Born on January 23, 1918. Died on June 17, 2003
Jazz Musician and High School Band Director/Teacher
Interviewed by Cherri Carter,
2002 Visionary Heritage Fellow
Marcus Gunter was a dedicated educator and talented musician. Born on January 23, 1918 in Nashville, Tennessee, he earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Tuskegee Institute in 1939. While there, he played in a well-known dance band called the Tuskegee Melody Barons. He later went on to do graduate work at Julliard School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, Tennessee State University, Peabody College, and Fisk University. He was honored to have studied under William L. Dawson, composer of many classic Negro spirituals.
While at Tuskegee, Mr. Gunter was in the ROTC. He served his country during WW II as a Warrant Officer in the United States Army, commanding the U.S. Army Band in Europe.
After the war, he returned to Nashville and began a 39-year career as band director and music teacher at Pearl High School. He distinguished himself as one of the best musical directors in the area, and under Gunter's direction, the Pearl "Marching 100" was second to none. Distinctive sound and precision were his trademarks. He acted as an educator, mentor, and friend to both students and teachers.
URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/guntermarcus