Saturday, April 19, 2014
- by B.B. Branton
“My recommendation is for Chattanooga to host the Southern
Conference Tennis Championship forever. The Champions Club is great, there are plenty
of wonderful restaurants and plenty of indoor courts in case of rain.”
Pat Garren – head referee, Southern Conference Tennis
Long time tennis official Pat Garren is good at
multi-tasking and keeping everyone on the same page.
A hall of fame band director by profession, Garren is also
one of the main faces of the Southern Conference Tennis Championship as she has been an official
since 1994 and head referee since the late 1990s.
“The conference tennis tournament should be in Chattanooga
forever,” said Garren who majored in clarinet at East Carolina Univ. and played
basketball and softball at Bellmont (N.C.) High School.
“This city has a great tennis facility in The Champions Club
which has enough courts to hold both the men’s and women’s tournaments
simultaneously,” stated Garren who plays ladies doubles in the Super Seniors division
in South Carolina. “Chattanooga also has plenty of indoor courts, is centrally
located in terms of conference schools and numerous wonderful restaurants
around the city.”
While she has made a name for herself in the college tennis
world – recipient of the Pete Conklin Outstanding Officials Award from the
South Carolina Tennis Assoc. in 2005 – she is a legend in the world of high
She is the founding director of the Asheville (N.C.)
Community Band in the 1974 and retiring from that position in 1991. For the
last 17 years the organization has raised funds to award an annual $1,000
college scholarship in her name to a high school student from western North
Her start in band was being hired at Asheville Junior High
and increased the student involvement in the marching and symphonic band from
95 students to 450 in five years.
“The principal who hired me said he wanted a football marching
band of at least 100 members and I was able to do that,” said Garren who is pleased
to have a former student playing in the Chicago Symphony and one in Baltimore.
Her years of hard work as band director and competition judge
has been rewarded as she is one of only seven members of the Women’s Band
Director’s International Hall of Fame which is located at Mars Hill (N.C.)
While she works tirelessly to keep all musicians on the same
page and on key, her endorsement to the Southern Conference for the Scenic City
to be a permanent tennis host is beautiful music to those in Chattanooga.
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org