SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Mr. McPherson to the AK High School Hall of Fame
By Greg Buxton Jr.


April 10, 2010

How awesome to find out about Mr. McPherson getting the nod to the Alaska High School Hall of Fame! I was fortunate enough to be taught by him for the first time back in 1980. I was just learning to play the "drums" and had attended the Summer Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, AK. I was truly a novice then, and Mr. McPherson was extremely patient with me. He'd challenged us all to put in the time to improve no matter what abilities we had then.

The next opportunity to play for Mr. McPherson was in the fall of '83 while he conducted those of us who qualified for the Southeast AK High School Honor Band. Music students in the late'70's-early 80's in Metlakatla schools were taught by an outstanding, in their own right, couple who taught our music program-Shelley and Terrell Heiserman. I had improved quite a bit in those 3 short years and felt I was a solid drummer, but he convinced all of us who qualified that we could only get better with even more dedication.

My last go around with Mr. McPherson was with the Ketchikan Community Concert Band Spring of '88. I was attending the U of AK Southeast-Ketchikan and decided to join since he was conducting. I had come full circle, I was a fairly accomplished percussionist(much more than just a "drummer") and was excited to contribute and show him my abilities. His expression of surprise followed by the look of pride. A look he had that I will never forget.

I live in Metlakatla and the Walden Point Road is promised to be nearly complete that would allow my 3 children and hopefully many more Metlaktlatlans to have the opportunity to be taught individually by Mr. McPherson and hopefully join one of his bands. I can hardly wait, I've known for the last 30 years that Mr. McPherson was something special for the things he taught me and molded the work ethic that had helped build strong character which enhanced chances for future success in life. But, above all of those important lessons, you knew he cared about the music and most importantly the people who he taught and it continues on today.

Thanks to Mr. Truitt for nominating and congratulations Mr. McPherson for making the Hall of Fame.

Greg Buxton Jr.
Metlakatla, AK

Received April 09, 2010 - Published April 10, 2010



McPherson Chosen For Hall of Fame - Roy McPherson of Ketchikan has been chosen by the Alaska School Activities Association for the Alaska High School Hall of Fame Class of 2010. He is the first person in the music field to be selected. The category is listed as "activity sponsor, Ketchikan - band and district music coordinator". Gil Truitt, a 2006 Alaska High School Hall of Fame inductee nominated McPherson. - More...
Wednesday - March 31, 2010

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