Except for a year or two during the depths of the depression when travel was limited, the Ocala band continued to participate in contests and festivals sponsored by the Florida Federation of Music Clubs and by business or civic organizations in Tampa and other Florida cities. The band won first and second prizes in many of these contests and individual members also won many medals.
The Ocala band was reputed to have been the first high school band to be invited to participate in the famous Gasparilla Day Parade in Tampa. This was in 1933. A Captain Hanson, who was chairman for the parade had seen the band perform at a Tampa Music Festival and stated in his letter of invitation, “I had no idea a school band could make such a fine appearance.” Other band activities included appearances at the Tung Oil Parade in Gainesville, All States Parade in St. Petersburg and similar events in other parts of the state.
Concert playing was not neglected. The band continued to give weekly public concerts in the Civic Center in downtown Ocala, playing a repertoire of marches, overtures, and concert selections comparable in difficulty to those played by many adult park bands. During the early years of broadcasting, the Ocala band was featured in numerous programs from radio station WRUF at the University of Florida.
The Florida Bandmasters Association was formed as an outgrowth of recommendations made at a workshop for high school band students and directors at the University of Florida in the summer of 1936. Mrs. Browné Greaton Cole was one of the charter members who attended the first official meeting of this organization in Tampa during the Thanksgiving weekend of 1936. Other charter members were: Ed Chenette (President), P.J. Gustat, Ed Heney, William Heney, John Heney, Fred McCall, J.B. O’Neal, E.L. Roberts, V.D. Sturgis, and Orin Whitley.
The first contest sponsored by the Florida Bandmasters Association was held in West Palm Beach in the spring of 1937. It was conducted according to rules suggested by the National School Band and Orchestra Association. Here the Ocala band won a first Division Rating in concert playing and several of the soloists won high honors. From this time on, the Ocala band participated in the official state and regional contests and continued to receive high ratings at both levels.
In 1939, Mrs. Cole was named “Woman of the Year” by the Ocala Banner. That this honor was well deserved is indicated by the list of the many services she and her students performed for the school and community. By this time, the instrumental department included a Junior and a Senior band, a Swing band, and girls’ orchestra called the Melodierettes, a cornet quartet, and several small instrumental ensembles and soloists.
As the program grew, the OHS band was given permission to bring on an assistant for Mrs. Cole to help with the marching band responsibilities as well as help run the junior band. Mrs. Cole’s son, Arthur Kingman Cole (better known as King Cole), who had been a student in the OHS program toward the end of the 1920’s, was brought on to assist. He would continue to help develop new musicians as well as oversee drill for the marching band until 1944.
Band Directors: Browne' Greaton Cole
Arthur "King" Cole (Assistant Director and Junior Band Director)
Important Events/ Performances:
1st band at the Gasparilla Parade in Tamps- 1933
1st Radio Performance- 1933
Florida Bandmasters Association Founded (Mrs. Cole as VP)- 1936
1st FBA Contest- 1937
OHS hosted the 2nd FBA State Contest- 1938
Mrs. Cole named "Woman of the Year" by the Ocala Banner- 1939