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Ironton band director left lasting legacy with students

I am saddened to learn of the passing of Ralph Falls, my teacher, my band director and my friend.

I was a musician in the Ironton High School “Million Dollar Marching Band” from 1966 through 1969. I’ve no doubt many people will write with accolades for Ironton’s band director.

We are legion.

Ralph Falls taught us music and marching but also taught us pride in our work. We were expected to take the field or the concert auditorium practiced, polished and prepared. Mr. Falls would accept no less and we loved him for it.

It was a life lesson.

I am now living in Oregon and reading reports online. I understand there is a band shelter to be named for Mr. Falls. I think that’s wonderful.

I would submit in addition that the IHS band room itself might be named for Mr. Falls.

That is where he taught us — decades of us — encouraged us, inspired us, critiqued us, and made us proud to be a member of the Million Dollar Marching Band because he was visibly proud to direct us.

We have all been spread all over the globe yet I dare say that when we hear any high school band … we will think of Ralph Falls and we will smile.

We will all smile.

Thank you, Mr. Falls.

Bob Miller

Ironton High School

Class of 1969