Clarke Egerton, Jr.
Clarke Alston Egerton, Jr. was born in Durham, North Carolina, the only child of Mable and Clarke A. Egerton, Sr. He completed his elementary, secondary, and high school education in Durham City Public Schools. He graduated from Hillside High School and it was during his years at Hillside that he began the development of his outstanding musical talent under the leadership of Philmore Hall, the band director and music teacher. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts from North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University).
Mr. Egerton began his teaching career in 1955 at John R. Hawkins High School in Warrenton, NC, where he taught instrumental music and Social Studies. In 1956, he took a teaching position at Lincoln High School in Chapel Hill, NC. His responsibilities included teaching instrumental music, Social Studies, safety patrol, Boy Scouts Leader, Junior Class Advisor, and director of the marching band and majorettes. After serving six years with the Chapel Hill School System, Egerton took a job at Whitted Jr. High School in Durham, NC, as an instructor of instrumental music and director of the marching band. It was at Whitted Jr. High that he began to build his superior reputation as one of the greatest band directors in the Durham Community. In addition to the above challenges, he taught beginning instrumental studies to fourth graders. His tenure at Whitted Jr. High ended in 1967, when Mr. Joseph Mitchell (former Hillside Band Director) became the band director at North Carolina Central University. Mr. Egerton accepted the challenge and transferred to Hillside High School. In 1967, he began teaching instrumental music, marching band, flag corps, rifle corps, majorettes, symphonic bands, and concert bands at Hillside. Additionally, he taught two classes at Holton Junior High, which continued until 1970.
Under Mr. Egerton’s leadership, the Blue and White Bands, the Concert Bands, and the Symphonic Bands were awarded many plaques, which were rated superior (the highest honor). Among the honors earned were: the Harry Mendelson Memorial Plaque from the New Orleans Mardi Gras Parades; Certificates of Appreciation from Presidents Gerald A. Ford and Ronald Reagan; a plaque from Super Holiday Tours for performances in Central Florida; and a plaque from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, for performances during the Centennial Birthday Celebration. In addition, the marching band received numerous trophies over the years. One of Egerton’s treasured honors was the Certificate of Recognition from the North Carolina Music Education Association in tribute for his 25 years of distinguished service as a member of the Association. For two consecutive years, he was one of only four band directors statewide to be nominated by his peers for the prestigious “Award of Excellence.” These two honors are just a few he earned during his extensive professional and public service career.
Throughout all of his successful years as a band director, Egerton never lost sight of the need for serving his community. In taking his talented skills beyond the educational domain, he diligently conducted the Durham Community Concert Band and served as conductor/clinician for the Winston-Salem All-County Band. The commendable and professional career of Clarke A. Egerton, Jr. covers almost forty years of outstanding commitment to high standards of excellence in the development of talented youth. His personal, professional music repertoire over the years includes performances with bands such as the Hillside Joy Makers, Johnny White and the Crusaders, The Jammers, and the Living Legend band. In addition, he has performed as a back-up musician with such notables as Sam Cooke, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Joe Tex, and Ike and Tina Turner, to name a few.
Video of Hillside High School Marching Band - 1975