When Tyler Morgan graduated from Centerville High School in 2009, he went to Central College with aspirations of becoming a band director.
It wasn’t until his sophomore year of college that Morgan started to learn about Centerville’s rich musical tradition. Now he is working on a comprehensive history so that others can feel as inspired as he does.
“I really didn’t know this history when I first started out,” he said. “I didn’t know anything farther than five years before me when I was actually in high school.”
Morgan graduated from Central College in May 2013 with a bachelor of arts in instrumental music education and accepted a position in the Wayne Community School District as the K–6 general music teacher, 5–7 grade band director and junior high choir director.
In addition, this will be the third summer that Morgan will serve as co-director of Centerville’s municipal band, along with Mark Taylor, Centerville’s 5–6 grade band director. This summer’s concerts will be May 29, June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26 and July 3 at 8 p.m. in the band shell on the Centerville square.
Morgan started learning about Centerville’s music history after getting involved with the Appanoose County Historical Society. He said CHS history teacher Susan McDanel contacted him one year when the group was short one reenactor for the annual Haunted History Tour. The experience piqued his interest, and Morgan started volunteering at the Appanoose County Historical & Coal Mining Museum.
One of his first museum assignments was to go through an extensive music collection donated by Frank Minckler’s family. Minckler directed the orchestra at the Majestic Theater during the silent movie era and was the last director of the high school orchestra program.
The more Morgan learned, the more he wanted to know. During college he came home most weekends and spent many of them at the museum or cemetery doing research on musicians with Centerville ties.