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Terry Thompson, #89

Born in Wichita Falls, Tx. to Clifton Thompson, Jr of Muskogee,OK. and Ida L. Thompson of South Hills. Va., Terry and his family, including older brother Clifton, III have made Alexandria their home for many years. Both sons attended Theodore Ficklin Elementary School, Parker Gray Middle School and George Washington High School. The year 1971 brought about many changes to the Thompson family as well as Alexandria. Eldest son Clifton, III, graduated from G.W.H.S and went on to attend Brown University in Rhode Island. Terry however, was just promoted to 11th grade and faced the challenges of the K.6.2.2.2 school integration plan.

Terry displayed a gift of musical talent from an early age. “I chose to learn how to play the saxophone after hearing that my dad, my uncle and one of my cousins all excelled at the instrument. I figured it must run in the blood so why not!” “I made the choice to pursue my music over athletics while at G.W.H.S. The G.W. marching band was always the talk of the town and now it was my chance to be a part of it.” Once it was decided that Alexandria would send all 11th and 12th graders to T.C. Williams. Terry decided to realize his dream of playing organized football. “Even though I new I would be going against the best of the best, I also new this would help me grow as a person. Too many times I had shied away from challenges. Deciding to try out for the football team would prove to be one of the most rewarding accomplishments of my life.”

Terry had no idea how important his decision to play football would change his life forever. “The coaching staff at T.C. became my role models much the same as all my music teachers in years past. I would always take note of the importance of striving for perfection they all seemed to have in common. How fortunate I was to have had such dedicated teachers throughout my educational upbringing.” Music teachers such as Arthur Dawkins, Bob Baden, Jack Dahlinger and Tim Lutz were instrumental in preparing Terry to never give up on his dreams and realizing his potential. All of the coaching staff, especially Herman Boone and Bill Yoast would always push Terry to the limit but would never allow him to give up. “Coach Boone would often tell me that I was one of the ‘sparkplugs’ on the team.” He would often tell me that everyone plays an important part in any team-oriented effort.

Terry went on to follow his musical dreams by majoring in music at the University of Detroit. Although only 17 years old, Terry went on to becoming a ‘House Musician’ in several recording studios throughout the Detroit area. Terry would transfer, after one year in Detroit, to the Berklee College of Music in Boston Ma. It was here that Terry would call on all of his previous disciplines instilled in him from his Alexandria teaching staff. Once again Terry was competing with the best of the best, only this time it was the best of the world. He went on to receive a B.M. Degree of Music Composition.

During his college days, Terry would go on to join a group of talented musicians known as ‘Hypertension’. Hypertension was recognized as one of the premiere musical groups in the New England area. The group performed as the opening act for such artists as Tina Turner, The Four Tops, Debarge, Tower of Power, Squeeze, Sam and Dave, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, Commander Cody, Frankie Smith, Donald Byrd, Evelyn “Champaign” King and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Terry has also been featured on many recordings ranging from R & B, Funk, Rock, Classical, Gospel and Jazz.

After spending 10 years in Boston and traveling on the road, Terry decided to relocate back to Alexandria. He has continued his musical career in the D.C. area by working as a private music instructor, working on his musical compositions and performing in live venues. He also does recording session work and hopes to work on his own CD release in the very near future. Terry is also employed as a Systems Analysts for Metrocall, Inc which is the 2nd largest paging company in the world. “I guess when you do your homework and concentrate on perfection, good things are always within your reach.”

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