One of Mobile’s most venerable cultural institutions, the Excelsior Band, has suffered a loss on the cusp of its 135th birthday in November. Longtime band member Marion Ward passed away in mid-October at age 80.
A Dothan native, Ward attended Alabama State College then relocated to Mobile in 1960. He taught in the Mobile County Public School System for 33 years, first at Mobile County Training School, then as band director at Booker T. Washington Middle School, then at Toulminville High School and John L. Leflore High School. He also taught at Mary G. Montgomery and Mae Eanes Middle School before retiring in 1995.
Ward was a trombonist in the E.B. Coleman Orchestra and Excelsior. He continued to perform through the last year of his life.
He is survived by his wife and daughter.
Art Soup seeks donations and sponsors
Art Soup is the annual fundraiser for Loaves and Fish Community Ministry Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation committed to serving the needs of Mobile’s homeless since 1979. This annual event utilizes creations by local artists to raise funds and provide participants with original artwork in exchange for their generous contributions.
Proceeds go directly to the following local organizations that assist the homeless every day: Penelope House, Ransom Ministries, Family Promise, McKemie Place and the USA Student-Run Free Clinic.
The event takes place Nov. 16, 6-9 p.m., at Azalea Manor (751 Dauphin St.). Tickets cost $25.
They are always looking for more sponsors (ranging from $250 to $5,000) or those who want to donate soup, dessert or art to raffle.
For more information, contact T. Bruce MacKinnon at 251-379-0564 or go to artsoupmobile.org.
UM duo recital Nov. 6
University of Mobile faculty members Dr. Gabriela Gimenes, flutist, and Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva, pianist, will perform a recital of classical, jazz and contemporary works Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in Moorer Hall on the main campus. The program, titled “Cultural Influences in the Flute World,” surveys music from Brazil, the U.S., Poland and France.
Onalbayeva is director of piano studies and professor of music in the Alabama School of the Arts at UM. Born in Kazakhstan, she is the first person from her country to be named a Steinway Artist. She began her piano career at age 5 and went on to earn two master’s degrees and a doctorate.
Gimenes earned her doctorate from the University of North Texas. She has played with the Sao Paulo Youth Wind Symphony, the Conway Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Académica do Estado de São Paulo, with a “Fiddler on the Roof” production in São Paulo, Brazil, and as a flute substitute for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, USP Symphony Orquestra and Theatro São Pedro Symphony Orchestra.
Admission to the concert is free.
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