Music man, contractor build city
With Lubbock nearing the end of its first half-century, civic leaders recognized the need for a new level of culture — a community orchestra. They didn’t have to search far for a conductor. William Harrod directed the band at Lubbock Army Air Field and had already charmed the community with violin performances at private and church functions.
On Oct. 22, 1946, the 35-member Lubbock Little Symphony, under Harrod’s baton, drew 1,200 to its first performance at Lubbock High School.
He would soon see the phrase “little,” a term he chafed at, dropped from the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. Venues would change from the LHS auditorium to the Municipal Auditorium and finally to the Civic Center Theater.
He leaned heavily upon talent from Tech. “The thing that kept us going early on was the Texas Tech band and its wonderful musicians,” Harrod said in a 2000 interview. “But the problem was the strings. They didn’t have school orchestras in those days. They only had school bands. So we only had a scrub team of fiddle players.”
He retired to Richardson in 1986 after 40 years of service.
Lee Lewis hasn’t just changed the Lubbock horizon.
He has built a substantial portion of it.
Lewis, head of Lee Lewis Construction, has dominated the business of building high-profile and high-dollar facilities in the city the last 25 years.
His acumen in the construction industry isn’t just measured by the amount of cranes his company has dotting the skyline at any one time. Since 1984, his firm has ranked in the top 400 such companies in the country according to Engineering News-Record.
Lewis’ portfolio includes structures ranging from the Omnimax theater to the addition of the west side structure at Jones-SBC stadium. Much of his work, almost a dozen structures, is evident on the campus of his alma mater, Texas Tech. His work also includes hospitals, public schools and government facilities.
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