Robert "Bob" Black
Robert Black came to Mount Holly after completing military service in World War II and graduating from Shenandoah Conservatory with a Teaching Degree in Music.
He began teaching band and chorus at Mount Holly High School in 1950. He built the music program into one that was recognized not only in Gaston County, but statewide. The Mount Holly HS Marching Band received honors through invitations to march in Chicago's Christmas parade in 1953 and in Miami during the Orange Bowl in 1957. At football games in Mount Holly, a new halftime show was produced each and every time. The infamous 'Lights Out" halftime shows were always a crowd favorite with majorettes twirling fire batons and band members with shoulder harnessed flashlights covered in various colors of cellophane. The Concert Band was also exceptional and went to the North Carolina State Band Contest in 1964,1965, 1967, and 1970 receiving 4 Superiors.
In 1970, Mayor Raymond Moore and the Mount Holly City Council recognized the Mount Holly High School Band for the way it represented the town in such a distinguished and admirable manner.
When Mount Holly High School closed in 1972, he continued at Mount Holly Junior High and began teaching at the newly formed East Gaston High School. The Senior Band Class of 1976 was his last at East Gaston but he continued at both Stanley Junior High and Mount Holly Junior High Schools until 1985.
Among his individual honors, Mr. Black was named Mount Holly's Man of the Year in 1962 and later was inducted into the Bandmaster Association in 1976. Being one of 227 nationwide named a Distinguished Bandmaster of America by his peers, was indeed an honor. This included both Band and Chorus achievements.
The Mount Holly Schools recognized his 35 years of teaching upon his retirement in 1985. Mayor Charles Black of Mount Holly proclaimed June 12th, 1985 “Robert H. Black Day.” The Mayor's proclamation describes Bob Black’s service beautifully: “His 35 years of service in Mount Holly School System were marked by outstanding loyalty and devotion to the youth of our community, teaching hundreds of boys and girls, along with being a friend and counselor to them and their parents….his sphere of influence has extended beyond the classroom into the life of our community, enriching and improving life for all of us…throughout his career he has earned the respect and affection of his colleagues, students and community.”
Robert H. Black bettered his community as the Music Minister of First United Methodist Church in Mount Holly from 1950-1982. He played professionally in Charlotte with the following groups and artists when they came to town: Tom Jones, Issac Hayes, Judy Garland, Liberace, Tony Orlando & Dawn, Sonny & Cher, Billy Graham, Sanford & Son, Bobby Vinton, Walter Brennan, Bob Hope, and Ringling Bros.& Barnumand Bailey.