Charles Bates

Special Honorary Achievement

Following his graduation from Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio in 1921 Charlie Bates received an offer to teach chemistry at Ravenna High School. He came to teach and stayed to marry, raise a family, become known as “the music man” and a beloved science teacher for two generations of students during his 36 years of tenure at Ravenna High School. Summers were spent at Columbia University graduate school. His experience in the Atwater Silver Cornet Band and U.S Army Regimental Band caused “Charlie” to be chosen to form a band at the new high school on Clinton Street. The band Charlie formed in 1925 went on to much acclaim and earned him the honorary title of “Mr. Music Man”. The band continues to enjoy a reputation for excellence which traces it roots to the days of Charlie Bates. Charlie also organized the Ravenna City Band who are long remembered for their outstanding summer concerts in City Park. Those same bandsmen shared their talents to accompany silent movies in the local theatres and assisted with the local American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps. By 1931 Charlie began to concentrate on his Chemistry, Physics and later Aeronautics classes for which he even took flight training. Charles Bates was revered by all those who attended his classes. Put simply, students could never be bored by a man always learning and ever teaching with wit and good humor. Retirement in 1957 saw him forever young and much missed, but the legend of “Charlie Bates, Mr. Music Man” will continue to live on.

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