Bryant High names room after beloved band director

By WVUA 23 Student News Reporter Caleb Aguayo

After working for years to honor beloved band director Ethime Emonina, Paul W. Bryant High School has renamed its band room after students’ late mentor.

The school and Emonina’s family held a dedication ceremony and reception March 20 in honor of Ethime’s life and legacy, and the auditorium was packed with school administrators, teachers and former students. Event organizer and Ethime’s first cousin, Erica Grant, said the band room’s dedication has been in the works since 2020. Grant represents District 5 on the TCS board.

“Being a member of the Tuscaloosa City School Board, we had to go through different policy paperwork and everything to get it done,” Grant said. “And then the pandemic happened.”

Ethime worked for Paul W. Bryant High as band director from 2007 until 2011. Many at the ceremony commented on the impact and memories he left them with.

“He really did leave a legacy of love and compassion and hard work,” said Ethime’s son Christian Emonina. “People told me about who he was as a person. That’s something that will definitely stick with me.”

Grant said he had a big impact on her, too.

“He pushed me to do things I had never imagined doing,” Grant said. “I was planning to be a high school dropout. Now I’m in school  getting my doctoral degree, and it’s all because of him.”

Ethime’s widow, Crishan Emonina-Watson, remembered her late husband’s favorite quote.

” ‘Love the band and the band will love you back,’ ” said Crishan. “I think this is an outward expression of him loving the band, and the band showing him love back.”

The school’s band room is now known as the Ethime D. Emonina Band Room.

Categories: Featured, Local News