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Tom Keith

Tom Keith

St. Anthony Village High School Principal

Born: Cudahy, WI, United States
Heritage: European American

Be open to things. Be open to new ideas as they come along. Be open to hard work. Be open to know the future is uncertain. Be open. There are many possibilities in life, and the possibilities will be there for you to take.

Tom Keith

St. Anthony Village High School Principal

My name is Tom Keith. I was born on August 5, 1947. I was born in a suburb called Cudahy, Wisconsin. My family moved to Bloomington, Minnesota when I was only one. I had two sisters and a brother.

I started playing the trombone as a child. My father played trombone, and his father played trombone, too. Grandpa Keith even had a band named “Farmer Keith and His Musical Kiddies.”

My friends and I formed a jazz band in high school. We played big band jazz, and we played well with each other. Just after we graduated from high school, we had the chance to play on Johnny Carson with Doc Severinsen. That was amazing!

After high school, I joined the Air Force Band. I played all over the world: the Philippines, South Vietnam, and Thailand. I learned a lot.

When I came home, I attended the University of Minnesota to study music education. They didn’t have a jazz band, so I started one and we competed in different festivals. I got better and better because I worked so hard to improve.

I met my wife, Kathy, at the University of Minnesota. We have been married for 40 years, and we have a son who is a firefighter.

I earned money by playing in backup bands for some big celebrities: Wayne Newton, Sammy Davis Junior, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Bob Hope.

Eventually I started to become more of a teacher and less of a performer. I worked in different schools as a band director and an assistant principal. Then I became the principal of St. Anthony High School. I will retire this year. I am looking forward to trying new things and having amazing opportunities.

Notation: Download PDF

It Takes More Than One Note To Play Our Song

Honoring Tom Keith

It Takes More Than One Note To Play Our Song

You got to be open to things
Got to be open to new ideas
To possibilities - that come along
Like each member in the band
We all need to lend a helping hand
It takes more than one note to play our song

Grandpa’ Keith had a farm
The same - as his Grandpa
He played trombone - In a band
All through life we must do the best we can

The same as me in 9th grade
Big band jazz - is what we played
With my friends – on trombone
With music in your heart you’re not alone

After High School - dear Uncle Sam
Thought I should - join the Air Force Band
That’s what I did – in Thailand
To the Philippines all the way to Vietnam

Came back home - got my degree
In music – at the university
Taught high school band – kids saw me play
My trombone on Disney on Parade

I wanted more – in my life,
Then I met – Kathy my wife
Then with her – had a son
So proud of him, a brave fireman

Beside my wife – and my boy,
Working for you – my greatest joy,
As principal – greet kids by name,
At the front door, at the start of each school day

Instrumental Break

Like the trombone – music has been,
All through life – my dear friend,
Like each of you – are now to me,
When I’m with you, you make my heart sing

Words & music by Larry Long with Carl Nowlin’s 3rd Grade Class of Wilshire Park Elementary School
St. Anthony Village, Minnesota

© Larry Long 2009 / BMI