Old Independence Regional Museum Program “Strike Up the Band” by Monty Hill on Nov. 5th! (Posted by Ginger Smith)

Band Music as part of the Sports Scene

On Sunday, November 5, at 2 p.m. Old Independence Regional Museum will offer a program titled “Strike Up the Band.” Imagine two competitive sports teams ready for action. The crowd has gathered. What is needed to stir the onlookers’ emotions and allegiance? Strike up the band! An integral element of sports games involves the band, whether it is a lively march, a stirring half-time performance, a timeout interlude, or even a festive number to inspire and entertain the crowd before the team breaks the huddle.

Image result for Monty Hill Band Lyon College photos

Monty Hill

Marching, jazz and pep bands provide performances that match or exceed the contests on the field or court.

Monty Hill will be the featured program speaker. He was recruited as Director of Bands at Lyon College in 2015. Under his enthusiastic leadership a marching band, wind ensemble and jazz band were established. This is the first time in the college’s history that a comprehensive band program has existed at Lyon.

Hill will bring a few members of the college marching band to demonstrate what the Lyon Band does during performances. One of the instruments will be the Sousaphone! He will tell about the history and evolution of bands and also speak about the bands of the Power 5 conferences, including Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, Alabama, and Arkansas.

After Hill earned a bachelor’s of music education degree from Henderson State University, he taught in Arkansas public schools for 24 years. He then left to earn a master in music performance from New Mexico State University where he also served as Interim Director of Bands and Associate Director of Bands before coming to Lyon. He maintains an active schedule as a music clinician in Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and New Mexico.

As an accomplished clarinet player, Hill has also performed with Jim Nabors, Patti Page, and numerous other celebrities.

Bruce Johnston, museum program committee member, stated, “This year we are proud to have already presented 10 sports-related programs free to the public. All of them have been interesting and vital preludes to the museum’s December 16th Grand Opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s Hometown Teams: How Sports Shapes America traveling exhibit.”

The program will be free and open to the public. Normal museum hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children. The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.

Old Independence is a regional museum serving a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff. Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820’s Arkansas territory.


Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.