My Mentor

I met Mr. Summerville my senior year in high school. Central was doing a concert at Robeson Elementary School and I was directing the band. He asked me where I was going to school when I graduated and I told him I wasn’t sure at that time so he said alright. He made one phone call to Mr. Strong the director over the band at UAPB (at that time called Arkansas A.M. & N) and I had a scholarship. Mr. Strong (the band director) said well if you say she’s good Willie then that’s good enough. Mr. Summerville took many of us under his wings and taught us how to work together and be a team and to help others. Whenever I came to a service he would put me on the piano and let me play with him while he was on the organ. I could go on and on and on but I’ll stop here,  I am very honored to have had him as my teacher/mentor. Many things he taught us I find myself doing them all the time. He along with Val treated me like family no one was a stranger to them. I’m missing him already in a powerful way but I will keep his legacy moving forward. Derrick, Shandra and William you know how I feel about you I know you heard it over and over but thank you for sharing your father with us it has made me a better person and definitely a better musician.

Tribute by Deborah K Banks