High school auditorium to be named for Jeannette grad, Big Band star Vaughn Monroe
The auditorium at Jeannette High School will be renamed in honor of Vaughn Monroe — a 1929 Jeannette graduate who wrote the district's alma mater and went on to become a nationally well-known musician.
Bill Hoffman and Karen Peltier, members of the Jeannette Class of 1969, are helping to plan their 45th class reunion and they attended the Jeannette School Board meeting this month to ask for the auditorium to be renamed.
Hoffman said as his class prepares to celebrate their reunion, they wanted to do something for the school and that is where this idea originated.
“(Monroe) had five number-one hits, sold 5 million records in 1944, had 25 top 10 songs and three number-one albums,” said Hoffman. “He has two stars on the walk of fame.”
Peltier has been in contact with Monroe's daughters, Candace and Christina, who expressed their joy at the idea of the auditorium being named for their father.
“His daughters are honored we're asking for this,” said Peltier. “He talked about Jeannette all his life, it was home to him.”Peltier said Monroe's daughters would like to be a part of any official dedication ceremony to rename the auditorium.
“They are excited that he will be honored in the town he graduated from,” Peltier said.
Hoffman said the Class of 1969 would like to be part of any planning for the dedication and would like to help to purchase a plaque for the newly christened performance space.
The school board voted unanimously in favor of renaming the auditorium. No plans have been announced regarding an official dedication ceremony.
Monroe took up the trumpet around age 10 or 11 and focused on singing and learning all he could about music throughout his school years. The family lived on North Second Street in Jeannette and he was elected as senior class president of the Jeannette Class of 1929. He wrote the Jeannette High School alma mater, which is still sung to this day.
Monroe met Marian Baughman while attending high school in Jeannette, and they began dating when she met up with him in New York 12 years after graduation. They decided to come back to Jeannette and were married on April 2, 1940.
Marian was the granddaughter of John P. Baughman, one of the early businessmen and one of the first to serve as burgess in the early days of the borough of Jeannette.
Monroe formed his own band in 1940 — the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra made its debut near Boston at Siler's Ten Acres.
Monroe went on to be one of the most popular Big Band leaders in the country throughout the 1940s and early 1950s. He gave up his orchestra in 1953 and continued to perform the rest of his life as a single personality.
His last public appearance in Jeannette was in 1969 when he was guest of honor at the annual Jeannette school picnic parade.
Monroe died May 21, 1973, and Marian Monroe died at the age of 101 last November.
Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 724-838-5154.
John Howard contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Serving the hungry ‘a calling,’ say Jeannette volunteers
- Jeannette honors fireman of the year
- Jeannette residents identify issues as study gets under way
- Jeannette’s Isaac feels the classroom is her happy place
- Jeannette’s new housing project enters final phase
- Cynthia Williamson is an advocate for youth in Jeannette
- Jeannette man charged after search warrant turns up drugs