Band History
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Murray Kidwell

Murray 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. 

The 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 School. 

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.