Ocean Springs High School Band

Ocean Springs High School Band ray Wed, 04/21/2010 - 09:55


Top Row, L-R: T.J. Ames, director; George Friar; Daniel B. Van Court; Russell Carver; and John Seymour

Middle Row, L-R: Robert Friar; Frank E. Schmidt; George Dick; William T. Ames; Uriah Joachim; and Albert E. Lee

Bottom Row, L-R: Lloyd Netto; Ed Simmons; George Dale; and Bob Tucker.  [Courtesy of Peggy Carver Deshommes]


The Ocean Springs Brass Band was organized in late March with the following leadership: George L. Friar (1869-1924), pres.; Russell A. Carver (1888-1961), vice-pres.; George C. Pabst (1881-1949), sec.; Ira W. Simmons (1867-1919), treas.; and Theodore J. Ames (1876-1927), band director.  The group planned concerts in Marshall Park and to perform at local baseball games.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 25, 1915, p. 1)





In late September, Al Pesses, proprietor of the Biloxi Music Company and former bandmaster at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut, met with OSHS students to organize a school band of about twenty musicians.  Miss Eulalie Seymour was named band manager.(The Daily Herald, September 28, 1933, p. 2)  



Marie L. Ratelle Preis (1911-1965) was born at Ocean Springs, the daughter of Albert Paul Ratelle (1870-1920) and Maria Josephine Faessel (1877-1946) of New Orleans.  She attended the Sacred Heart Academy at Biloxi and was a graduate of the Class of 1930.  She studied music there.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1930, p. 5)

Miss Ratelle matriculated to Dominican College at New Orleans to continue her academic studies.(The Daily Herald, December 29, 1932, p. 2)

In February 1939, Marie Louise Ratelle married Edward Jacquet Preis (1913-1996), the son of Dr. Emily Preis, of New Orleans at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, February 18, 1939)


1939-1940 OSHS Ban

top [l-r]: Marie L. Ratelle Preis (1911-1965), director; Harold I. Illing Jr. (1922-1989); Carl Hesey Byrd; ?; ?

middle [l-r]: ?;   ?;  Merlyn Mauterer?;  Kathryn Shanteau [McNeil] (b. 1926); Elaine Young Miheve (1922-2008); Evelyn Beaugez; ?

bottom [l-r] ?; Betty Noel?; ?; ?; J.D. Williams?; Miriam Eley; ?; Betty Page Seay; and ?



Corrine “Cody” E. McClure (1887-1961) taught private music lessons and music at Ocean Springs High School.  Miss McClure was well educated having studied at Whitmore College, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the Chicago School of Music, and Birmingham Southern.  Her residence was on Ward Avenue.  Cody McClure never married.  She expired in 1961.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Perkinston Cemetery at Stone County, Mississippi.


1943-1944 OSHS Band


Director: Corrine E. McClure (1887-1961)

Band officers: Harold Eley, Captain; Lowell Davis, 1st Lt.; and 2nd Lt. Elaine Young.  

Band members: Karl Byrd, Evelyn Beaugez, Billie Bunch, Charles Davis, Lowell Davis, Tillie Davis, Harold Eley, Miriam Eley, Billy Hodges, Bob Hodges, Harold Illing (1922-1989), Lynn Johnson, Jeanne King, Merlyn Mauterer, Mary Joe Milner, Russell Moran (1930-1981), Betty Noel, Bobby Richards, Patsy Richards, Charles Rouse, Helen Rupp, Betty Page Seay, Kathryn Shanteau (McNeill), Ronald Steelman (1926-2002), Grace Van Winkle, E.J. Webb, P.J. “Jackie” Wieder Jr. (1926-1993), Martha Weyerstall (Potter) (1922-1988), J.D. Williams, and Elaine Young (Miheve).



John Fletcher was a native of Georgia.  He appears to have replaced Cody McClure in the fall of 1947.  Billy Joe Butler (1934-2001), Captain; Gwen Beaugez, Head Majorette.  Thirty-nine band members.(Hi Daze, 1950. p. 18)



Harry Johnson Kanady (1898-1988) was well educated.  He was awarded the Doctorate of Music from the University of Iowa.  His other degrees were from the Cincinnati Conservatory, Master of Music and the University of Cincinnati, M.A.  Professor Kanady married Mary E. Kanady (1909-1992).  Professor Kanady had come to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Fayette, Iowa where he had been head of the division of fine arts of the Upper Iowa University since 1948.  In October 1951, he opened the Gulf Coast School of Music at 210 Croesus Street at Biloxi.  He offered beginning and advanced courses in piano, voice, instruments and all branches of theory including orchestral and choral aranging and composition.  The family initially lived at No. 3 East Porter Street in Ocean Springs.  Jeanne, his oldest daughter, was in nurses training at Michael-Reese Hopital in Chicago, Illinois.  Catharine Anne lived with her parents.(The Daily Herald, October 8, 1951, p. 6)


When Harry J. Kanady began his tenure as band director at Ocean Springs High School in the fall of 1951, there were twenty-five students in the marching band.  Billy Joe Butler was the captain and Gwen Beaugez, the head majorette.(1952 Hi Memories, p. 21)


Mrs. Kanady taught piano and organ at Ocean Springs for forty-one years.  She was the organist at St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church for forty years.  Harry and Mary were the parents of two daughters: Jeanne K. Al Jabi and Kathy Kanady.  Harry J. Kanady expired at Ocean Springs on May 5, 1988 while Mary Elizabeth Kanady passed on August 5, 1992.  Their corporal remains were interred in the Crestlawn Memorial Park cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 12, 1988, p. 3 and August 13, 1992, p. 7)


1953-1954 OSHS Band (1954 High Memories)

Band Director: Harry J. Kanady


Top [l-r]: Chester Estes Jr.; Ed Dorroh; Raymond Page; Walter Ross; Thomas bellman; Billy Cook; and Dicky Chambers.

Third Row [l-r]: Edward Taconi (1939-1998); Charlie Voivedich; Dot Poole; Jerry Seymour; Lois Barrileau; Gerald Van Court; Peggy Williams; and Linda Dalgo (Bradford).

Second Row [l-r]: Jacquelyn Miller; Larry Galle; Nancy George; Carolyn Pierce; Mary Williams; Mary Fountain; Judy Speed; Diane Lemon (Cuicchi); Helen Beckham; Wanda Seymour; and Sue Garland.

Bottom Row [l-r]: Joy Rouse; Jimmy Dorroh; Howard Glass; Alfred Speed; Ernest Steelman; Paul DeFrank; Oliver Latil; Judy Ryan; Patricia Endt (Latil); Nancy Loper (Martin-Wilson), and Judy Webb.


Front Row [l-r]: Barbara Lowery; Helen Ryan; and Fran Spencer (King) (1942-1963)

Second Row [l-r]: Janell Michel; Jonne Gay (Polina); Donnie Jean Lowery (Beaugez); Ann Fiebelhorn; Carolyn Carter; and Barbara Steelman.



Joseph G. Ello



Joseph “Joe” G. Ello Jr. (1922-2007) was born at New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Joseph G. Ello (1901-1996) and Cora M. Ello (1901-1988).  His father was a book keeper and the family was domiciled in the 9th Ward, Orleans Parish, Louisiana on Independence Street.  Before his enlistment in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WW II, Joe worked as an addressing-embossing machine operator in the Crescent City. He came to Ocean Springs in 1962 from Pearl River Junior College at Poplarville, Mississippi where he had been band director and instructor since 1953.  Joe earned a BS in Musical Education from Loyola (NOLA), an M.S. from LSU, and completed some graduate studies at Florida State University and USM.  Joe Ello increased the size of the Greyhound band from forty to fifty members to one hundred twenty-three by 1964.  He also worked with the Sacred Heart Academy Band at Biloxi.  Joe Ello married to Jeanne Louise Leche (1935-1991).  Three daughters came from this sacred union: Terry E. Stebly; Geri E. Fields Tannehill; and Carol E. Dale.(1930 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census R807, p. 68B, ED 144 and The Ocean Springs News, May 14, 1964, p. 7 and The Ocean Springs Record, June 19, 1969, and August 1, 1991, p. 7)


Joe Ello left Ocean Springs High School and in the fall of 1966? and became department head of the Jackson County Community College fine arts department.  In addition, he was choral director of the Singing River Singers.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 19, 1969)


In late December 2006, The Scharr-Ello Music Studio was dedicated in the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center at Ocean Springs.  It was named for Orwin Joseph Scharr (1914-2002), Ruth Dickey White Scharr (1913-2000) and Joseph G. Ello.  Designed by Cowart Architectural of Ocean Springs, the studio provides a venue for musicians to practice and record.  Joe Ello who was present at the dedication said, "it's amazing.  The workmanship and equipment are first class.  So much hard work went into this.  The community should be proud."   The 'Un "Beatle" bles, a band composed of Travis Scharr, Alex Scharr, Jamie Favors, and Bradley Dale assisted in the fund raising for the music studio project by staging several "Beatles" concerts at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center.  Their financial contribution exceeded $55,000.  The Scharr brothers are grandsons of Orwin and Ruth Dickey Scharr while Bradley Dale is the grandson of Joe and Jeanne L. Ello.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 4, 2007,  p. B4)


Joseph G. Ello expired at Ocean Springs on January 27, 2007.  In addition to his children and grandchildren, he was survived by Marthann Eldridge Ello, his spouse, and James Ello, a brother, of Harahan, Louisiana.  Joseph G. Ello was not only influential to his musical students, but the social consciousness he developed while being reared during the Depression years at New Orleans, allowed him to become an independent thinker in regards: religion, social justice, national and foreign affairs, and racial diversity.(The Sun Herald, January 31, 2007, p. A8)             


Ronald J. Beverin



Ronald J. Beverin (1938-2011) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi to John C. Beverin (1895-1989) and Josephine Jelusich Beverin.  He matriculated to LSU and graduated in Music Education. Circa 1964, Mr. Beverin married Barbara Lambert of Jayess, Lawrence County, Mississippi. They were the parents of: Beth Beverin m. Gary Vanderslice and Natalie Beverin m. Edward Schlegel.(The Sun Herald, June 26, 2011, p. A12)


Prior to arriving at Ocean Springs, R.J. Beverin had been at Biloxi Central Junior High School for three years; D’Iberville High School for two years; and Harrison Central High School for one year following his degree at LSU.  Mr. Beverin also taught instrumental music and directed the concert band while at OSHS.  After earning a MS. Education degree, Ronald Beverin worked at the OSJH as a counselor before his retirement.  In addition, he was a charter member of the Gulf Coast Symphony orchestra and played wiht them for forty years.(The Ocean Springs News, July 14, 1966, p. 1 and The Sun Herald, June 26, 2011, p. A12)


Ronald Beverin expired on June 24, 2011 at Vancleave, Mississippi.  His corporal remains were interred in the Ramsay Cemetery [Vancleave Cemetery No. 2] on June 27, 2011.(The Sun Herald, June 26, 2011, p. A12)            


In October 1971, Jim McDanielband director of the OSHS band was elected president of the Merry Makers.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 7, 1971, p. 3)




Thomas Walley came to Ocean Springs High School in 1974, with a B.S. degree in Musical Education from Delta State University.  He left OSHS to become band director at St. Martin High School.(David Allen-June 2009)




William “Bill” Watts (1952-1986) came to OSHS in 1977 after serving as the assistant band director to Badrae Hannah at D'Iberville High School.  He received his Bachelor of Music Education from USM circa 1975, where he was also the USM "Pride of Mississippi" drum major.  He left OSHS in 1980 to become band director at Moss Point High School.  Bill died in December 1986.(David Allen-June 2009)




Ron Williams acquired his music education at Perkinston Jr. College and USM where he was awarded at Masters in Music Education.  He came to Ocean Springs from Stone County High School at Wiggins, Mississippi.  He taught for years afterward at West Point (MS) High School, until his retirement within the last decade.  He remains an active band clinician and adjudicator still today.(David Allen-June 2009)

OSHS Band Travel Trailer

[image by Ray L. Bellande-June 2009]



Joseph A. Cacibauda Jr.


1984-present day

Joseph “Mr. Joe” Anthony Cacibauda Jr.  was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He began playing music in a family band at the age of twelve. Joe has his B.M. Ed and M.M. Ed. from Southeastern Louisiana University at Hammond, Louisiana He completed some graduate studies in music at LSU and USM. Mr. Cacibauda came to Ocean Springs as Director of Bands in March 1984. Prior to arrival here,  he was Director of Bands at Bay High in Bay St. Louis (1972-1977), St. Martin High School (1977-1978), Biloxi School Dist. (1979 – March 1984). Mr. Joe continues to play professionally and is the Chairman of the Fine Arts Department at Ocean Springs.(Joe Cacibauda Jr., January 2, 2006)

In April 2010, Joe Cacibauda was named 'Mississippi's 2009 Director Who Makes a Difference' by School Band and Orchestra magazine.  Mr. Cacibauda has led the Blue-Gray Pride for twenty-five years and has thirty-seven years in applied music education.(The Sun Herald, April 11, 210, p. A17)



Mr. Joseph “Mr. Joe” Anthony Cacibauda died peacefully at his home in Ocean Springs on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, with his loving wife and children at his side. 


Mr. Joe – as he was known to most – was born in New Orleans, La., as the youngest child of the late Lillian and Joseph Cacibauda Sr. A musician from the very beginning, his father purchased him a set of drums when he was 10 and by the time he was 12, he was playing in weddings with a group of his cousins who were in need of a drummer. By 15, he was playing in nightclubs in the New Orleans area with his cousins. 


Joe would go on to know and play with some of the greats, including B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Leon Kelner, Joan Rivers, Rich Little, Don Rickles, Regis Philbin, Mel Tormé, and The Platters, but teaching music to generations of students would become his life’s work. 


Joe earned both Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Music Education from Southeastern Louisiana and, in 1972, became the band director at Bay High School in Bay St. Louis, Miss. – starting what would become a 43-year career sharing his passion for music. Stints with St. Martin High School and Michele Junior High in Biloxi would follow. 


Joe left an impact everywhere he went, but his greatest legacy will forever be at Ocean Springs High School. When he took over the program in 1984, there were 38 students in the high school band and just 85 in all grades. By the time he retired in 2015, there were 274 in the high school band, with nearly 700 in the band program in grades 6-12.The Blue-Grey Pride band -- a name Joe coined himself after arriving in Ocean Springs -- received All-Superior recognition, the highest a band can achieve, in 28 of his 31 years at OSHS. Additionally, the All-Superior sweepstakes award was launched in 2007, and Joe's band earned that distinction all eight years prior to his retirement. 


In addition, 100 percent of the students who came out of Joe's band program had the opportunity for junior or senior college scholarships, if they chose to pursue them. In May of 2015, when Joe conducted his final concert at OSHS, it was announced the school’s band hall would be renamed in his honor. 


Away from school, Joe was an avid baseball fan and a lifelong New York Yankees fan. He also loved all things Disney and particularly enjoyed his many trips to Walt Disney World, both with the band for performances and with his family. 


But for all Joe’s passions and interests, there was no greater love in his life than his family. He and his wife, Rose Van Acker-Cacibauda married in 1986 and are the parents of three children: son, JT and daughters, Alexa and Zoe Cacibauda of whom he was immensely proud. 


At the time of his retirement, Joe was asked about his plans. “I’ll be around,” he said – and he was right. Every time a student walks into the band hall bearing his name, every time a former student passes along his or her love of music, every time a band director at Ocean Springs High School collects an All-Superior trophy or other award, it will be because of Joe Cacibauda’s lasting impact on his school, students, and community. 


He is preceded in death by his parents, Lillian and Joseph Cacibauda Sr.; and his sisters, Eliza Loyacano and Antoinette Harper. 


He is survived by his wife, Rose; his children, JT, Alexa, and Zoe; his sister, Patricia Harder; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. 


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Joe’s family will be holding a private service, but recognizing the number of people who want to honor and celebrate his life, details regarding a public memorial service will be announced at a later date. 


The family would also like to thank Dr. Brian Persing, Nicholas Pendleton, Hospice of Light, and all those who provided for Joe’s care. 


In addition, in lieu of flowers, a band scholarship in Joe’s honor will be established, with details on that also to follow. 


Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, Ocean Springs is honored to serve this family. 




2007 Biloxi Bay Bridge Dedication

[images by Ray L. Bellande on November 1, 2007]


OSHS Band trailer and truck-November 2013



WPA For Mississippi Historical Data-Jackson County“Music”, ‘Miss Corinne McClure’, (State Wide Historical Project-1936-1937), p. 371.


The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, December 29, 1932.

The Daily Herald, "Ocean Springs to have School Band", September 28, 1933.  

The Daily Herald, “Kanady opening studio”, October 8, 1951.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Marie Ratelle”, January 13, 1965.

The Gazette, "",

The Jackson County Times, “Preis-Ratelle”, February 18, 1939.

 The Ocean Springs News, "Brass Band is organized", March 25, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Ramblings”, May 14, 1964.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Joe Ello tonight on music therapy", June 19, 1969.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Harry Johnson Kanady”, May 12, 1988.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Mary Elizabeth Kanady”, August 13, 1992. 

The Ocean Springs Record, “A vision realized: Scharr/Ello Music Studio a tribute to tenacity of family, community", January 4, 2007.

The Ocean Springs Record, ""Student faculty band has something for everyone", May 26, 2010, p. 1.

The Sun Herald, "Mr. Joseph G. Ello Jr.", January 31, 2007.

The Sun Herald, "Ello was teacher, learner", February 1, 2007, p. A5.

The Sun Herald, "OSHS band director wins 2009 state award", April 11, 2010, p. A17.

The Sun Herald, "Ronald Beverin", June 26, 2011, p. A-12.

The Sun Herald, "Joseph Cacibauda", September  2020, p.


Personal Communication:

Joseph A. Cacibauda, telephone conversation at Ocean Springs, Mississippi-January 2, 2006.

David Allen, e-mail from Gulfport, Mississippi in June 2009.