Family, Friends, Fraternity Brothers, Former Students and Dignitaries Help Ed Dixon Celebrate His 80th

Ohio State Representative Elgin Rodgers, honoree Ed Dixon and his wife Avie Dixon

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

Edward Dixon, former band director at Robinson Junior High school and Scott High School, celebrated 80 years of life well lived at Scott High School Fieldhouse Saturday March 31. The Toledo legend was surrounded by family, friends, former students, colleagues and dignitaries on his very special day.

Members of the Scott Alumni community flooded the fieldhouse Saturday to celebrate Ed Dixon. Performances and tributes included Bishop Robert Culp of First Church of God; selections by son Errick Dixon, director of My5tery Music; Scott Alumni Choir; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; a proclamation given by Representative Elgin Rogers; tributes by family; band performances and more.

In September, 1970, Dixon began his new career as the band director at Robinson Junior High School by marching in the picket line during the “big strike.”  In his six years as that school’s band director, Robinson became the first junior high school marching band in Ohio.  The band performed in local parades and at high school football games and marched in Youngstown.  The concert band proved noteworthy by skillfully performing college-level compositions.

During the “Model Cities” era, Edward was the director of “Lighted Schools” community enrichment program at Lincoln Elementary School.  As part of the program, he taught ceramics classes and coached the boys’ basketball team.  They had an undefeated season and won the city championship.  He later coached championship boys’ teams at St Angela Hall and Rosary Cathedral elementary schools where his children attended. He also coached a girls’ team at St Angela Hall.

In 1975 Dixon transferred to Scott High School, changing the name of the band to the “Fantastic Dancing Machine”.  During his 32 years as director of the concert band, students annually scored “excellent” and “superior” in the Ohio Music Education Association’s Solo and Ensemble Contest, playing “Class A” college level music. He also had a rocking pep band for basketball games.

But the marching band is what Scott was known for!  Under the direction of Mr. Edward B. Dixon the band received many accolades.  They won Circle City Classic Parade completion and performed in the Colts’ Hoosier Dome four times.  The band took two cruises performing on the ship and in port in Nassau, Bahamas.  They also dazzled crowds at Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida.  Annually they marched through Cedar Point to the cheers of spectators.

Other trips with performances included Amherstburg, Canada, Boblo Island, Mall of America in Minneapolis, African American Heritage Parade in Philadelphia, the Statue of Liberty in New York City, Texas Southern University in Houston Texas, New Orleans Mardi Gras and Las Vegas, Nevada where they performed at Circus Circus as well as at three high schools.  They also visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

For 15 years, Scott’s Fantastic Dancing Machines sponsored the annual Dixon Band Days.  It was a non-competitive showcase of marching high school band.  As many as 15 bands from Ohio, Michigan and Illinois made this a memorable event. Central State University’s Band was a special guest several times.  At the conclusion of the show the bands would combine to play “PROSE”.  After that they would go to the cafeteria to eat and dance to the latest music.  It was a time of youth coming together for music and fun.

During his tenure, students visited, auditioned and received scholarships to various HBCU’s. The band experience enabled many to earn degrees in a variety of career fields.  Ed says he had the best job imaginable.  He got paid for doing what he loved and it was always fun!  Ed earned his masters in Music degee from Bowling Green State University in 1998.  He recently was a judge for the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA)High School Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Ohio State Representative Elgin Rodgers presents a proclamation to Ed Dixon at Scott High School

Edward Dixon was an inspiring, spiritual, moral, loving, faithful, consistent, disciplined, honest teacher who transmitted these qualities to his students.  He has had a powerful and dynamic impact on the Scott community and the city of Toledo.  Many students proclaim “Mr. Dixon and the band are the reason I graduated from high school.”

Edward Dixon loves the Lord and His word. He has a close, prayerful walk with God. Ed knows the faith walk is not limited to good times. The Christian walk has many challenges that require a believer to depend upon the mercy, intervention, and love of Jesus. Ed has come through three cancer surgeries and yet has the energy level of a 41-year old; or is that a 39-year old.  As a result of these and many other blessings he believes in living each day to the fullest and enjoying the people in his life.

Through his faith walk, Ed has been a contributing member of several church congregations.  He grew up in the 175-yea- old Bethel Institutional Baptist Church in Jacksonville.  He was choir director at Bethel Assembly of God in Perrysburg, Ohio.  He was one of the original three deacons at Family Baptist Church, in Toledo.  There he taught Vacation Bible School, instrumental music, and ministered to the sick.  Brother Dixon currently attends First Church of God where he has been an assistant choir director, part of the couple’s ministry, Sunday School teacher, deacon, and friendly photographer.

Ed’s hobbies have been coupon shopping, playing pool, table tennis, tennis, bowling, water aerobics and cruising.  Everyone knows his greatest passions are boating and fishing.  His favorite toys are a camper and golf cart which allow him to spend more time near Lake Erie.  If you haven’t visited the camper make sure to arrange a trip there.

Ed Dixon is married to his loving wife Avie. To their union they have had three children:   Edward Bernard Dixon Jr., Errick Byron (DeAnna)Dixon, and Tishla Camille Dixon. The two celebrated their 50th Anniversary on RCCL’s Oasis of the Sea with 18 children and grandchildren.  They have now been married 57 years.

At Tennessee State University Edward pledged “the Mighty Rho Psi” chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.  He became active with Toledo’s graduate chapter, Xi Tau, and has served as various chapter officers and on committees and currently chair the Scholarship Committee.

Ed Dixon celebrates his 80th birthday April 2, 2024! Happy Birthday Mr. Dixon!

To see more from the celebration check out #DixonBandDay24 on social media.