Oral History

Clarke Egerton - On his education, band, and teachers

Interviewed by Bob Gilgor on April 10, 2001

"It was a chance for the students to say “look mom what I can do” and it gave them so much pride to be in a marching band, and everybody was just delightful. We all stepped together, we played music together, and it’s just a wonderful feeling. I just get goosebumps thinking about it right now.

- Clarke Egerton

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral Histories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. Clarke Egerton grew up in Durham, North Carolina where he went to Hillside High school and got his introduction to music. He took piano lessons and learned to play the clarinet, while also performing in their marching band. During high school, Egerton had a part-time job transporting x-rays to and from hospitals in Durham. After he graduated high school, he studied music at NC College, which is now NC Central University, and graduated in 1956. He got his first teaching job at John R. Hawkins in Warrington, NC, where he taught band and social studies. At John R. Hawkins there was no budget for the music classes, so Egerton created all the music himself or paid for it from his own pocket. After a one year at Hawkins, Egerton got a job at Lincoln High School where he student taught at during college. While there, he taught social studies, band, was in charge of the safety patrol, and also went to Northside Elementary 2-3 times a week to teach the students to play instruments. Egerton was in charge of the marching band at Lincoln High School, and he held an incredible amount of pride in that. Egerton recalls the logistics of being in charge of the marching band, from getting uniforms to creating the step routines. The community around Lincoln High School also adored the marching band, and they played in many parades. Egerton recalls how the students in the marching band were role models for children in the community. Lastly, Egerton recalls some frequent activities at Lincoln High school, like creating lesson plans, school assemblies, and asking the sports coach to scout the other teams marching bands too.

Clarke Egerton - On his education, band, and teachers

Clarke Egerton - On his education, band, and teachers

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Oral history interview of Egerton, Clarke conducted by Gilgor, Bob on April 10, 2001 at Home of Clarke Egerton, Durham, NC. Processed by Hunt-Briggs, AJ.

Citation: Southern Oral History Program, “Clarke Egerton - On his education, band, and teachers,” From the Rock Wall, accessed August 10, 2022, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/clarke-egerton-2.

Rights: Researcher must obtain written permission of interviewee, interviewer, director of the Southern Oral History Program, or director of the Chapel Hill Museum for publication.

View this interview on the Southern Oral History Program website

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