BHS Auditorium Named in Honor of Former Music Teacher

The Brooke High School auditorium soon will be named for a long-time music teacher and choir director at the school.
The Brooke County Board of Education has agreed to name the facility in honor of Richard W. “Rick” Taylor at the request of Roy James, one of many students who received instruction from Taylor during his 32 year tenure at the school.
Throughout those years, Taylor served as choir director, at times leading as many as five ensembles that performed 20 concerts in a year. Among them was the madrigal choir, whose members dressed in Medieval style costumes and were so well known for their a capella singing they were invited to perform in Europe in 1991 for an event marking the 50th anniversary observance of D-Day.
Taylor also served as assistant band director and directed 28 of the school’s theatrical productions, many of them in the auditorium that will bear his name.
Plans call for the auditorium’s new designation to become official at a reunion concert of at least 130 former members of the madrigal choir.
The concert is set for March 25, at 2 p.m., and admission will be a monetary donation to the school’s music department or a non-perishable food or toiletry item for Bruins Helping Bruins, a food pantry based at the school.
Former members of the madrigal choir have kept in touch through the Brooke High School Madrigal Choir Alumni Facebook page.
Superintendent Jeff Crook says the auditorium is the first to be named following the school board’s adoption of a procedure and policy for such recognition.
The board moved Taylor’s name be affixed to the auditorium for two years, though it may be renewed, a move Crook suggested was best for any honoree who is living.
In addition to allowing community members to nominate individuals for such recognition, the policy also allows the board to consider naming rights to a business or other entity that has made a significant contribution to the school district.
The auditorium was added to the high school in 1988 and has been undergoing a number of improvements in recent months. Last summer, the stage’s curtain and rigging were replaced for more than $80,000, and the exterior doors to the hall were placed last month for about $32,000.
The board also is seeking bids for new seating and a new sound system.
In the latest of a series of improvements to the high school, the board accepted bids of $77,847 from the R.M. Huffman Co. $17,433 from OES Inc., respectively, for new bleachers and two scoreboards for its auxiliary gym.