Kidwell is the founder of the Cumberland County Community Band.
He was a teacher for 26 years at the Martin Elementary School
in Crossville, TN.
Murray graduated from Cumberland County High
School and went on to active military service with the United States
Air Force, Europe Band. Mr. Kidwell's primary instruments are the
flute and piccolo. He also plays the string bass.
Air Force Band performances took Murray to countries in Europe,
Asia, Africa and to 48 of the United States. He
performed concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Paris
Opera Orchestra. He also played at Westminister Abbey and at the
Mozarteum in Saltzsburg. In addition to his Air Force
Band work, he has also played in combos, dance bands and symphony
orchestras. Mr Kidwell has a career of over 8,000 concerts in the
military to his credit.
The community band was started in the
summer of 2000 when Mr. Kidwell gathered a small group of local
musicians. Later that fall, rehearsals were begun. Mr.
Kidwell continued to direct the growing group of musicians until his
retirement in the spring of 2008. Mr. Kidwell was instrumental in
the selection of Mr. Jack Bittle as the new director who
served until Sept. 2008. The band is now directed by Mr.
Lance Kennedy who is also the Vice Principal of the Stone Memorial High
We are indebted to Murray Kidwell
for his initiative in forming the community band. Without his
foresight, musicians from our area would probably have no local
organization in which to play and would be required to seek
opportunities outside of the county.