Inquirer Friend, Band Leader and Educator Succumbs
Alfred Dyonisius Wyatt, Sr., Ed.D
December 15, 1928 – September 30, 2023
Alfred Dyonisius Wyatt, Sr., Ed.D, the last of 14 children, was born on December 15, 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia to John F. Wyatt, Sr. and Lillie Bell Wyatt. At an early age, Dr. Wyatt became active at Cosmopolitan AME Church. Later, he joined Allen Temple AME Church where he joined the choir and became a trustee.
Wyatt also entered the workforce at Curlee Cleaners learning shoe shining, shoe repair, and dry cleaning.
He was educated in the Atlanta Public School System attending E. A. Ware Elementary School and graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1946. He received his undergraduate degree from Clark College (1950). Wyatt also was a charter member of the Clark College Marching Panthers where he became their first Drum Major. He also attained postgraduate degrees from Vander Cook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois (1954), and a doctorate from Atlanta University (now known as Clark Atlanta University) (1986).
After serving in the U. S. Army and being trained at the Naval School of Music in 1953, Wyatt’s teaching career began in Forsyth, Georgia. In 1954, he moved his teaching career to Atlanta, Georgia where he taught seventh grade at Herndon Elementary School. In 1956, Wyatt was named band director at the newly opened Luther Judson Price High School in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon entering, he served on a committee that selected the school colors, wrote the fight song, and selected other logos and traditions. He served there for eighteen years.
His long, productive, distinguished music career also consisted of serving as band director and adjunct music professor at Clark College / Clark Atlanta University, and as a music resource administrator for Atlanta Public Schools (APS). Wyatt was a proficient French hornist and was one of the first Black Americans to play for the Atlanta Symphony. Academically, he was an assistant principal at Sylvan High School. He subsequently became an associate superintendent in Area Offices and the Secondary Division of APS before his retirement in 1996.
Wyatt was initiated into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. on November 17, 1947. For over 75 years, he was an active and involved fraternity brother locally, regionally and nationally. As national chair of the Omega Psi Phi Talent Hunt program, Wyatt led the efforts to standardize the criteria of how the program should be run on every level of the fraternity. During conferences, Wyatt led the Omega Chorale and organized singing brothers to perform at various programs. He was selected to lead a team to ensure that reclamation events were well-supplied with good food. Above all, Wyatt enjoyed the brotherhood and the camaraderie.
Wyatt was a member of several other organizations (including the Lions and Masons) and has received numerous awards. Most recently, in 2020, he was one of three recipients to receive the Samuel H. Johnson Education Award. Among various awards that he received are the Omega Psi Phi Man of the Year (2003), Omega Psi Phi Founders Award, Omega Psi Phi Bridge Builder, CAU Spirit of Greatness, and CAU Band Director Emeritus, to name just a few. His wall at home is filled with plaques and accolades.
Wyatt’s vision for a community band in Atlanta to enhance the lives of underserved children and adults resulted in his establishing the musical organization called the Metropolitan Atlanta Community Band (MACB) in October 1996. MACB’s debut performances took place in December 1996 at Greenbriar Mall in Southwest Atlanta and South DeKalb Mall in Decatur, Georgia. Since that time, MACB has made more than 200 appearances and given several scholarships. Probably the most notable were performances at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Air Force Memorial in Washington, DC, during Memorial Day weekend of 2015. MACB has also performed at many other venues, from city concert halls to churches to elementary schools. Over the years, MACB received the reputation as “the hardest working community band in show business!” MACB continues to be a fine band of musicians in the metro Atlanta community that is administered and conducted by Wyatt’s associate directors. The band’s stewardship and Wyatt’s vision is exemplified in its contributing to local students’ scholarships.
Aside from music and education, Wyatt was renowned for his famous barbeque ribs and chicken, smoked turkeys and barbeque sauce. He also enjoyed traveling with his contemporaries, attending CAU and Atlanta Falcons football games, going to church and singing in the choir, and spending time with his family.
Wyatt’s beloved wife, Carolyn Elaine Hill Wyatt, preceded him in death. He leaves to cherish his memory his son, Dr. Alfred D. Wyatt, Jr. (Cheryl); his daughter, Gina E. Wyatt; two granddaughters Dr. Sharla E. Wyatt and Dr. Nina N. Wyatt; a great-granddaughter, London Messick; and a host of nieces,nephews, cousins, and close friends.
Final arrangements were by Murray Brothers Funeral Home (Cascade) at 1199 Utoy Springs Road SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30331-2113.
The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Omega Ceremony was held on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 6:30 pm at Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, 1625 Joseph E. Boone Boulevard NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30314-1853.
The funeral service was held on Friday, October 6, 2023 at 11:00 am at Ben Hill United Methodist Church, 2099 Fairburn Road SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30331-4812.
Friends and family gathered at Ben Hill United Methodist Church, celebrated and remembered the great educator and band leader with fond remembrances and musical tributes.
The interment was at Westview Cemetery, 1680 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30310-1200.
The funeral may be viewed at https://vimeo.com/event/3765722.
Last updated on October 7, 2023