Boys State toots horn for BG’s Headley


Retired Bowling Green Band Director Thomas Headley was honored at American Legion Buckeye Boys State for
something he said was only right to do.
During Wednesday evening’s assembly, he was given a plaque of appreciation because he loaned band
instruments for the delegates’ use for more than two decades. Headley was also given an official BBS
band T-shirt to signify he was made an honorary member of it.
"When I first took over the Boys State band 21 years ago, at that time … we had two bass
drums," said Richard Alberts during the presentation. "I brought instruments from home for the
lads to play. … Mr. Headley always took time when we called him to supply timpani and Sousaphones. We
appreciated that so much. … We’ll miss Tom. He’s done so much."
"It’s not really a big deal," Headley said afterwards. "Whatever we have we’ll
share." Still, he appreciated the recognition, "but it’s right we do this." He expects
the favor to continue under the high school’s new band director.
Not only was Headley recognized, but Alberts also honored Dr. Jon Woods, director of the Ohio State band
program, including its famous marching band, and First Assistant John Waters.
There are dual "ties" between Woods, Waters, Alberts and Assistant BBS Band Director Jeff
Jordan. Waters was a delegate to BBS in 1993 and played in the band under Alberts. Both Alberts and
Jordan are members of the Ohio State Alumni Band, with Jordan currently president of it. Woods was his
band director during his years at Ohio State.
Jordan called Alberts prior to BBS and asked about inviting Woods and Waters to make a guest appearance.
"I thought it was wonderful if they could do it for us," Alberts said while the two men were
working with the teens. That they agreed to come, "It’s just absolutely incredible. … I can’t put
it into words."
Woods and Waters each conducted two songs at the assembly. The delegates got to their feet for
"Buckeye Battle Cry," "Sloopy," "Hey Song" and "Fight Across the
"This was especially neat for me," Waters said after directing his songs. "I was a member
of Boys State in 1993. It’s sort of a homecoming, a wonderful opportunity to conduct this group and
bring back memories."
Woods, who is starting his 26th year at Ohio State, described the BBS band as "excellent in quality.
There’s a number of very fine players on every instrument … a very mature-sounding band. … They
watched and responded to the commands I gave them. They did a great job."
Alberts presented certificates of appreciation to the men as well as band shirts. He also shared that
when Waters was in the BBS band, he transposed the piccolo part in "Stars and Stripes Forever"
for his Sousaphone because the band didn’t have a piccolo player.
"He reminds me he was the loudest one in the section," reported Alberts.
Delegate Jordan Kenton of Huntsville said it was an honor to play under Woods. His face lit up when he
said he would "most certainly" tell friends at home about the experience.
Before the assembly closed, BBS Director Jerry White stressed the importance of the special visit.
"The two individuals who lead the best marching band in the nation came to Bowling Green to work
with the delegates of Buckeye Boys State. … It took an individual to suggest to them this was a pretty
special place to come." White then recognized Jordan for extending the invitation.
Also during the assembly, Denny Bubrig and Eric Crimmins, both of Bowling Green and both involved with
Boy Scouts of America, were recognized. Bubrig spoke about the 90-year relationship between the American
Legion and its support of the BSA which celebrates its 100th anniversary starting in fall. About half
the delegates stood when asked who had participated in Boys Scouts, and later 40-50 stood who were Eagle

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