Letter: North Rowan’s Dunlap will be missed in community

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 6, 2020

Charles R. Dunlap, North Rowan’s own “Music Man,” passed away January 23rd, leaving behind a legacy of music and lives forever touched.

Mere words cannot express what he meant to the North Rowan community.

Starting in 1958, the year North Rowan High opened, until 2000, he was North’s first and only band director. Under his direction, the band program at North grew until it had 350 members (one of the largest high school bands in the country).

Mr. D, as he was known, brought recognition and honor to Rowan County through his band’s many accomplishments. Some of which included marching in the Lion’s International parade in New York, Orange Bowl parade in Miami, and Cotton Bowl parade in Dallas, Texas. The band also performed at Disney World.

During competitions, his bands continued to win the highest honors because that is what he demanded and what his students wanted to do for him.

He made every student feel important, whether you were the best musician or not. He took time with each student individually and brought out the best in each. More than one student said Mr. D saw something in them no one else did.

Mr. Dunlap engaged the North community to work together and support their students through the North Rowan Band Association. All he had to do was ask and members would work hard to get whatever Mr. D needed or wanted for his bands.

He also had an excellent chorus program with over 80 members. In 1967, the chorus and drama club presented “The Music Man” and, the following year, “Hello Dolly.”

He kept many students out of trouble by giving them a purpose and making them work hard through endless practice and discipline. His halftime shows were fabulous and many people came to watch the shows as much as the games.

There is so much more that I could say about this remarkable man, but space does not permit it. So I will close by saying we love you Mr. Dunlap, our “Music Man.”

Susan Everhart