Jun 27, 1938 – Nov 11, 2019
In the summer of 2000, Murray Kidwell gathered a small group of local musicians and made plans for the formation of a community band. Later that fall, on November 7th rehearsals were begun and on December 10th at the Cumberland County High School Gymnasium the first concert was held with the Cumberland County High School Band. Murray continued as director of the band until his retirement in 2008. He continued to play with the CCCB until Dec 2018.
Murray graduated from Cumberland County High School and went on to active military service with the United States Air Force Band, performing in 48 U.S. States, Europe, Asia, and Africa in more than 8000 concerts. He performed concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Paris Opera Orchestra. He also played at Westminister Abbey and at the Mozarteum in Saltzsburg. Murray received a commendation from the US Ambassador to the Soviet Union in the mid 70's for his public relations work with the Air Force Band. Murray’s principal instruments were the flute and piccolo.
Upon returning to Crossville, Murray taught history, art and band in Cumberland County schools for 26 years, and was listed in Who's Who in American Education as an Influential Educator. For Murray’s work with the community band, his commitment to veterans, and other public service causes, he was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Business and Professional Women on 10/28/2004.