William M. Reid, Educator And Musician

August 19, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

William M. Reid, a former educator and musician, died of multiple organ failure Thursday at Sinai Hospital. The Columbia resident was 84.

Mr.Reid was born and raised in Hampton, Va., where he graduated from George P. Phenix Elementary-High School.

His college studies at Hampton Institute were interrupted when he was drafted into the Army in 1943.

After serving for three years in the Army Band, he continued his college education at Hampton, where he earned a bachelor's degree in music in 1950.

After teaching music in New Bern, N.C., for three years, he joined the faculty of the old Wiley Bates High School in Annapolis as a band instructor.

While teaching music during the day, Mr. Reid worked as a back-up musician at night.

Through the years, he performed with Ray Charles, Patti LaBelle, Lionel Hampton, Grover Washington, Jimmy Heath, Benny Carter and Grady Tate, said his son, Ronald Jones of Columbia.

He also worked in pit orchestras in Baltimore-Washington theaters, and after retiring from Bates in 1966, he was a visiting band instructor at schools throughout the state.

A Columbia resident since 1978, Mr. Reid retired as a visiting band instructor in the 1990s, but continued to work as a back-up musician until several years ago.

His wife of 24 years, the former Gloria B. Jones, an administrative principal at Fort Meade Elementary School, died in 2002.

Services for Mr. Reid will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Phillips Funeral Home, 721 N. Monroe St.

Mr. Reid is also survived by a sister, Cora Reid of Hampton, Va.; and two nephews.

- Frederick N. Rasmussen

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