Tommy King Goff

Marching Band Conductor Band Masters Hall of Fame 1989

Born: June 13, 1933 Mobile, AL

Lived in Auburn, AL


Tommy King Goff graduated from Murphy High School in Mobile, Alabama in 1951. He earned the B.S. Degree in 1956 and the M.S. Degree in1962 from Auburn University. He did post graduate work at Florida State University in 1970 and the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 and 1985.

Mr. Goff served as band director at Auburn High school, Auburn, Alabama from 1956 until his retirement in1989. He served as an adjunct Professor of Music from 1970 to 1973. Upon his retirement he taught part time at Auburn Junior High School.

Under the director of Mr. Goff, the Auburn High School Band received 118 Superior and 6 Excellent ratings in Concert and Jazz Band Contest, at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Contest, the Dogwood Arts Festival, the Smoky Mountain Music Festival, the Festival of Champions in Orlando, and the Daytona Music Festival. The Symphonic Band received unanimous Superior ratings each year at Alabama Bandmasters District Contest. The band was selected to perform at the Southern Music Educators National Conference Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977 and performed at the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy State University in 1977.

The Auburn High School Jazz Band received 105 Superior and 2 Excellent ratings in State, Regional and National Contests. The Jazz Band was included in the NAJE Phase II album of "The Nation's Most Outstanding Jazz Bands" in 1978. The Jazz Band was selected to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1981.

Many professional musicans were graduates of Auburn High School during Mr. Goff's tenure as band director including College Professors of Music, full?time and part?time symphony musicians and full?time studio musicians.In 1989 the Auburn High School Band and Tommy Goff received the "Sudler Flag of Honor" for one of the "Nation's Most Outstanding Concert Bands".

Mr. Goff was honored many times for his superior teaching. In 1967, he was honored by the Auburn Civitan Club and in 1968 by the Auburn Kiwanis Club. The Auburn High School Annual was dedicated to Mr. Goff in 1965, 1972, 1980, and 1989. "Tommy Goff" day was declared by Governor of the State of Alabama on anniversary of 25 years of teaching. in 1989 he received the "Distinguished Service Award" from the Auburn City Board of Education.

Mr Goff was indcuted into the Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1989.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame




Tommy Goff’s Opus :: His life was music and students. He changed lives. He changed mine.

2 OCTOBER 2008

Of all the things I’ve written in this blog, I can sincerely say that, if I had to choose, this post (and one about Allison Wetherbee) are really the only shared thoughts I really want you to read. I’ve been holding back the temptation to write about this. But, just this moment, I couldn’t hold back anymore.

A great man passed away on September 25, 2008. Tommy Goff.

I could say, he was my high school band director. But, that really doesn’t even begin to tell the story.

His passing has caused me to do something I don’t normally do. In fact, the last time I’ve done this was when my father passed away a year ago last July. Before that, it was my brother’s passing in June of 1982. I cried. I’ve actually found tears coming a couple of times. He changed my life. I miss Tommy Goff. My brother Bill called the other day. He was in the band, too. I could tell by his voice that the passing of Mr. Goff is a very emotional event. I understand.

This is a man who really has no equal in music education. A member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame right alongside people like W. C. Handy and Nat King Cole. Seriously. Tommy Goff is their equal.

Oh, he never achieved mass national and international fame, sure. But, he is – in the lives of the students he took care of, nurtured, encouraged – a giant. His presence still looms large. We find ourselves thinking of him as we go through life. His bands always excelled. There is no equal in winners of superior rankings at state contetests, to be sure. And, that wasn’t just his bands, but his individual players, too. Tommy Goff made winners. The winning didn’t stop in high school, either. So many of his students have gone on to great achievements. They so often point back to Tommy Goff. Cool, isn’t it.

Mary Belk recently wrote about Tommy Goff. Mary is Tommy’s sister-in-law, sister to Jane, Tommy’s wonderful wife. Mary was actually my babysitter when I was a kid. She joined me for dinner recently as we took my mother out for her birthday. Mary was one of Tommy’s first students.

Jennifer Ryan even shared that her father went to school with Tommy Goff. See? It is a small world. From Twitter, “JenniferRyan: @rdfrench Talked to my Dad about Tommy Goff. He recounted a story about when they went on a double date together.”

I shared the following in the guest book at the Opelika-Auburn News. Look at all the other comments. You can tell. This man was such a strong influence in so many people’s lives.

There is a wonderful recounting of Mr. Goff’s life at The Caring Bridge and you’ll also be able to read many more memories from former students in their guest book, too. Just type in “tommygoff” where it says “Visit a CaringBridge website” in the little box that says ” – Enter Website Name – “. Click the “My Story”, “Guestbook” and “Journal” links to see more wonderful memories.



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