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John Lackey


Nominated by Ralph Caldwell and Samuel L. (Buddy) Gudger.

John Lackey

John Lackey (1933-2010) taught for many years in North Carolina and is most known for the many years he spent at Enka High School in Enka, North Carolina. During his time at Enka, he inspired countless musicians, including many who entered the profession as band directors. Many of those he taught include Mike Robinson, Connie Weeks, Roger Caldwell, Ralph Caldwell and several others.

Mr. Lackey served as the treasurer of the Western District Bandmasters Association for many years and was an important part of all of the district functions. John Lackey was born in Statesville, NC. He received degrees I both music and business from Mars Hill College. He taught band at Mars Hill High School, Marshall High School, Morehead High School, and Lee Edwards High School before moving to his home at Enka High and Middle Schools where he taught for 28 years. While at Enka, John led a number of award-winning bands and created the Land of the Sky Marching Band Festival. He also founded the Land of the Sky Symphonic Band in Asheville. John was the first recipient of the Western District’s Award of Excellence, and also received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Mars Hill College. He served as treasurer of the Western District Bandmasters Association for many years.

Following his retirement in 1995, he continued to substitute teach in a number of music classrooms and played “Taps” at military functions around the state. His bands received numerous Superior ratings at festival, always displaying a high level of preparation and musicianship. One of his most important contributions to our profession was the creation of the Land of the Sky Marching Band Festival in the mid-1970s. At the time, Mr. Lackey started this marching band festival, it was one of only a handful of marching band festivals in existence.

Since its inception, it has grown to be one of the largest events of its kind and has been I continual operation for over 40 years! During this time it has inspired countless students and directors to aspire to a high level of excellence. The influence of this event simply cannot be gauged. A number of band directors, including many who are still actively teaching, came through John’s band program at Enka. In addition, during his 44 years of teaching music, he inspired many of his students to become lifelong musicians.

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