MR. KEN GREEN by Ileen Basch Vance (’67)
Ken was born and raised in Utah. After graduating from Brigham Young University in 1964, he began his two-year tenure teaching music at MHS. Ken, Mr. Fontana and Mr. Bybee produced two musicals together: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Plight of Pegora. He started the MHS Jazz Concert Series and worked with the Miss L.A. County and Miss California pageants. After MHS Ken joined the US Air Force as a band musician in 1967, he passed the Band Commander's test and an officer. In 1970, Ken was assigned to the music service group, “Airmen of Note,” in Washington, DC, and he played at the White House. Later, when he was stationed in Panama, he performed for President Carter. While in Illinois, he obtained his Master’s degree in 1980. He then headed for Mississippi where his Keesler Chorale performed at Mardi-Gras and The Worlds Fair. He was a charter member of the Gulf Coast Jazz Society and helped re-establish the New Orleans Jazz Society. Although he left the Air Force Band for a few years to care for his mother, he returned in 1985 and worked with Danny Thomas, Bob Hope, and Sarah Vaughn. Ken performed on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, (which you can see on YouTube by typing in "Airmen of Note"). After retiring from the Air Force, he returned to Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Imelda. He taught at East High in Salt Lake City (where Disney's “High School Musical” was filmed) until he retired in 2008. Ken directs the Utah State Prison Choir, plays for the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra, and is the jazz pianist for the Utah Symphony. He has played for Steve Allen, Donald O'Connor, Jewel, and Bernadette Peters. He has four children and seven grandkids ranging in age from ten months to ten years. He and Imelda travel in their motor home, ski, golf, and fish. Ken also holds a private single-engine pilot’s certificate, and he rides a very noisy Harley. In his words, “I have had a wonderful, fulfilling life.” Ken is an active member of the Morningside High Monarchs Alumni Association.