In Honor and Loving Memory of the Life of
Raymond Brandon
ASBOA President and Executive Secretary, Emeritus

In His Own Words… 

 “Some of the most appreciative students I ever had were not necessarily the best musicians by any means.  The important thing is that they loved music, and many times, they are the people who needed it the most.  It seemed to add so much pride and feeling of importance to their school life.  I could give many examples of what music has done for students who have gone through the band.  There was a closeness in those groups, like family.  It was “heart” that bound them together for the sheer love of music for what music is all about.  To me, there is no emotional feeling that can come close to matching that of a great performance of music by a band, orchestra, or choir that has performed better than it is possible to do.  You can feel the emotion spreading throughout the entire ensemble like a fire that consumes.  No one has to say anything, but there may be tears flowing.  You can understand why I would not change anything in my life if it were to be lived over again, other than I would try to be more loving…”

Obituary from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Feature Article from AR Democrat-Gazette
Sign the ASBOA Tribute to Raymond Brandon Page  
Thanks from Lisa Doss
Thank you so much for the lovely arrangement of flowers sent in honor of my father.  But most especially, thank you for allowing Momma and Daddy, as well as myself, into your lives on a personal, professional and musical level.  It has been “our” privilege to share in this life with all of you. May God Bless you for remembering my family during this difficult time.

I was in the NLR band 1960-63. Mr Brandon was one of two teachers my three years in high school who still stand out in my memories, and who had a profound influence on me. I feel like I was one of those students he wrote about in the quote in this article. He introduced me to a lifelong love of real music.
He had me do a report to the band on music from Das Rheingold that we were playing. It led to the subject matter of my senior class English research paper on the entire Ring. Likewise as to selections from Ein Heldenleben which led to research on Strauss; and it goes on and on. I had then, and still do now, more respect for him than any other teacher I had in high school. He evoked respect in every aspect; a true gentleman. For my three years we played difficult music, and the band always performed well at contests. There was an espirit de corps that could not be described. He commanded group discipline which taught us self discipline. I do not see that today. I have not seen mentioned the fact that the NLR yearbook was dedicated to him in 1961: a huge statement of the respect he earned in the whole school.
There were times we were not up to standard, but never once can I remember him ever being critical, demeaning or resentful to us. We were praised for good work, and encouraged to improve when we needed it; but never an unkind or impatient comment. The most important characteristics to me as a student were his authority, dedication, patience, and human kindness.
It was my great privilege to rekindle the relationship with him in the NLR Community Band for a number of years. It was deja vu. My high school director, and many of my friends from high school together again under the same baton. Until schedule problems caused me to drop out, the community band, even after Mr. Brandon retired was a big part of my life. I keep hoping to return.
Words cannot describe how much I appreciate the influence Mr. Brandon had on me. He was truly a giant in music and as a human being.
Raymond Harrill -

My sincere condolences at the loss of your father. Like many Mr. Brandon was a great influence in my life and I will always hold a special place in my heart for him.
Gary Deaton -
With deep thanks to Mr. Brandon, I have been a professional musician for all of my life. He will be missed greatly. My fondest memory was his pre-football season adamant phrase spoken through the bull horn...NO NO NO BAND!!! Can't you take 3 steps to five yards....DO IT AGAIN!!!! May he rest in God's eternity and peace.
HIOCTAVE@COX.NET - Virginia Beach,Va.
Although I came through bands too late to have witnessed Mr. Brandon "in-action", I have learned through my years as a teacher just how much Mr. Brandon meant (and will always mean) to the band world here in Arkansas.
From the reputation he built as a superb conductor and teacher, to his tireless work for the bands in this state for many years through ASBOA, Mr. Brandon gave of his life for us all to have the opportunities that we now enjoy. Music in the State of Arkansas owes an un-repayable debt to J. Raymond Brandon. May we all represent him as we step on the podium and teach our kids.
Michael Battenfield
I think what the Apostle Paul did in the 1st century to spread Christianity can be a direct comparison to what Mr. Brandon did to strengthen the band movement in Arkansas.
Sean Carrier -
What a tremendous loss to all of us with an Arkansas public school musical heritage.
Randy Mealer - Director of Bands - Republic R-3 Schools -