Troy University Officials, Students Mourn the Loss of Dr. John M. Long

A Troy University legend has died. Former long-time Sound of the South band director Dr. John Maloy Long passed away at his home on Monday evening after a brief illness.

Long served as Troy University’s Director of Band for 31 years- from 1965 to 1996. Over time, he influenced hundreds of students, composers, and music professionals.

“You can’t go anywhere in this country without knowing the name John M. Long. And so we often say that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and in this case, that is very true,” Director of the John M. Long School of Music Larry Blocher said.

Long leaves behind a music legacy. He’s been honored for his many achievements, including an induction into the the National Band Association’s Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Instructors.

“A great role model, he was a member of that greatest generation, World War 2. He was a patriot. And he helped instill in our students that sense of love of country, that sense of love of music,” Troy University Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr, said.

Long also served in the U.S. Army during World War 2..
Before coming to Troy University, he directed several high school bands, including Montgomery’s Robert E. Lee High School.

“The students loved Dr. Long and Dr. Long loved the students. He wanted everybody to get everything they could out of their life,” Director of Bands Dr. Mark Walker said.

That rings true for current band member Breanna Daniels.

“If it weren’t for Dr. Long, I actually wouldn’t be here at Troy University,” Daniels said.

She says she now hopes to do what for others what Long did for her: inspire.

“Be able to hopefully impact the next generation of band students to try to come to the Sound of the South,” Daniels said.

Dr. John M. Long was 94 years old.
He leaves behind his wife, a son and daughter and their families.

Long’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday at First United Methodist church in Troy, beginning at 2 o’clock.

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