There was Nellie Fletcher, outstanding science teacher at Greybull High School for over 30 years; there was J.C. Quigg, long-time highly respected superintendent of schools for multiple decades; and then there was Charles Rutherford, musician and teacher extraordinaire who was hired as the school’s music director in 1951.
He directed the choir for just one year, but was the band director for 13 years.
Membership in the GHS band “exploded,” and according to Tom Davis in “Glimpses of Greybull’s Past,” Rutherford was attracting so many students to the band (100-120 members in concert band, nearly half of the student body) that in 1954 the board approved the construction of a new band room that would be large enough to accommodate a 200-piece band).
Over his 13-year tenure the GHS marching band was consistently rated as one of the best in the state.
His influence on his students was long-lasting. So long-lasting that John Madsen is spearheading an “Honoring Charles Rutherford Reunion” that will be held June 9-11, in conjunction with the annual Days of ’49.
All GHS alumni who were band and choir students between 195164 who are interested in attending are welcome and encouraged to attend.
The Elks Hall will be open all day Friday and Saturday and serve as the meeting/gathering place for attendees to “hang out as they wish.” The hall will be filled with photo displays and historical exhibits and the “sound of music, both recorded and live.”
There will be special musical performances by GHS alumni, assisted by Michael Jaycox and Raquel Sweat, who are presently the directors of District 3 musical programs.
Madsen said at least one of the performances will be held in the GHS auditorium and could involve some of the current generation of Dist. 3 music students.
Saturday, June 10, “Honoring Charles Rutherford” dinner will be held at the Elks Lodge.
Registration for the reunion (includes the dinner) is $30. Checks can be made payable to: HCR (Honoring Charles Rutherford) and sent to Kay Fleek at 524 3rd Ave. No. Greybull, WY 82426. Fleek is the secretary/treasurer of the reunion.
Madsen has set up an HONORING CHAS. RUTHERFORD Facebook site is dedicated to all facets of his impact on Greybull and its band and choir between 1951 and 1964.
If you are a member of Facebook, simply ask to join.
In later issues of the Greybull Standard we’ll talk about Rutherford’s growing up years and what led him to a career in music, as well as the his career after he left Greybull.