Adell Haughey Claypool


Adell Haughey Claypool retired in 2002 following 34 years of teaching. A 1957 graduate of Andrews University, she taught at Oak Park and Battle Creek academies before going to Columbia Union College, now Washington Adventist University, as band director in 1965. The first woman band director in the circle of accredited Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities, Claypool directed the band and coordinated instrument instruction for thirteen years at CUC.

Highlights of her time there included an invitation by Frank Scimonelli, noted trumpet and post horn soloist, for the college band to accompany him in a Washington, D.C., concert and a highly successful trombone workshop she organized while at CUC, featuring Lewis Van Haney, noted teacher at Indiana University. It attracted trombonists from the service bands and many East Coast universities and colleges.

During those years the trombone choir at CUC numbered sixteen and performed frequently. A trombonist, Claypool studied with Frank Crisafulli of the Chicago Symphony and Robert Isely of the National Symphony. An active performer, she was invited to participate as the only woman trombonist in the Catholic University Trombone Choir, a group composed of outstanding players from the capital's service bands.

Claypool also guest conducted the U.S. Navy Band while at CUC. Her recounting of that experience provides an insight into attitudes of that time:

When I approached the podium, the director closed the folder and pushed the conductor's stand forward so I wouldn't have access to it, thinking he was making it difficult for me.  I had my own baton and the score memorized so that I gave cues without his "help."  The men in the band were nearly laughing about the whole episode - recognizing that it didn't faze me.  In my whole career that was the only time I felt disdain from a male.  I never felt a part of the "women's lib" movement, and this was the only time any action was aimed at me for being a female.  When I joined the Women Band Director's National Association, there were many women who had felt discrimination, but that was not an issue with me, except for that Navy Band director.

In addition to a master's degree completed at Vandercook College in 1962, she also completed a master's degree in public relations at American University. Following nine years in administration and public relations at the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and Washington Adventist Hospital, she moved to Florida when her husband retired in 1987.

Beginning in 1988, Claypool taught part-time for the next thirteen years at the Port Charlotte Adventist School, developing and running a highly regarded band and instrumental program. As she approached retirement, she took coursework in counseling through the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) and became board certified in Biblical Counseling.

Although retired, she continues to perform and give lessons on a limited basis.  She also has a small counseling practice, where she works mostly with teenagers and provides marriage counseling.


Sources: Interviews and Conversations, 2001 and 2002; Additional information, December 2013;  personal knowledge.