R. Jack Mercer
- Friendly Band Director of the Ontario/Chaffey Community Show Band and former Director of bands at Chaffey High School
- Husband to professor Jane Mercer
- World traveller
- Writer for The Instrumentalist, a journal for music educators
- Author of books, The Band Director's Brain Bank and Band Director Burn-out
R. Jack Mercer spent his first 43 years directing high school bands. He received
his Master Of Music Education from Northwestern University with a Trumpet Major.
In 1958, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, with 5,000 students, appointed him
Director of both the Band and Orchestra. As the band grew it was necessary to give
up directing the Orchestra. An Orchestra Director was selected who conducted the
orchestra and worked half time as an assistant to the Band Director.
His 200 member band and 200 member Drill Team became a regular halftime entertainment
feature at Los Angeles Rams football games held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Later, the Marching Tigers expanded their shows to perform for the San Diego Chargers.
When the Pro-Bowl series was organized by the NFL in 1965, the Marching Tigers presented
the first Pro-Bowl half-time in the Los Angeles Coliseum. This International Televised
show entitled "The Cost Of Freedom", featured 200 bandsmen, 200 Drill Team members,
200 flag corps, and a 500 voice Choir. Presented before 67,000 spectators and 60
million television viewers. It won the Valley Forge Freedom Award for Patriotism that
Three years later when the Pro-Bowl returned to Los Angeles, the Marching Tigers were
again invited to present the halftime. This time all of the Chaffey District Bands,
Drill Teams, Flag Corps, and 1000 voice Choir from all sister schools joined together to
present an Internationally Televised Show entitled "Born Free".
In 1962, he established the Chaffey Tournament Of Bands Competition, the first of its
kind in Southern California. The Chaffey Tournament of Bands continues as the oldest
competitive marching event in Southern California.
When Jack Mercer tried to retire in 1986, forty-two of his former musicians, who were
now adults, representing a cross section of professions from Doctors, Lawyers, Chief Of
Police, and all in between, urged him to organize the Ontario/Chaffey Community Show
Band. This organization continues to grow each year and has two sponsors =
the City of Ontario and the
Chaffey Joint Union High School District.
The Show Band presents one show a month for ten months, and as of 2012, will be entering
into its 26th year of success.
Jack Mercer 1258 North Euclid Avenue, Ontario, CA 91762
(909) 467 0436 Email