Boardman alumnus ready to celebrate 100 years of music, art and drama

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Boardman’s schools will celebrate 100 years of music, drama and the arts with a big event Saturday night at the high school’s Performing Arts Center.

Among the alumni expected to attend will be 93-year-old Lew Anderson, who, as a senior in 1941, started Boardman’s first dance band.

Anderson started playing the trumpet when he was 11 years old. His interest in music came from watching concerts at places like the old Palace Theater.

He says he’s just an average trumpet player with a forte in conducting bands at all grade levels.

While at Boardman High School — when the band teacher was off — Anderson would fill in.

During his senior year in 1941, he formed Boardman High’s first dance band.

“Boardman had bi-weekly dances for an hour after school, and I played for all the dances,” Anderson said.

In the early 1950s, Anderson conducted the U.S. Air Force Band, which performs for presidents.

In 1958, he became the band director at Rayen High School and was there for 21 years.

“I formed the only symphonic band in the history of the Youngstown school system — great bands,” Anderson said.

Although he’s been retired for nearly 40 years, he’s continued teaching, playing and conducting — most notably as part of the Jim Frank Trio.

“I’ve been in music all my life,” Anderson said.

Saturday night’s free celebration will be from 6-8:30 p.m. The doors open at 5 p.m.

There will be a visual arts display, drama performances and music, which will include Disney-themed pieces.