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Susan Scarborough - Class of 2022

Susan Elizabeth Albritton Scarborough was born in Tyler, Texas on October 15, 1956, to Sherry (Hall of Fame 2004) and Elizabeth Albritton. Sherry was a band director and Fine Arts Director, and Elizabeth was a high school counselor’s secretary. Susan has two brothers, Steve Albritton her older brother and younger brother Lee Albritton.

Susan’s public schooling began in Taft, Texas, where she attended kindergarten through fifth grade. Like most band director’s kids, Susan and her brothers grew up in the band hall. They spent many hours building forts with music stands and playing hide and seek in the instrument storage slots. She attended countless halftime shows, concerts and occasionally marched as a mascot twirler in a parade. In 1968, the family moved to Richmond/Rosenberg where her father was the band director at Lamar Consolidated High School where she attended sixth grade through twelfth grade. Susan was drum major her senior year and was a two year All State clarinet player. Her older brother Steve made All State on trumpet three years and younger brother Lee made region band four times on french horn.
Susan attended both University of Houston and Sam Houston State University from 1975-1979. She enjoyed the best of both worlds. While attending University of Houston, it was very exciting marching in the Astrodome under the leadership of Bill Moffit playing his Sound Power arrangements and marching in his innovative “Patterns of Motion.” Susan was privileged to play under the baton of Dr. Ralph Mills while attending Sam Houston State University, playing clarinet alongside the Randy’s (Luster and Griffin). Susan loved music and teaching kids but wasn’t sure she wanted to be a band director, so she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education in December 1979 with an emphasis in elementary music.

She was fortunate to be offered a band position in January 1980 at Bleyl Middle School in Cypress Fairbanks ISD. Because her degree had an emphasis in elementary music, she had not taken any method classes, so her father gave her a crash course on instrumental pedagogy during the Christmas break. Talk about on the job training! Susan was the second woman hired in Cy-Fair by John Scarcella, Director of Fine Arts. Bill Quillen, Tim Cunningham, and John Siebern, to name a few, influenced her in the early days of her career. Susan formed lasting relationships during her fifteen years in Cy-Fair, especially with her co-workers Veronica Bradford and Patti Shannon. In 1995, she moved to Doerre Intermediate School in Klein ISD. Uniquely, her teaching career took her to only two schools. She truly enjoyed staying in a community and teaching the siblings of her former students. Bob Blanton, Director of Fine Arts, and later Monty Mast were very supportive throughout her time in Klein. Susan was truly blessed to work with the directors from Klein and Klein Oak High Schools: Randy Vaughan (HOF 2011), Pat Patterson, Todd Clearwater, David Gresens and later Dick Clardy (HOF 2016) and Scott Deppe. Also in her cluster was Kleb Intermediate School with outstanding directors Randy Bloodworth and Susan Housen. Over fourteen years at Doerre, she was privileged to work with exceptional co-workers, Mark Lenfest, Dawn Kirk and Matt Fehl. These amazing directors became lifelong friends who made a profound impact on Susan’s life. Together they were a powerhouse in Region IX. Some of the highlights of her career while at Doerre were performing at The Midwest Clinic and being recognized five times in the TMEA Honor Band process, twice placing second. It was a privilege to work in Klein ISD and Region IX where she was around so many great people (too many to name) and great band programs.

Susan’s career was certainly influenced by many people. Her father was a constant support and mentor to her throughout her entire career. She considered him to be her best friend and greatest source of inspiration as a musician and teacher. In 1995 she was privileged to meet Eddie Green and begin working with him. He showed her a new level of teaching that would change the sound of her ensembles. He will always be remembered and greatly appreciated. Susan gained invaluable friendships sharing teaching ideas with her colleagues while trying to perfect her craft. She had a fun competition going with fellow Region IX directors Charlotte Royall, Gloria Ramirez and Randy Bloodworth. They were always in competition to advance to Area in the CCC TMEA Honor Band process. Listening to the bands of her colleagues Wade McDonald, Greg Dick (she knew these guys since high school), Greg Countryman, Cindy Lansford and Melodianne Mallow kept her striving to continue to improve her bands to the next level. Another group of directors that profoundly influenced her teaching career were the members on the Board of Directors for Texas Bandmasters Association from 1999-2006. Spending many hours and years planning the conventions with these master teachers was an incredible time she will never forget. Being around all of them really expanded her musical world, and she couldn’t help but soak up some brilliance from them! She is forever grateful for the opportunity to serve TBA for seven years. Susan was the second woman to be on the Board of Directors (Charlotte Royall was the first) in the seventy-five-year history of its existence. Early in Susan’s career there were very few women in the profession. She is thankful for the influence of all the ladies that came before her, especially Barbara Lambrecht (HOF 2009) and Marion West (HOF 2015). Susan’s peers in the early 80s set the stage for future women in our field, to name a few: Cindy Lansford (HOF 2020), Cindy Bulloch, Jill Yancey, Nancy Caston, Gloria Rameriz, Charlotte Royall, Melodianne Mallow, Joelette Wine and Joyce Boelsche.

When Susan retired in 2008, she began mentoring and advising young band directors and providing clinician services to their bands and beginner classes. She took advice from the Cindys (Lansford and Bulloch) on how to set up her second career. Things were going well until Susan had a catastrophic health event in the fall of 2009 that almost ended her life. For five months her husband James, children Laura and Brent, mother, brothers, and best friend Cindy Lansford rallied around her in the hospital. Susan is forever grateful to her daughter Laura for giving her The Gift of Life by donating her kidney. With sixteen months of rehab and the support of her family and friends (Charlotte, Sharon, Mary, and Cindy), Susan was able to find her new normal and continue living a productive life. Being back in the music world working with young teachers reminded her “who she was” and gave her a renewed sense of purpose again. Susan has a very busy schedule working in nine different regions not only as a music mentor but also a life coach teaching young people the value of relationships. Since she had a second chance on life, she looks at things differently. Your career should be important and fun but not all consuming! Years of teaching band camps, judging UIL Concert and Sight-Reading contests across the state, teaching students through district and region bands, doing numerous district inservices, TBA and TMEA clinics, and having countless student teachers truly enriched Susan’s life with lasting friendships.

Susan considers her greatest accomplishment being the mother of her twins Laura and Brent. They have been a source of pride and a bright light throughout her life. Laura plays clarinet and Brent is a trombone player. A very special moment was having them go through her band program at Doerre. Both are teachers: Laura US History at Bear Branch Intermediate School in Magnolia ISD and Brent is a third-generation band director at Bridgeland High School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. They have continued to bless her with spouses Amanda Marquart, also a band director and Scott Fleming, a sales counselor for D.R. Horton and finally her two precious grandsons Wyatt and Nolan. Life has never been the same since Susan attended her twenty-year high school reunion and reconnected with James Scarborough. He has been her biggest supporter through all the highs and lows life has brought them. James did a great job serving on the spouses’ Board of Directors for TBA, and Susan knows he kept the ladies in stitches most of the time. He definitely keeps Susan grounded and is the love of her life. She has caught his “travel bug” and looks forward to many wonderful adventures around the world in the years to come. Susan would like to thank her sisters-in-law (Lara and Elaine) and extended family for attending today. This summer is incredibly special because Susan was selected by the TBA Board of Directors as a 2022 Meritorious Award winner, and she is truly humbled and honored to be inducted into Phi Beta Mu Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame.

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