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New band room to be named in director's honor

PORT CLINTON - A longtime Port Clinton band director credited for instilling a love of music in his students will be honored with a new band room that's to be named after him.

Earl E. Warnke, who was educated in the Port Clinton school district, served as its band director from 1957 until he retired in 1985.

Mr. Warnke founded Port Clinton's Community Concert Band.

His daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Hal Hawk, have donated $50,000 for the new band room, which will be named in memory of Earl E. Warnke.

The shop rooms at the back of high school are being converted to a new Industrial Technology Lab, funded in part by Fenner Dunlop.

The conversion frees up space for the new room, paid for by permanent improvement funds and the Hawks' donation.

Band students now hold classes on the Performing Arts Center stage.

The board of education recognized the donation at its July 23 board meeting.

"Earl E. Warnke instilled the love of music to thousands of students over the years," board President David Belden said. "Fondly known as 'Uncle Earl' to his students, he not only served as the band director from 1957 until he retired in 1985, Earl was also a Port Clinton High School alumnus and vice president of the class of 1946.

"He is sadly missed, but his memory will live on as the new band room will bear his name and he will continue to be a part of Port Clinton High School music," Mr. Belden said.

Current band director Rod Miller shared a letter from Bob Dodge, an alumnus and community band member, which Mr. Warnke also established and directed, that included numerous comments and memories from band alumni.

Construction is under way and scheduled to be completed before school starts.

Additional donations for the new band room in Mr. Warnke's memory are welcome, school officials said.

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