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Raymond Brandon

Raymond Brandon was born in Chambersville, Arkansas. His interest in music began as a child and was sparked by his father who sang at church and had a deep respect for music. He worked after school delivering telegrams for Western Union and earned $13.50 to buy a cornet from Sears and Roebuck. This instrument functioned well for several years but was soon replaced by a gold plated cornet given to him by his father.

Mr. Brandon received his early instrumental training through the local boy’s band under the direction of Mr. Roy Martin. His interest in music was evident and he soon realized that he would pursue music as a career.

Upon graduating from Fordyce High School, he attended college at Hendrix. After a few years at Hendrix he went to work as the band director at Heber Springs. It was in Heber Springs that the single most important event of Mr. Brandon’s life took place, he met Ruth, and were married.

After a short tenure at Heber Springs Mr. Brandon went to Arkansas High School in Texarkana. A position he held for 15 years. It was in Texarkana that the Brandon’s began a family and they had a son.

Mr. Brandon furthered his education during the summers. He attended classes at Vandercook, Lewis and Clark, and Western State College where in 1949 he received a master’s degree.

It was also in 1949 that the Brandon’s moved to North Little Rock. He remained director of bands at North Little Rock until his retirement in 1971. At which time he was asked to become the Executive Secretary of the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association.

Throughout Mr. Brandon’s career he has been active in numerous band and music associations. He is a charter member of the Arkansas Bandmasters Association and also a charter member of the Omicron Chapter of Phi Beta Mu. He was elected president of the American School Band Directors Association in 1970. In 1976, Brandon was presented the "Mac" award by First Chair of America for outstanding contributions to bands and band music. In 1977 he was named Arkansas’ Bandmaster of the Year. At the 1977 "Golden Anniversary" convention of the American School Band Director’s Association, Mr. Brandon was presented the Goldman Award, the highest award that ASBDA can bestow to an individual. Mr. Brandon became a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 1986 and in 1992 Phi Beta Mu, International Bandmasters Fraternity, recognized Raymond Brandon’s contributions by naming him to the Outstanding Bandmasters Hall of Fame.