Bob Ingram was born July 31, 1933, in Greenville, Texas, and began his musical career there on a Silvertone metal clarinet in the 6th grade band program. The clarinet was given to him by a lady for mowing her lawn for one full summer. In the 8th grade, he was moved up from the junior high band to the high school band even though high school band grades were 10 through 12.
While in high school, Bob served as President and student director of the band. He was also one of the first students in the high school’s history to participate in the Region U1L Solo and Ensemble Contest in 1950 and earn a First Division on the First Class clarinet solo, “Adagio and Tarantella.” He graduated from Greenville High School in 1951.
In 1951, Bob entered East Texas State Teachers College on a full music scholarship which included room, board, books and an obligation to play saxophone and clarinet in the “East Texans” dance band, which played for the TMEA student dance at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas during the 1952 convention. While at East Texas, he also served as President and student director of the college band and was a member of the college orchestra and the ROTC marching band.
Also in 1951, Bob met his future wife, Wanda Woodruff, at an E. T. function in Commerce. Wanda graduated from New London High School and received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degree from ETSTC. She was a member of the college band and Chi Omega Sorority. Wanda taught in the Longview ISD for four years and the Texarkana ISD for 32 years. She is a Past President of the Texarkana, Texas, Chapter of the Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority and Past President of the Texarkana, Texas, Classroom Teachers Association. On August 29th, 1999, the Ingrams will celebrate their 45th Wedding Anniversary.
Bob began his teaching career in the Longview ISD in 1955, and he was director of the Junior High School band until 1957 when he moved to East Mountain High School to be the band director for one year. In 1958, he had the opportunity to move to Sabine High School where the band received four consecutive Sweepstakes awards. In 1960, while at Sabine, he was honored to be inducted into the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu. For a number of years, he served as the fraternity’s Chairman of the Hospitality and Program Committee.
In 1962, Bob accepted the position as band director and Supervisor of Music for the Greenville High School Band. During his two year tenure there, the band received its first of two Sweepstakes awards.
The opportunity to move to the Class AAAAA Texarkana ISD to become Supervisor of the Instrumental Music Program and to direct the Texas High School Marching, Concert and Jazz Bands came in 1964. Bob remained in this capacity until his retirement in 1992. During this time, the band received many Sweepstakes and first division ratings. The band was privileged to play for four United States Presidents: Johnson, Carter, Ford and Reagan. Other band performance events included Frontier Days Parade in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Texas State Fair Celebration in Dallas; Cotton Carnival in Memphis; the Hemisfair in San Antonio; an Astros baseball game in Houston; Disneyworld Parade in Orlando and the Texas State School Board Convention in San Antonio.
While in Texarkana, Bob served as President of the Four States Bandmasters Association and was very active in community affairs including serving as President of the Lions Club in 1981-82. He has been a member of Lions International for forty years and is presently serving on the Board of Directors of the local club.
Certainly one of the greatest highlights of his career was in 1971 when he was chosen to serve on the Board of Directors of the Texas Bandmasters Association as Sergeant of Arms. He later served as the President of this outstanding organization in 1974-75.
In 1977, Bob’s and Wanda’s son, Mike, graduated from Texas High School in Texarkana and attended Texarkana College and The University of Texas at Arlington. He married Elizabeth Patterson of Texarkana who now teaches Kindergarten in the TISD. A granddaughter, Catherine, was born in 1988 and is now in the 5th grade.
As a charter member of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Bob has judged in almost every region in Texas as well as in several regions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi.
Following his retirement in 1992, he didn’t want to leave the band world, so Loveall Music Company in Texarkana hired him to be a “Road Man.” Thereby, Bob has been able to continue his association with the many fine band directors in the Four States area.