Music educator Kenneth R. Tolbert was HAPCO Founder Joseph McMullen’s band director at Miami Central High School. He was a key figure in McMullen’s attending university and graduating with a degree in Pharmacy and Master Health Administration, financially assisted with band scholarships.
He attended Florida A&M University where he participated in the Marching 100 Band and the Symphonic Band. He was selected for Who’s Who Among America’s Colleges and Universities. Upon graduation, Tolbert taught music education in several schools throughout Florida. From 1971-85, he was band director at Miami Central High School. From 1986-98, he was band director at Miami Norland High School. Bands under Tolbert’s direction received superior ratings from 1974-98. He finished his illustrious teaching career working with band students at Florida Memorial University, Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale and Kennedy Middle School.
Tolbert was named Teacher of the year five times and was the runner up for Miami-Dade County in 1986. He was a member of the Florida Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and the Greater Miami Community Band. He was elected to the Florida A&M University Gallery of Distinction, received the Miami-Dade County Commission Certificate of Achievement and was inducted into the Florida Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame in 2011. He was born in Jacksonville. He graduated from New Stanton High School in 163.