Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

A Trumpet Plays Over Arizona

A Trumpet Plays Over Arizona

Blogs, Websites, and articles have been written about Arizona Musicians but not all of these stories about the "other Arizona" musicians and artistic contributors have been documented. Therefore, my purpose is to highlight stories about these individuals and musical groups who also contributed to Arizona and made an impact on someone's life- I know they impacted mine. Phillip A. Hirales aka Felipe Antonio Hirales < At Bisbee, Arizona in 1951, the Bisbee-Douglas Copper Kings baseball team, the minor league affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was finishing up their season at the Warren Ballpark. Audrey Murphy, African Queen with Humphrey Bogart, An American in Paris starring Audrey Murphy, African Queen with Humphrey Bogart, an American in Paris starring Gene Kelly, and A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marlon Brando. At the Phelps-Dodge Mercantile Store, the company store, you could buy groceries, clothes for all the family while shopping for your furniture and other appliances which could be delivered To your house. And in 1951, the Lavender Pit had not happened yet as evidenced by houses still in Lowell, and still awaiting removal of these to a new part of Bisbee that was to be named Saginaw. (Some of this information I credit my older brother

As a musician, and because of my infatuation with all types of history, I have developed perspectives and opinions on many aspects of music, and therefore, I do not know what to do. I do not know what to do. In some of my blogs, I may comment on the "classical thread" of music that I came to hear and experience whether it was NAU or by three gentlemen on the porch of one of the old houses at the end of OK street in Bisbee many years ago. With James Woodmansee at the helm of the Bisbee High School Band in 1951, "Woody", as his band students nicknamed him, continued.

The musical tradition performing at many events, but also bringing new style and flair which made the band one of the premier high school bands in Southern Arizona during its tenure. In 1951-52 school year, the Band performed at football games, the Arizona State Fair, Tombstone Helldorado, and the Douglas Rodeo in addition to other musical celebrations.


JAMES WOODMANSEE "WOODY" > "Mr. Woodmansee instituted a number of innovations, including the succession of effective and original skits using the" magic drum "in half-time performances at home football games." According to the Cuprite yearbook (thanks to Snoody Boroweic, Bisbee High School Alumni)

Beverly Buford, president; Kay Reppe, social manager; Blanche Baker (Fingerson) student director at that time.

When Mr. Reppe, band director passed away, before hiring Woodie, Blanche was in charge and directed the BHS Band and did An outstanding job.


One in a million. (Bisbee High School Cuprite Annual)

Later in life, Blanche Baker would become Blanche Fingerson, and she and her husband

Don Fingerson Would own and operate the Warren Drugstore, an icon, for many years in the Bisbee area.

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HALL OF FAME With a new band director there are always initiatives, and with Woody, there was another new program that I started at this time - Bisbee High School Band Hall of Fame. In his mind, I felt that the Band Hall of Fame would be an honorary way of those students who excelled in the Band program, As I went through the list of honorees, I found that there were two themes that were common to all of them --Attitude and making sure the job was done right - which are important lessons for anyone striving to reach the next level in anything. In addition to Blanche Baker (Fingerson), there are several Bisbee High School Band Hall of Fame honorees that will be identified in this blog, and in my Subsequent blog sometime next month. HENRY JEWELL - 1953

Solo trombone and President. Always there to help plan the Band. Always there to help with the work, regardless of how much or how unpleasant. Sound judgment, conscientious, very pleasing personality, industrious, unselfish. Thanks for everything.

Bisbee High School Cuprite yearbook

MAUREEN CORKISH - Majority, Twirler - Band, St. Council, Office Staff, Senior Carnival Queen, Class Officer

"Corky" played 3rd base on Copper Queen's fast pitch softball team

Bisbee High School Cuprite yearbook (Snoody B.) Drum Major and Sousaphone Player

Drum Major and Sousaphone Player Bisbee High School Cuprite Yearbook

The final note to readers of this blog. By 1954, Bisbee High School had replaced the uniforms as seen earlier in 1951 with a completely different style uniform with a brighter and lighter color scheme. In the next blog, we will look at some more memorable performances by the Bisbee High School Band during this time period as directed by Mr. James Woodmansee "Woody".

And again, if anyone wishes to provide some

And as my favorite piano tuner said, Stay in Tune,

A Trumpet Plays Over Arizona

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