The widow of an international jazz musician donates her musical instruments to students at Richland One

Dreher High School group principal Chris Lee, Dreher student Bryson Stakely and Richland One main group teacher Mary Lou Schweickert

Musical instruments belonging to the late international jazz musician Roger Pemberton, who played with legends such as The Jackson 5, Judy Garland and Ray Charles, will continue to make music as a gift to students of the Richland One band.

Pemberton’s family had only one stipulation about which students would receive the instruments after his death in January.

“His widow, Mildred Pemberton, wanted to make sure his instruments ended up in the hands of students who would love them and continue to play them,” said Mary Lou Schweickert, head teacher at Richland One. “I led a committee that worked with high school music teachers in the district to select students who plan to continue participating in music ensembles in college and beyond. »

Students who have received Pemberton’s instruments include Patience Miller of Eau Claire High School and high school students Dreher Bryson Stakely, Catherine Gillam, Taliyah Richardson and Daniela Manzano.

When presented with an instrument, a student remarked to Mrs. Pemberton: “I will not let this gift go to waste and I will ensure that your husband’s dream and passion lives on through his instrument.

Dreher High School student Catherine Gil lam and Dreher High School group director Dr. Chris Lee

Dreher High School student Catherine Gil lam and Dreher High School group director Dr. Chris Lee

Mr. Pemberton, who played alto saxophone and woodwinds, was an arranger for the Merv Griffin TV show and toured nationally with Sammy Davis Jr. He also performed with orchestras across the country, recorded albums with numerous artists and organized educational clinics. and concerts in the United States and Canada. In 1986, he moved to Columbia and served as jazz artist-in-residence at the University of South Carolina. He taught saxophone and was manager of the Left Bank Jazz Band in college. He retired from USC in 2000 as an emeritus professor emeritus.

Dreher High School Student Taliyah Richardson and Dreher High School Group Director Dr. Chris Lee

Dreher High School Student Taliyah Richardson and Dreher High School Group Director Dr. Chris Lee

Dreher High School student Daniela Manzano and Richland One core group teacher Mar y Lou Schweickert

Dreher High School student Daniela Manzano and Richland One core group teacher Mar y Lou Schweickert

Eau Claire High School student Patience Miller and Eau Claire High School Group Director Taylor Fowler

Eau Claire High School student Patience Miller and Eau Claire High School Group Director Taylor Fowler