North Carolina
Bandmasters
Association


Bernard Hirsch
Past President - 1946-1947 & 1960-1962
2003 Hall of Fame Inductee


He was born in Aberdeen, S.D., and was a former resident of Sylva. The son of the late William M. and Catherine Deschner Hirsch, he received his both his bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University at Michigan. (Nicholas Falcone's brilliant leadership came to an end in the early 1930s when he suffered the most terrible affliction that could befall a musician -- the loss of hearing. As Falcone's condition deteriorated, the band functioned as best it could under various student leaders. One of Falcone's top students, Bernard Hirsch, was appointed acting conductor for the 1934-35 school year.) He did post-graduate work at Columbia University in New York.

He was named Man of the Year in Marion in 1954 and was a member of Francis Marion Club, Lenoir Lions Club, a member of the N.C. Band Masters Association and the N.C. Music Educators Association. He was band director at Marion High School from 1935-1942, Hanes High School and Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem in 1946, Marion High School 1947-1958 and Lenoir High School from 1958-1969.

While in Sylva he served as assistant director of Smoky Mountain Cultural Arts Development Association from 1969-71 and director of Two Arts, Cultural Three from 1971-74. Both SMCADA and TACT were federal program geared toward providing art and music education for students in the region.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II where he served in New Guinea and Borneo and was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.