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Donald Ford

Donald K. Ford, former director of development at Southeast Missouri State University, was a jazz drummer from the late 1950’s until his death. His love of jazz and performing were the catalysts for establishing this endowed scholarship for percussion majors in the Department of Music. Mr. Ford served as percussion head of the Golden Eagles in 1963 and 1964 while majoring in mathematics and English as an undergraduate. During his college days and after his graduation from the University in 1966, Mr. Ford appeared with many celebrities and big bands. Some of those famous performers he worked with included the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Martin Denny of “Quiet Village” fame, the Bob Sisco Orchestra, Earl Gran, Dennis Day, The Shirrells, The Drifters, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, and the Golddiggers. During the Vietnam War, he served in the 399th Army Band. For over 40 years Mr. Ford performed locally with the community band, the Cape Girardeau Municipal Band, performed in local clubs with his brother’s big band, The Jerry Ford Orchestra, and with a Dixieland band that Mr. Ford started in the 1970’s, the Dixieland Swinging Six.