I'm Dale Ellis, also of the class of 1960, and I was a member of this choir. I'm the tall dude fourth from the left, on the back row. My condolences to you on the loss of your sister, Donnie. I recognize her, but can't say that I knew her very well. I definitely remember your cousin Billie Sue Slaton. She was a wonderful accompanist for our choir, and was a great force in making our choir successful. The director, far right in the white suit, is Bob Smith, a really wonderful person. I'm sure the picture was not 1960, as Bob Smith resigned and we had another director, Charlie Roberts, my senior year. Both directors were wonderful and very competent.
Please tell Billie Sue that I was always one of her admirers, and that in God's great scheme of things, I majored in music at Howard Payne University (College in those days) in Brownwood, became a choral director and elementary music teacher, taught one year in Brady, then moved to Ballinger where I taught for the next 37 years. I married Ida Lee Parker of Bronte, who also majored in music at Hardin-Simmons University. She is also an excellent accompanist. She taught music in San Angelo for eight years, taught private piano for several years after we married, and later began teaching primary music in grades Pre-K through two here in Ballinger. When I retired in 2004, they gave her all the elementary music classes that I taught, grades three, four, and five, so she now has all the elementary music classes. As for me, I'm still teaching high school and jr. high choir on a part-time basis. In addition to her teaching, Ida Lee accompanies all the choirs I direct, as well as those students who do UIL solos and ensembles, as she has for most of my career.
I certainly enjoyed seeing the picture. I felt that our experiences in the MHS Choir were wonderful and greatly contributed to our enjoyment of the high school experience.
Dale E. Ellis
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