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Dee Tucker - Class of 2008

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Dee Tucker was born August 23, 1941, to Delmer & Eileen Tucker in Chillicothe, Texas, and moved to Slaton in 1948. Siblings are Delma Bloxom of Slaton, Dora Burleson of Brownwood, Clarence Tucker of Arlington and Jane Rackler of Dallas. In 1970 he married Saundra Sampson and they have two sons, Brian David and Lyle Scott. Lyle and his wife Carrie hopefully will have presented Dee & Saundra with their first grandchild just three weeks prior to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony!

Dee’s first band experience was quite accidental. In Slaton, students started band in the 5th grade. In the 7th grade, the two sections of students were divided “band” and “non-band” for scheduling purposes. Dee suddenly realized that all his friends were “band” students, so he went to band director, Bill Townsend, and asked to play an instrument. He was given an Easy Steps to the Band book and half way through the year got a sousaphone to play when one of the high school students joined the army.

After the eighth grade he attended the Texas Tech band camp (1st of 4 years) and became friends with fellow tubists Harlan Lamkin, Jim Sudduth and Doyle Johnson. The encouragement of directors John (J.W.) King, “Dub” Crain & Bill Woods focused Dee’s attention toward teaching band. At the start of the ninth grade Slaton lost what would have been one of their largest football players when Dee was told that he couldn’t play football and be in band. He immediately checked in his pads and went on to become an all-state tubist in 1959 (following Lamkin and Sudduth.)

Dee attended North Texas State College (now the University of North Texas) and taught band in Sanger during his senior year. He served on Maurice McAdow’s band staff two years and was his graduate assistant in 1963-64. Dee is a charter member of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and also played in the Wichita Falls Symphony.

After college Dee taught in Holliday (64-68), Bowie High School (68-76), S. H. Rider High School in Wichita Falls (76-78), Haltom High School (78-89) and North Ridge Middle Middle School (89-96). Over the years his groups won numerous sweepstakes awards and superior ratings at Buccaneer Music Festivals, Worlds of Fun Festival, and the Apple Blossum and Cavalcade of Music Festivals in Colorado.

Dee sometimes showed a flair for the dramatic and one of his ‘big moments’ was to walk out of rehearsal just before UIL contest to get his bands focused and motivated. That tool lost its effectiveness after a Bowie High band banquet whose theme was “The Academy Awards.” To his embarrassment he was awarded the trophy for Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor!!

Upon his retirement in 1996, Dee went to work for Express Industries as a fundraising representative. His plan was to supplement retirement for two to three years. This fall he starts his 13th year with the company. Needless to say, he has thoroughly enjoyed helping students in this capacity.

In 1999 Dee saw a need for lower-cost, high-quality music festivals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area; so he formed the non-profit Peak Performance Options. In April of 2000 thirty groups performed at the inaugural festival in the Murchison Performing Arts Center at the University of North Texas. Spring of 2008 saw 210 entries over 11 days at four Peak Festival sites. In addition, Peak hosts a Community Band Festival which is free of charge to local community bands and also commissions new works for band.

After playing in the Plano Community Band in 2004, Dee decided that the Fort Worth area needed a new group, so he (along with conductor, Henry Schraub) co-founded the Greater Fort Worth Community Band. The band was honored to be invited to perform at the TBA Convention in 2006—during only their second year of existence.

Dee is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha, Texas State Teachers Association, Phi Beta Mu, and the Association of Concert Bands. Before retirement he was an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Band Masters Association and Texas Music Adjudicators Association and continues to support TMEA and TBA as an exhibitor.

Dee has always felt that band should be about more than music—a philosophy illustrated one year in Bowie when he decided to award the Outstanding Band Student award to the last chair trumpet player. He was a young man of marginal talent but with a heart of gold and a willingness to put forth supreme effort in all his band endeavors. That announcement was met with a standing ovation by the entire Bowie High School band.

Dee says, “It is indeed an honor to be named to the Hall of Fame—second only to the honor of being a TEXAS BAND DIRECTOR.”

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