Nat Dove Returns To Show Appreciation To Dr. Waymon T. Webster, Ph.D
Nat Dove returns to his roots to show appreciation to his former teacher and mentor, Dr. Waymon T. Webster, on Saturday July 22, 2006, 12:00 noon at the Grand opening, dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Brazos Valley African American Museum, located at 500 East 20th Street in Bryan, TX.
Dove states: “I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Webster and the vision he had for us.” He had the foresight to share his vast knowledge with these young musicians. We were trained professionals by the time we finished high school. We were taught harmony, music theory, music conducting, orchestration music arranging ETC, all this in high school.” Dove goes on to say: I did not realize it at the time, but later found out that, E.A. Kemp High School, in Bryan, Texas was the only high school in the United States where this was happening.
During the 1950s E.A Kemp High School’s Band Director was Mr. Waymon T. Webster, a native of Hearne, Texas. Webster was young and ambitious, with a burning desire to continue to perform as well as teach music. But, to have a performing band at that time meant he had to first train these young musicians from the ranks of the high school marching band. But even before doing that, he had to purchase the sheet music at his own expense. Dr. Webster did that and never stop smiling. We were the luckiest young musicians on earth.
Webster supplied his new dance band with all the latest Jazz, Swing and Ballad arrangements. This band is thought to have been the only band of its kind and caliber, in this country at that time. Most high schools had only marching band and performed only at sport functions. This new band performed in a professional capacity.
The decade of the fifties, at Kemp High School under the tutelage of Webster produced many great musicians. Such as Marion “ Boddie” Jones, who became a great studio musician in Hollywood, Fred Gene Smith was the music director for the great Smoky Robinson and Ray Charles. Donald Ray Johnson, the founding member of the Grammy winning dance group “A Taste Of Honey” are just a few of the musicians whose lives and careers was enhanced by Dr.Webster.