Recipients of the: Legacy Award in Music Education

Charlie E. Hardy

Charlie E. Hardy received the Bachelor of Science degree in 1962 in Secondary Education from Alabama State University. Hardy was an instrumental music major with a specialization is brass winds, particularly trumpet. In July 2005 he received a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.

Charlie Hardy been privileged to teach Instrumental Music in three schools. His first professional assignment was in Brewton, Alabama, at Booker T. Washington High School. There, Hardy organized the first band at the school. He was responsible for creating a culture for instrumental music and helped students reach their musical potential by using himself as an example of a quality musician.

Hardy, who played his trumpet each day during the activity period, considers himself an excellent motivator. One example could be found in a student that had been labeled a slow learner by some faculty members. Hardy, encouraged this young man to join him in the band as a trombone player. Not only did that student learn to play the trombone, after graduating from High School the student followed Hardy to Alabama State University where he became a Band Director. Before Hardy left Brewton, the Director of Southern Normal School hired him on a part-time basis to develop a band at the school.

Several of Hardy's students have made names for themselves. Ronald LaPread played sousaphone under Hardy's tutelage, and he continued on to join Lionel Richie in starting the Commodores. Hardy remembers teaching LaPread the technique of how he could instantly determine the key center of a piece of music. LaPread reminds Hardy of how valuable that technique proved to be for him. Another of Hardy's students, James Kelley did not know how he would go to college. Hardy, however, met a friend in graduate School at Indiana State University who had just accepted a position at Elizabeth City State University as Band Director. That friend offered James a full band scholarship. Kelley is now a principal in Dothan, Alabama. Yet another student, Nathaniel Leon Knight, became a tremendous musician. Knight won a full scholarship from Dr. Thomas E. Lyle to perform with the Marching Hornets at Alabama State University. Knight has since retired as chief of recreation from Central Alabama Health Care Center.

Hardy is a registered Representative of the National Association of Securities Dealers and has also completed his studies as a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow in Washington, DC.

From 2005 to present Hardy has served as the management and marketing professor at Alabama State University. Charlie Hardy is married to the former Lillie Curry, retired media specialist. Their son is United States Navy Commander Randall Charles Hardy and daughter Christa Valencia Hardy, Ph.D.

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In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Alabama State University, the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University announces a call for entries for its juried art show in recognition of this milestone. The exhibit, "Celebrating Alabama State University's Sesquicentennial: 150 Years of Perseverance, Progress and Promise," will be featured at the National Center February 19, 2017 - February 19, 2018. Artists who wish to participate in this exhibit are asked to complete and sign the attached fillable form and submit to the National Center by October 29, 2016, via e-mail to or submit by mail to:

The National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and
African-American Culture at Alabama State University
1345 Carter Hill Road
Montgomery, AL 36106

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Lift Every Voice:


A newsletter from The National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University. Fall 2015, Vol. 1, Issue 1.

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The Journey to Freedom: A Mural in Eight Parts


A Visual Interpretation of African-Americans’ Struggle for Recognition as Human Beings and First-Class Citizens

Commissioned by The National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University

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