William R McAllaster

Graduating class of 1913

Born in Manchester, New Hampshire on May 7, 1895, William R. McAllaster was graduated as valedictorian of the Manchester High School of 1913. After a distinguished undergraduate career at Harvard University where he majored in Music and English, he served in the United States Army in France and Germany during World War I. Upon his return he earned a Masters Degree from Columbia University, then returned to Manchester and, in 1924, began a most distinguished teaching career at Manchester High School Central that lasted until his retirement in 1960. William McAllaster died on May 10, 1989, three days after his 95th birthday. In the thirty-six years that he taught at Central, he was able to impart his love of and for music to some 10,000 young men and women. He founded the Central High School Band and Orchestra, both winning countless State titles. He successfully encouraged his students to reach for excellence in the performances of works of the great masters. He initiated courses such as Harmony and Music Theory, still taught at Central today. But McAllaster is perhaps best known for his productions of operettas, begun in 1932 and continuing each year until his retirement. Performances such as the Mikado and Iolanthe became the highlights of the school year, and many men and women of our community today are still able to speak with pride of their involvement in these productions. As a further tribute to the high regard with which his students held him, the auditorium in the Practical Arts Building was recently named the William R. McAllaster Auditorium. "We are the music-makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams... Yet we are the movers and shakers Of the world forever, it seems." Indeed, William R. McAllaster’s profound dedication to his craft and inspiration to his students has ensured him a lasting place in the Central Hall of Fame.