The Ormond Beach Middle School Bands paid tribute to longtime former band director Walter Bailey on Wednesday, May 17, with a special tribute concert in his honor.
The concert, themed “The Stars Come Out at Night,” was held at the Seabreeze High School Auditorium and attended by many of Bailey’s former students as well as current band students’ families and local band directors, both current and former, like band directors Earl Williams, of Mainland High School, and Dave Smith, of Seabreeze High School, who taught during the same decades as Bailey.
Bailey was the band director of OBMS (formerly known as Ormond Beach Junior High) from 1966-1997. When the Observer asked what he liked about being a band director, Bailey, 81, said, “It was always about the students.”
Bailey was presented with a new OBMS band sweatshirt with his nickname, “Uncle Fuzzy,” emblazoned on the lapel. In turn, he gave current OBMS Band Director Sonya Shearer the hoodie his students gave him over 30 years ago.
Bailey also received a proclamation and key to the city from City Commissioner Harold Briley, who played trumpet in Bailey’s band 38 years ago.
“He is a legend,” Briley said during the concert. “It’s an honor for me to be here tonight to present you, Mr. Bailey, with this proclamation from the city of Ormond Beach.”