Addison Ernest Lightfoot
© Culpeper TimesAddison Ernest Lightfoot, youngest of the five children of Addison D. Lightfoot and Mabel D. Yager Lightfoot, was born on May 2, 1933, in Culpeper County, Virginia. He departed this life on Friday, March 15, 2013.
Mr. Lightfoot's own musical path began when his parents banded together with other parents to provide a music program for their children. He was no more than 11 years old when he picked up the trumpet, which he played through high school and Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia, where he earned a bachelor's degree in music education. His parents saw implementation of the music program could be a vital link that could give students a sense of well-being - and in his case, it gave him his vocation. While in college, Mr. Lightfoot "Lighty" or "The Man on the Horn" was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps, a member of the Reserve Officers Band and commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army. He served briefly at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Mr. Lightfoot began his career in music education in 1955 as a band director and teacher in Halifax, Virginia and continued as a band, choir and music teacher in Fieldale (Martinsville), Virginia (1956-1958). Teaching runs in the family, in addition to Mr. Lightfoot, his brother and each of his three sisters were educators. He also has brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who were educators.
As in Culpeper, it was another group of parents who years later asked him to offer the same kind of opportunity to Fauquier County African-American students. Upon the urging of Miss Ann Nelson of Warrenton, Mrs. Lightfoot sent a letter to then school superintendent C.M. Bradley. She inquired about the establishment of a music program for African-American students in Fauquier County. The suggestion was initially disregarded. After active interest by the local NAACP organization, a program was established. Mr. Lightfoot was offered a job teaching music at the then all-black W. C. Taylor High School in Warrenton. He founded the concert, combo and marching band program at Taylor. The students initially wore white shirts and black pants to march. The band developed quickly and took first place at the local Christmas band competition. The marching band soon became known as the Pride of Fauquier County and was requested to perform all around the region. It played familiar tunes such as "Winchester Cathedral", "King of the Road" and "Baby Elephant Walk". Mr. Bernard Smith and Mr. Tommy Marshall were among the drum majors leading the early Taylor bands. Mr. Lightfoot taught at Taylor from 1959 to 1969. During the period in which the schools were being integrated, he taught music at Marshall, Coleman and Northwestern schools until 1974. Mr. Lightfoot also played in a popular regional jazz band called the "Swinging Knights". Many of his friends and former students played in the band over the years.
From 1974 to 1998, Addison Lightfoot was the band director at Fauquier High School. Thousands of music students have received the benefit of his instruction and many have gone on to musical careers as performers, educators and business people. The concert, symphonic and marching bands at Fauquier High school routinely won awards. Some of the best memories were the band trips to New Orleans, Canada and Disney.
Addison lived in Gainesville, Virginia with his wife of 56 years, Pat. He was an avid fan of jazz and, in addition to his musical expertise, was an accomplished "Mr. Fix-It". Their three children Ernest, Alison and Branch also had the advantage of his musical and fix-it tutelage.
Addison leaves his wife of 56 years, A. Patricia Porter Lightfoot, their 3 children, ; ; and ; and goddaughter . He also leaves his brother Calvin Lightfoot and sister Harriet Richardson (David); and brothers in law, William Harris, Presley Reed, and Conway Porter (Miriam); and sister-in-law June Penn and nieces, nephews, extended family and a host of friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Addison E. Lightfoot Auditorium at Fauquier High School in Warrenton, Virginia on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 12 Noon. A "Meet and Greet" at 10:00 AM will precede the funeral services. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be given to the Addison Lightfoot Music Scholarship or a charity of choice.
Interment with military honors will be at Tapscott Family Cemetery, Warrenton, Virginia.
On line condolences can be given at www.joynesfuneralhome.com