Captain James Harper
Captain Harper (1893-1986) was asked to assume the role of peacemaker after the schism over the new rating system and for the fall conference of 1931 organized the first band clinic in our state.
A native of Lenoir, Captain James C. Harper graduated from Lenoir City Schools in 1911, earned a bachelor's degree from Davidson College and MA in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill. Harper joined the US Army during WWI and received the rank of Captain. Returning to Lenoir in the early 1920's, Captain Harper conducted the American Legion Band and began the Lenoir High School Band, devoting 34 years to students. In 1965, Davidson College awarded Captain Harper an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities. Captain Harper was the first high school band director to be elected President of the American Bandmaster Association and later became an Honorary Life President, an honor he shared with John Phillip Sousa. Captain Harper also served as trustee and Clerk of Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir and on the committees that founded Caldwell Memorial Hospital and Caldwell Community College. In 1958, the Lenoir City School Board named the Lenoir High School Band Building the James C. Harper Band Building and named Captain Harper, Director-Emeritus. Captain Harper's legacy continues across the nation and world as his commitment to students and community remains an outstanding model of lifelong devotion and services.