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Donald L. Hatch - Class of 1993

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Donald Lockwood Hatch was born on May 11, 1911 in Avon, Illinois. His attraction to music came early and after high school, he enrolled at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. During these formative years, he took part in both instrumental and vocal music, traveling a great deal with the school vocal quartet. This background aided him in future years when he was active in the Barbershop Quartet movement.

After graduation, Don moved to Texas and was named as band director at Sinton in 1935. In 1938 he moved to Bay City, where he served as music director until 1943.
During the war years, Don served as USO director for the YMCA and was stationed in Temple, Shreveport and Alexandria, Louisiana and Waukegan, Illinois. When World War II ended, Don moved to Wichita Falls and became the junior high band director. Soon, the high school director left to open up a music store and Don became the director of the Coyote Band. During those days, Wichita Falls was a football powerhouse and the band spent many hours and days on the drill field. Fridays were still reading days, marching or not, and the bands was well known for their ability to read at sight.

Don was among those who reconstructed TBA after the war years. He had countless friends such as Hall of Fame member Pat Arsers and fellow 1993 inductee Irving Dreibrodt who were in San Antonio and worked to make TBA the envy of the nation.

Don and Merle Hatch have three sons, David, Neil and Stephen. David lives in Dallas, Neil in New York City, and Stephen in Wichita Falls. Only Neil chose music as a profession and is associated with the Julliard School of Music.'

Former students recall the wealth of music they performed while in the Wichita Falls band. Don believed that too many bands spent too much time on contest tunes and rarely did the band spend more than one calendar month on contest music.
While directing the band and the Barbershop chorus in Wichita Falls, Don also received his masters degree from Midwestern University and kept fellow Hall of Fame member Jim Jacobsen at bay. In 1958, Don was named Texas Bandmaster of the Year.

In 1961, Don joined C.G. Conn for 15 years before retiring in 1976. Since then, he has worked part time for Buffet and several other companies. He and Merle live in Dallas. Don has been a faithful member of TMEA and TBA for 46 years.

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