Members of the Gulfport High School band look sharp in their new uniforms in this 1935 picture.
The band first organized on Oct. 20, 1935, with 23 members under the direction of Prof. Harold H. Ramsey. But by early November, the membership had climbed to 65 budding musicians.
It is likely that this photo was taken around May 3, 1935, the day that the 68-member band was due to travel to the Mississippi State Band Contest, which was held in Starkville that year.
The two-day state contest was the highlight of the year for every Mississippi high school band.
Band members put on dances, minstrels, rummage sales and special concerts to defray the expenses of the trip. Several Gulfport organizations also contributed. At the contest, the Gulfport High School band walked away with an "excellent" rating in marching and a "good" rating in concert. Solo and quartet performances received first honors.
In June 1935, Prof. Ramsey resigned and the band direction was taken over by Prof. Joe Berryman. Berryman served only to early September, when the band auxiliary appointed Prof. Don Martin as the new band master.
Murella H. Powell, a local historian, writes the weekly Flashback column. Do you have a local photograph to submit to Flashback? It can be of any subject or event in the Coast's distant or recent past. Please send a description with your name, address and daytime phone number to Flashback, the Sun Herald, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi MS 39535; or call 896-2424; or email email@example.com.