of us. it was the first time i saw a person die. judy farris was the accompyist and could provide you with more accurate details. several kids went to his funeral and burial in batesville arkansas. every time i see a semi truck with batesville casket company on the side, i think of him.

  3. Ken, I’ve been enjoying your blog so much over the last few months since I discovered it. I’m a member of the class of ’72, so a lot of the photos feature folks who preceded me at Central, but I love seeing and hearing about Cape.
    I was very active in the choir when I was at Central. At that time the vocal music teacher was Judy Williams, and Bill Ewing was the band director. Both of them were great teachers, and Mrs. Williams was especially helpful in mentoring me as I considered a career in music and theatre. Mr. Ewing passed away a few years ago, and the last I heard Mrs. Williams had moved to England where she was working as a golf pro.
    One of your photos (no. 4, I believe) showed our old choir room. It brought back some wonderful memories of a very special time and very special people. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi, I am trying to locate Joe Pendrod and his sister. Their father Malone(Pete) was my mother’s (Bernadette Young)first cousin. She passed 11 years ago. I have some family pictures of Pete and Marge, Carolyn and Joe that I wouuld like to give to them but I think Joe’s parents are also deceased. I remember that Joe was interested in going into singing at one time in his life. I would like to be able to contact him and his sister. Maybe this blog can help.

  4. Mr Williams and his family lived up the street from us on Dorothy St. He had a son, Phil, that was my age. He did indeed collapse during a concert and as I recall it was a massive stroke due to the aforementioned blod clots. It was a traumatic experience.

  5. I was in Mixed Chorus and Acapella choir under Mr. Williams. He was a wonderful, caring teacher and gave his ALL each time he directed us. He did a characteristic swiping of the brow when we finished a song that told us we did good. He was one of my favorite teachers.

  6. I too was on stage when Mr Williams collapsed and died. It was on the Trinity stage for the Men’s club banquet. Mr Williams was a friend of Ed Blumenberg who was the president of the men’s club at the time. It was very hot on stage as there was no air conditioning. He had had surgery about two weeks prior and hadn’t been back to school before directing us at the concert. As others have said it was during the last part of the last song. There was a doctor present at the banquet and he said right away that it was too late.

    Joy Hook died in a car wreck the summer before our senior year. I think it was on a church youth retreat.

    1. That night is forever in my mind! The sage was too small for everyone to perform, so I volunteered to babysit our student pastor’s children that night while my parents attended the banquet. The house was next to the driveway up to the school/auditorium. When the ambulance went flying past the house I knew something bad had happened. Vicar Meyr came rushing over to tell me what was going on. That was one scary evening.

  7. Without Mr. C I don’t think I would have become a music teacher. They gave me my start in collage. Great teachers. I remember that night that we had the concert and I did not go. Then the next day I heard Mr William died. We all went to the funeral home….Ford funeral home to pay our respects. The music department wasn’t the same after that.

  8. I am so happy to see so many great comments about my dad Dale Williams. Even though he was with us just a brief time his legacy is living on through his sons. I am the founder of the Conway school of Music and we offer instruction in voice guitar percussion as well as theatrical arts. Also Dale Jr. Philip and Jas. F. (me) have performed together in the past with plans for future projects. Thank you all for your regard and kind remarks. email me at conwayschoolofmusic@gmail.com Later!

  9. Joy Hook was my debate partner for several years and was killed in an auto accident shortly before our senior year (would have been the summer of 1963. Her father was an Assembly of God minister in Cape at the time. She was one of the “good” people you are sometimes blessed with in your life and I stll remember her and the loss I felt. Helen

  10. When I applied for an English position at Cape Central in ..let’s see…It was my third year of teaching…1966? Dallas Albers was the superintendent, and they were looking for someone to help Judy Williams produce Central’s first musical. I agreed to sponsor the Red Dagger Drama Club. Judy chose “Bye, Bye, Birdie!” It had a cast of about 100 kids and took several months of exhausting rehearsal. In later years, I think they found a way to include several staff members to help, but back then, it was just the two of us. Bill Ewing helped with the music. It was a pretty amazing production. Almost killed me and darned near wrecked my marriage, if I remember correctly…

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