Jemison woman remembers beginnings of JHS band

Published 4:04 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Anne Crowe Glass served as the first head majorette in Jemison High's first band in 1943.

Anne Crowe Glass served as the first head majorette in Jemison High’s first band in 1943.

The Jemison High School Blue Regiment Band celebrated its 50-year anniversary Monday, but band activities at the school started earlier than the 1960s.

Anne Crowe Glass, of Jemison, was a member of the first organized band at Jemison High School in 1943.

At age 84, Glass still remembers the excitement she felt marching onto Clanton’s football field with her fellow band members.

She and her younger sister, Pauline Crowe, were two of the first four majorettes.

Glass also served as Jemison’s first head majorette during her one semester of membership in the band before her family moved to Kentucky.

“That one semester was all the time I ever spent in a school band,” Glass said. “It was wonderful.”

Glass and her family later moved back to Chilton County, and she graduated from JHS in 1946.

Jemison’s band, which was comprised of about 8–12 members, marched with Chilton County High School’s band since JHS had no football team at the time.

Glass said many people nowadays would shake their heads in disbelief at the thought of students from the two rival schools marching together on the field, but she only remembers the experiences as “a lot of fun.”

“We marched to some well-known military marches, and I had favorites among them,” Glass said. “I’ve always loved military music.”

According to Glass, Jemison’s band traveled to Clanton for practices each week, as well as football games for their performances.

“When there were ball games to go to, we were on our own to get from Jemison to Clanton,” Glass said, adding that they sometimes caught a bus to the city.

The school didn’t provide uniforms for the majorettes, but Glass’ sister was working at Parisian in Birmingham and found material there to use in making uniforms for the majorettes.

“She got [Parisian] to sell us satin to make uniforms at cost,” Glass said.

In her scrapbook, Glass noted that a lady in Jemison named Lottie Adams made the uniforms out of “white slipper satin.”

Glass and her sister served as majorettes alongside Ruth Glass and Maxine Ellison.

Other Jemison band members included John Hayman, Barbara Hayman (James), Charlie Wheatley, Mary Edna Reynolds, Miss Denson, Joe Bratton, Ann Turner and Richard “Mac” Smith, according to Glass’ notes.

Glass said their first band director was a man with the last name of Burton, who commuted back and forth between Jemison and Clanton to teach classes.

Glass and her late husband, Jasper Carl Glass, both graduated from JHS and attended the University of North Alabama.

Over the years, Glass has attended many class reunions, where she and her former classmates reminisce about their high school days and experiences in the band.

“I enjoy getting with them,” Glass said. “I have a lot of precious memories of my school years.”