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you are here:   CHS  >>  Hall of Fame  >>  2006 Induction  >>  Arts/Educator

Arts/Educator - Harold Kepler

Harold Kepler
Harold Kepler, the first director of bands at Century High School when it opened in 1975, wrote the Century school song, but his passion for music was also amplified throughout the community where he was known as "Mr. Music " because of his dedication and participation in numerous musical groups. Harold's vision established the concept of the Patriot Band whose tradition continues to stir patriotic sentiment within our local community and our nation.

A lifetime of ‘firsts' complement Harold's career as he was the first band leader to start a high school band in Larimore, ND (1949-1953); the first band director when Bismarck Junior College opened (1953-1957); the first band director when Hughes Junior High was established (1958-1975); the first director of bands at Century High School when it opened its doors in time for the nation's bicentennial. From 1975 until 1986, when he retired, Harold showcased the Patriot band in 11 nationwide tours from Philadelphia to Indianapolis, from Orlando to Vancouver, from Washington, D.C. to Pasadena. In 1980, the Patriot band became the "first" high school band from North Dakota to participate in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.

Aside from school involvement, Harold also inspired several community music groups and service organizations: he organized and directed The Plainsmen community men's chorus, which was named the Governor's chorus in 1962 and represented North Dakota at the New York World's Fair in 1964. The Plainsmen also won the coveted William F. Cody Award for preserving music of the West. Harold was also a charter member of Doc Lindelow's Dixieland Band from 1979-1989.

Throughout his career, Harold was bestowed many awards and honors for his dedication to the music profession, most notably: North Dakota Teacher of the Year (1972), Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association (1986), and induction into the North Dakota Music Educators' Hall of Fame (1991).

Wherever he was and whatever he was doing, whether it be the American Legion, the Elks, Kiwanis, the El Zagal Shrine, McCabe United Methodist Church, school or at home, Harold Kepler always brought music with him.

"He established many traditions and set the tone for the future of the band program and what it would be known for."

- Timothy Fogderud, CHS band director -

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