Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter Photographer 

School auditorium set to be named after former music director Malloy


The Hot Springs County School District's Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to name the school's auditorium after long-time music director, Bill Malloy.

The William H. Malloy Auditorium will be formally named at a ceremony some time in the fall or early winter.

Malloy spent four decades teaching music to the Hot Springs County youth, everything from concert band to Dixieland band and jazz band, not to mention countless summers with the Wildcat Band.

His programs consistently ranked superior at the University of Wyoming's Band Days competition, allowing them to play during the half-time show along with the university's band.

Ask any of his students and they will tell you Malloy had a big impact on their lives.

"He taught us to expect the best from each other and ourselves," said Theresa (Holland) Ryder. Ryder played clarinet in concert band and spent many years on the flag team in Wildcat Band.

Donna (Lynch) Becker remembers Malloy as a one-on-one instructor with patience to spare.

"I wanted to join the band program as a fifth grader in the worst way," she said. "My folks attended the open house to review and purchase an instrument and the only one we could afford was drums (they were supplied at the school). All I had to buy were the drum sticks.

"Mr. Malloy seemed to take me under his wing and his patience and tutelage made me certain that he cared about my growth as a drummer more than any of his other band students. I know he cared about them, too, but that's just how he made me feel.

"Thanks to Mr. M. I played drums throughout my life until just recently and I'm over 60-years old. I still have those drumsticks! What a gift he has been to me and so many other aspiring musicians."

Corey Austin-Urist remembers Malloy having a great sense of humor, even at his own expense.

"He had put up a congratulatory poster in the band room for all of the seniors and I noticed 'congradulations' was spelled wrong. I wasn't sure if I should say anything, but if you know me – well, I had to ask who did the poster because it was spelled wrong.

"Mr. Malloy turned around and looked at it and started laughing. He admitted he had done it and just realized it was spelled wrong. He laughed so hard. I'll never forget he taught me it was alright to make mistakes as long as you can laugh about it later."

Malloy's impact on students wasn't always just about music.

"Not having a father, Mr. Malloy was one of the only 'father figures' in my life," said Jeff Sarratt. "He helped guide me and helped me survive situations in my teenage years when no one else was there. Thank you Mr. Malloy."

His impact has followed many of his student's throughout their lives, including Stacia (Hessenthaler) Noorda, "If I learned only one lesson while under the tutelage of Mr. Malloy, it was that 'proper preparation prevents poor performance.' This is a lesson that is applicable in all aspects of life."

"Mr. Malloy could be a little intimidating at times," said Lisa Vining, "but that was because he expected you to be your best, to practice your music and be prepared to perform at your highest level.

"He'd call you out if you weren't! It was great preparation for life."


Reader Comments

Catrina writes:

My family moved to Thermopolis in 1978. What a thrill to find a flourishing band program. I played 3 instruments under Malloy. I am now a professional musician and teach middle school orchestra. I use his methods everyday. He means the world to me.


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