ISeptember 18, 2008
Serving the Gardner-Webb University community for more than 60 years
This Edition! Marching band chief’s death stuns GWU
■ In campus news'
The inhabitants of
Frank Nanney Hall
love their new digs.
See page 2.
Read what the Grits
member Teron Carter
had to say after the
performance. See p.2
GWU gets serious
about recycling. See
Alliance wants to set
up a chapter at GWU.
See page 4.
' Opinion/editorial ■
• In sports'
The football team
won its second game
in a row. See page 5.
The volleyball team
put on a good show,
but didn’t win in a
tournament in Ten
nessee. See page 5.
team won 1-0 over
use Upstate. See p.5
The women’s golf
team is on the road
again. See page 5
By Lauren Taylor
Pilot editor in chief
Sid Haton, the director of
athletic bands and instructor of
music for the Department of
Fine Arts, was found dead in his
office Friday afternoon at about
The cause of death is un
known at this time, pending re
lease of the coroner’s report.
Haton, 45, leaves behind
his wife, Dr. Sydney Brown,
an English education professor
whom he married April 2007.
Also mourning his loss are
150 student members of the
marching band. Haton was
brought here to begin an athletic
band program, which is now in
its second year.
In the quad outside Haton’s
office in McMurray Hall Friday,
students and faculty were con
soling each other and praying as
the ambulance that responded to
the emergency call sat in front
of the building.
At 5 p.m., there was a gath
ering in O. Max Gardner Hall
where Dr. Patricia Sparti, head
of the Department of Fine Arts,
encouraged students to call her
if they needed anything. She
told them to seek consolation
over the weekend.
Director of Student Minis
tries Neil Payne shared 2 Thes-
salonians 4:13, which is about
not being sad when our broth
ers and sisters in Christ “fall
Haton’s body left campus
at 7 p.m. with the Mecklenberg
County coroner, who would
perform the autopsy.
“We are deeply saddened to
have lost a valuable member of
the Gardner-Webb family,” said
GWU President Frank Bonner
said in a press release.
“We grieve with his wife
Sydney, the university faculty,
staff and all students in this trag
Editor Lauren Taylor
gives her thoughts on
McCain’s VP choice
See page 3.
Kory McNair and
Diana PaUca also have
things to say about
Sarah Palin. See p.3
Photo by Jessica Jones
Students and faculty spontaneously gathered In the quad Friday afternoon as the news of marching band director Sid
I Haton’s death spread across the campus.
Memorial service a ioving fareweii to Sid Haton
By Lauren Taylor
Pilot editor in chief
Family, faculty and students
filled Boiling Springs' Baptist
Church Tuesday afternoon to
say their good-byes to Sid Ha
ton, director of the athletic band,
j who died Friday.
Tear-wiping punctuated by
bursts of laughter was common
in the congregation as the in
vited speakers told stories about
Marching band member
Meredith Marlin spoke through
the tears streaming down her
“He was a man of insur
mountable joy of love and a
passion for all that he pursued,”
He was also a brother, a pro
fessor, best friend and inspira
tion to Marlin, not only in mu
sic, but in life as well, she said.
“He had a way about him. If
you were having a bad day, go
to him — he’d cheer you up.”
Laughter rang out, especially
in the balcony where the march
ing band members were sitting,
when she recounted catch-
phrases Haton was famous for.
“ ‘Alright guys, bring it to
the 50!’ ‘Stand tall, like a chee-
By Ali Cunningham
Pilot staff writer
Photo Courtesy of Sydney Brown
Sydney Brown and SId
Haton on their wedding day,
Easter Sunday 2007.
tah!’ he would always say. We
knew he’d give us an inspira
tional speech that would carry
us through the week,” said Mar
Haton would keep the band
going during a long practice
session by telling them to “ ‘Go
to your happy place,’ ” said
“ ‘My happy place is Oreo
Ice Cream,’ ” Marlin recalled
Donald Sidney Haton Sr.,
pastor at Grace United Method
ist Church, thanked people for
coming and spoke of how won
derful it was to be Sid’s father.
His wife, Eleanor, stood by his
“We knew he was a very
special person from the first day
until the last,” Haton said.
Once they realized his po
tential, they put their son into
music classes. He learned to
play more instruments, and
joined bands and orchestras. He
provided music for Christian
congregations of all denomina
tions, as well as synagogues.
“All of this he did with a
compassion for the music,” said
his father. “In all my life I have
never known a more gifted and
talented musician, a more intel
ligent and seeking mind... .”
Throughout his talk, he gave
comical descriptions of his son,
but ended on a touching note.
“I’m proud of the 45 years
he lived with us — I only wish
it could have been much, much
Afterwards, Sydney Brown
recalled the moment she met
“It’s only been two years
since he bounced up to me and
said, ‘Hi, I’m Sid.’ I said ‘I am,
Two days after their first
date, he wrote her a letter talk
ing about the impact she had
already made on him. He made
sure she knew how much he
“His goal as a husband was
that I should never want for
anything,” Brown said. “I know
that I’m a better person because
of his influence.”
In an e-mail to The Pilot,
Dr .Patricia Sparti, chair of the
Fine Arts Department, praised
Haton’s work at GWU.
“The job Sid Haton did here
at GWU was nothing short of
extraordinary. The loss to GWU
is immeasurable,” she said.
“Our kids are beyond devas
“He was also the perfect col
league and a cherished friend.
Personally, he was also the nic
est, most kind and perhaps most
understanding person I have
ever met, and we all loved him
so very much.”
In addition to his wife and
parents, Haton is survived by
his sister Donna Sears and her
children Chelsea, Zoe and Lind
sey; parents-in-law Fred and
Linda Brown; his wife’s brother
Michael, his wife Whitney, and
their children Bryce, Adam and
Band members: We will march on
. pct‘:o 2,4
... .page 3
. pace 4.5
. pntH' 6
Ali Cunningham is a member of the
GWU Marching Band, and provided this
insider’s perspective on Sid Haton's life and
how it touched band members.
Monday afternoon, drum majors Adam
Velez and Chad Roseboro conducted the
Bulldog Marching Band’s rehearsal of
Samuel Barber’s “Adagio,” a song that of
ten moved band director Sid Haton — and
now the band members — to tears.
We shared our memories of Sid during
our first practice following his unexpected
A member of the band or not, any
one walking near the practice field during
Thursday or Friday rehearsals would likely
hear Sid yelling something.
Meredith Marlin, a drum line member,
recalled one moment in particular.
“One time we were learning drill and
learning how we were supposed to be stand
ing when at attention ... and somehow Sid
managed to tell the band ‘Stand tall, like
i a cheetah!’ None of us have a clue what it
means, but it was hilarious!”
At rehearsals last week we were having
difficulty with the opening song for Satur-.
day’s game. Sid yelled, and then I heard an
echo. And I swear he continued to yell just
because he wanted to hear himself echoiiig
Chad Roseboro, drum major, recalled
one of this favorite moments from band.
“There was this one time when we were
playing at camp last year and Sid knew that
we were playing with a laek of confidence.
Out of nowhere he used the analogy to pre
tend we were swimming in a big pool of
Oreo ice cream.
“And that’s the type of things he said all
the time to make us have that easy-going
Sid always had a great knack for making
you feel special and wanted. Nicole Werme,
clarinetist, recalls when she arrived for band
camp and first met Sid.
“The first time I saw Sid was when the
band got to move in for band camp, and I
walked into the music room with Sarah
Bunker (flag line). I e-mailed him a month
or so before telling him I was interested in
band, so when I walked in, he says ‘So you
must be Nicole.’
“He had a great big smile and wasi-Just so
welcoming. He was like, ‘I have been wait
ing to meet you all day’ But it was just so
great being welcomed, because I felt some
one was excited to meet me, and for me to
We all have amazing stories of Sid and
just how much he has touched our lives. We
all know he was an incredible man and an
amazing band director.
Marlin said Haton meant so much to so
“Sid was everything you needed, at any
given moment. He could be your clown
for laughter, your counselor for the tragic
moments and your angel in moments of
distress. I loved him dearly, I miss him so
much and he will never be forgotten by my
self or anyone else that had the pleasure of
There are some big shoes to fill. It is
from people like Marlin, Velez, Roseboro,
Humphries and band president DeMario
Ragin that we have the courage and the
strength to continue Sid’s legacy.