Robert O. Klepfer came to Mooresville in 1945 and found a band-in-waiting and a group of students, soon to be musicians. "The music is right under your fingers," he told his students. They found it and played beautiful music for this master musician and teacher. He worked with beginners, junior and senior high bands, and the high school chorus. By 1949, the 90-piece high school marching band marched at the Lions International Convention in New York City. By 1955, the MHS Marching Blue Devils were entertaining crowds at games, concerts, and parades. By 1967, the band was a precision instrument, playing beautiful music as one.
Klepfer was a leader and teacher like no other. They point to his call for perfection mixed with an understanding that musicians grow with practice and maturity. In 1971, he led the ESEA Title III Cultural Arts Program implemented to foster a "higher sense of values and attitudes" in a program that included music, drama, and art. He expanded the program into the community with the Mooresville Community Theater and Community Chorus in 1974.
This master musician played clarinet for the Hickory and Salisbury Symphony Orchestras and was inducted into the NC Bandmasters Association's Hall of Fame in 2002. His former students celebrated his contributions during the Mooresville Graded School District's Centennial Celebration in 2005.
(Courtesy of the Edward Kipka Family.)