Ketchikan honored one of its greats this week.
Roy McPherson, the community’s renown band musician and maestro, attended this week’s Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meeting where Mayor Rodney Dial signed a proclamation describing McPherson’s accomplishments.
McPherson is a respected, long-time local personality, both in the Ketchikan School District and at McPherson Music, most recently located in the West End.
Through the years, McPherson’s was the place for fledgling and seasoned musicians alike.
The store supplied all things musical — music books, guitar strings, reeds and mouthpieces, as well as instruments and recordings of the greatest in musicians.
With all things supplied, McPherson and his wife, Tina, founded the Ketchikan Community Concert Band, which he directed for about 20 years.
The First City has benefitted time and time again since McPherson arrived here. He came with both a bachelor’s and a master’s of music degree from Central Michigan University.
McPherson taught at Ketchikan High School for 10 years, imparting his passion for band to students who became accomplished in their own right.
He was the first music teacher selected for the Alaska High School Hall of Fame — in 2010, according to the proclamation. He also received the Meritorious Service Award from the University of Alaska Southeast.
The McPhersons opened McPherson Music in 1987. Later, the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce recognized the pursuit as Business of the Year.
The chamber also selected the McPhersons as Citizens of the Year in 2004.
McPherson has been instrumental in staging bands that have performed at both the Jerry Galley and Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship Concerts. The events, which are in remembrance of two high schools students who died while in school here, are fundraisers for music and art scholarships.
Many folks in Ketchikan have a McPherson memory — the music lessons, the weekly practices, the camaraderie and pleasure in perfecting performances.
The delight — as a parent or other community member — in hearing big band and jazz band sounds resonating at the store and at local auditoriums.
Not to mention visiting the store to browse and touch the music and instruments, being part of a treasure in the heart of Ketchikan.
McPherson’s decided to sell the store in 2017. It later closed.
But the sound of music resonating as a result of the McPhersons’ passion for the instrument and what can be done with it continues to entertain the First City.
McPherson has earned his applause. It’s pleasing that the borough is providing it in terms of the proclamation.
May the band play on.