Clarence "Jake" Wade
1951 - 1965
"Jake" (a nickname he acquired in high school) began the study of trumpet at age 7 and joined the Lincoln School Band in 4th grade. He advanced rapidly and became solo trumpet in the 10th grade. He was trumpet soloist with the Governor's Band on Mackinac Island at age 15, as well as the 1st chair soloist in the City Band of Sault Ste. Marie.
He attended the Ernest Williams School of Music in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1940 he joined the 107th Engineers Unit of the National Guard 32nd Infantry Division in the Soo as Solo Trumpet and Assistant Band Director for the newly formed band.
After a year of service in Louisiana, he transferred into Company H of the 128th Infantry Heavy Weapons Company. After Pearl Harbor, his unit was sent to Australia, where he became Solo Trumpet and Assistant Director and organized a dance band which played for General MacArthur and the troops many times. The 32nd Division Band was later sent to New Guinea and Leyte Island and Luzon Island in the Philippines. He served a total of 5½ years in the Army and was awarded the Bronze Star.
After his discharge he attended Michigan State College. At MSC, he played Solo Trumpet in the band, orchestra and the choir's brass ensemble. He also played first trumpet in the 17 piece dance band of Jimmy Schaefer and The Joe Cappo band.
Upon graduation with a Master's degree in Music in 1951, he went to Port Huron as the Band Director. He served 12 years at Port Huron High School, then 14 years at Port Huron Northern High School.
He played regularly in dance bands, including his own trio for many years and in 1961 he formed the Blue Water Wind Ensemble, made up of Band Directors from as far away as Detroit, Pontiac and Sandusky, directed it for 11 years, then turned it over to the Junior College, where it became known as the Port Huron Junior College Band.
He played a significant role in the formation of the International Symphony Orchestra of Sarnia and Port Huron (the I.S.O) and played in it as well. He retired in 1977, but continued playing in the Grosse Pointe Band, The Metropolitan Symphony Band of Detroit, The St. Clair County College Band, the Symphony Orchestra, The Motor City Brass Band, and finally the Oakland Brass Band, where he played his last concert at the age of 90.
(Information taken from the obituary of Clarence Wade, December 2014)