Million Dollar Band


Meets Weekly on Monday

President
Roger F. Comley
roger@isupportit.co

2nd Vice President
Carter “Butch” Ammon
ammonc@comcast.net

Treasurer
Daniel L. Freye
dlfreye@comcast.net

Secretary
John T. Conover, Sr.
Conoversr1@comcast.net

Director
Philip R. Johnson, PP
2darivah@gmail.com

History of the Acca Million Dollar Band

The ACCA Temple Band is the oldest continuously organized unit in ACCA Temple, and ten (10) of its members have been elected Potentate of ACCA Temple.   For the past ninety-nine (99) years the Band has provided stirring and enthusiastic melodies while accompanying the Nobility on trips in and out of the State, including Imperial pilgrimages and in addition, the Band has played for all Temple Ceremonials and many concerts throughout the length and breadth of ACCA’s domain.

The thought of a musical unit for ACCA Temple arose during the return trip of the Nobility from Atlanta, Georgia following the Imperial Council Session in May 1914.  Steps along that line were immediately taken.  The late Noble G. Burton Mountcastle was given the authority to organize a Drum and Bugle Corps progressed rapidly considering the fact that few, if any, of those who volunteered had ever blown a horn or beat a drum.

The Drum and Bugle Corps continued until December 19, 1914, at which time the Band was organized.  It consisted of Noble Mountcastle as Director and sixteen (16) other Nobles of ACCA Temple.  The Band remained under the command of the Patrol until August 2, 1915 when a resolution was presented to the Potentate G. Jeter Jones requesting that the Band be declared a separate unit from the Patrol.  The resolution was unanimously adopted and Noble Mountcastle was appointed the Director with authority to organize the Band and expand its functions.  Effective as of August 6, 1915 each member of the Band resigned from the Patrol and the Band was on its way.  At the first election of Officers Noble G. Jeter Jones was elected as its first President.  The organization was rather unique by reason of that only three (3) of its members knew anything about music and the remainder had to be instructed by the Director in both music and instruments.

The Band accompanied the Patrol to the Imperial Council Session, Seattle, Washington in July 1915.  This was the first parade in which the newly formed ACCA Temple Band participated (The Band has an action photograph of the Band in its history collection to include others).

Since its organization the Band has been very fortunate of having capable Directors lead the Band, men who know music and have made music a part of their careers.  Such as, the late Noble G. Burton Mountcastle (1914-with some years of interruption until 1936), the late Joe Bereton (1916-1923), the late Harry Ryder (1923-1927), the late J. Donahue (1936-1943),  the late Noble Ernest Carr (1943-1961), the late Noble Wes Shipe (1961-1975), the late Noble Robert (Bob) Post (1975-1992) whose motto was “a strong introduction and ending, the middle will take of itself”, the late Noble John Carter (1992-2001), and  Noble Harry Seeley (2001-2010).  Currently (2010- 2014) the Band is under the direction of Ill. Sir Phil Johnson, P.P. serving as “ Director”, with Nobles John Stenstrom as the “Assistant Director”.   They were and still are a wonderful bunch of fellows and Shriners, hard working and the ACCA Temple Band of today is the results of the Bull-Dog tenacity displayed by the Nobles who were charter and first members.  The Band has had ten (10) Directors, all of whom had their own way of getting the job done and fifty-two (52) Presidents, of which eight (8) moved on to become Potentates of ACCA.

The ACCA Temple Band has had a very interesting past and its members strive to make the future even better.  The past can be confirmed by the many trophies, letters, and placards of appreciation, and other awards from the many events in which the Band was a part.  The Band is extremely proud of the trophy received from the South Atlantic Shrine Association (SASA)  in September 1974 after being selected as the Number 1 Band at the convention, including the parade.

From the beginning the Band was a marching unit of ACCA Temple.  Over the years members came and departed (mostly from deaths and health) for various reasons.  In 1990 when Horace H. “Sam” Faudree was President, he envisioned the Band becoming a “Riding Band”.  Since that year the Band has been riding on a forty (40) foot flat-bed trailer, decorated with different themes depending on the type of parade.  In 2007 the Band purchased an old “school bus” and is currently in the process of designing an “appealing look” (as of January 2010 job still not complete) that will make the Band proud in upcoming parades.  In 2010 the Band sold the Bus as it was too expensive to maintain.  Subsequently the Band is utilizing a trailer furnished by Noble Robert Llewellyn and pulled by his personal vehicle in events in which the Band participates.  The latest creation on the trailer is that of a “Pirate Ship” proudly displaying the “Skull and Bone” and “ACCA Band” flags with Cannons protruding from each side of the ship.  Of course there is a “Look-out” up on the front deck with a hardy “Captain Pirate” at the helm on the stern.

Each year the Band either host or participates in various fund raising event to raise money to support Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Transportation Fund of ACCA Temple.  In recent years the Band has played four (4) concerts in conjunction with the Lancaster High School Band. One (1) in the fall at their school to help raise money to make their trip to London, England for the New Year’s celebration in 2005. Also the Band has played two (2) concerts in conjunction with the Manchester High School Band in 2009 and 2010.  In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 the Band played with the Northumberland High School Band to help them dedicate their new high school and raise funds for their complex in Heathsville, Va..

The future is bright for “The ACCA Temple Band”.  It started off with our own Band room neatly decorated and furnished by the Band’s members, still in search of new members from the Temple Ceremonials and we welcome more to join our musical contingent.  We are in the midst of planning for new uniforms and the future of the Band.

This is your ACCA Temple Million Dollar Band.  It is considered one of the finest in all Shrinedom!!!!!!

Past Band Directors

Burton Mountcastle|1914-1923
Joe Bereton 1916-1923
Harry Ryder 1923-1927
Burton Mountcastle 1927-1936
J. Donahue 1936-1943
Ernest Carr 1943-1961
Wesley Shipe 1961-1975
Robert Post 1975-1992
John Carter 1992-2001
Harry Seeley 2001-2010
Philip Johnson 2010-Present
Lester Jones 1914-1918
Allie Heisler 1918-1926
Bernard Hobbs 1926-1928
Walter Mossmiller 1928-1939
Dave Griffith 1939-1941
W. E. Bolton 1941-1948
Ernest Carr 1948-1949
Charles Hardwicke 1949-1951
John Mizell 1951-1955
Andy Geyer 1955-1956
W. D. Crenshaw 1956-1958
Ernest Kersey, Sr. 1958-1961
Mason Chewning 1961-1963
Keith Cornell 1963-1964
Elmer Nochta 1964-1966
Philip Johnson 1966-1968
Archer E. Wright 1968-1970
Lawrence Montague 1970-1972
George Ready 1972-1974
Gene Verdon 1974-1975
William McNemar 1975-1976
Herbert Seal 1976-1977
Joe Bader 1977-1979
Vincent Bobrosky 1979-1980
Pete Geisz 1980-1981
John Carter 1981-1983
Archer E. Wright 1983-1985
Paul Mulinix 1985-1986
Charles Blount 1986-1987
William Gregory 1987-1988
Arthur Moore 1988-1989
Horace Faudree 1990-1991
John Conover 1991-1992
Eddie Willard 1992-1994
David L. Bishop 1994-1995
William A. Hudson 1995-1996
Buddy B. Kirby 1996-1997
Charles Hunter 1997-1998
Robert Schmidt 1998-1999
Ray Hummel 1999-2000
Richard Dennis 2000-2001
Jacob Miller 2001-2002
Marion Rice 2002-2003
G. Andy Messer 2003-2004
Floyd Puryear 2004-2006
G. Fred Paul 2006-2007
Wayne Perkins 2007-2008
G. Dean Palmer 2008-2009
Charles Conover 2009-2010
Daniel Freye 2010-2011
David Wells 2011-2012
G. Fred Paul 2012-2013
John Conover 2013-2014
David L. Bishop 2014-2015