If he’s not at Grace Community School serving as director of bands, he’s at Tyler Junior College conducting private lessons or at the University of Texas at Tyler where he serves as an adjunct faculty member. Or perhaps you’ll find him playing bass in the orchestra with the Texas Shakespeare Festival or the East Texas Symphony Orchestra or rocking out with Take 2, a Tyler-based classic rock band.
From about 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Rumbley can be found exercising his musical muscles in one form or another and almost always in the pursuit of educating one of his students.
This tireless dedication to music and music education is one of the reasons Rumbley will be honored by the Tyler Youth Orchestra at this Sunday’s Noted Circle Concert and Dinner. Pam Eikner, president of the Tyler Youth Orchestra’s board of directors, said it is Rumbley’s diversity of influence and impact is one of the things that makes him so unique.
“He’s able to work with kids and inspire them, he works with adults. He serves in his church ministry at Green Acres Baptist, he just has such a wide-open resume of opportunities that he has fulfilled,” Ms. Eikner said.
While has hasn’t directly been involved with TYO, Ms. Eikner said the fruits of his efforts are always apparent when Rumbley’s students join the organization.
“We get incredible talent (from him),” she said. “We have an all-state clarinet player that he is teaching at Grace Community School. So we get these really great musicians that study under him. … What I see is that he instills a desire for excellence in those kids. He wants, whatever they are doing, for them to do it with excellence.”
Rumbley’s love and appreciation of music, and especially his desire to impart a passion for music to students, comes wholly from his father, Rumbley said, so much that he insists that, were Jack Rumbley alive, it would be him being honored this weekend.
Born in Alice (near Corpus Christi), Rumbley came to Tyler in 1983 a couple years after marrying his wife, Karen. He worked as a photographer for the Tyler Morning Telegraph and found a variety of involvements around the area in addition to his duties as a teacher both public and private.
Rumbley said he discovered the “fire of teaching” by throwing himself headfirst into it without any significant past experience.
“I didn’t even know I had those skills,” he said.
But it was a natural fit, he soon discovered.
“I knew that was right where I was supposed to be,” Rumbley said. “I love those kids.”
When it comes to his influence, Rumbley said he simply wants to display a loving heart to his students in the way his father displayed, and to instill in them the sort of love and appreciation for all music that he has.
“You should never take for granted the opportunity you have to listen to, to play and to learn about music,” he said. “Life without music is death.”
The annual Noted Circle Concert and Dinner will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday. The concert will be held at the fine arts auditorium at Robert E. Lee high school, with the dinner and silent auction following immediately at the Holiday Inn Select on South Broadway. Those wishing to attend may contact Gayla Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 903-597-4896.