William Walton Chunn
William Walton Chunn was born May 23, 1922, in Henry County, Tennessee, the son of a high school principal. He began his college education in Tennessee before serving in World War ll as a naval officer in the Pacific. Returning at the end of the war to Murray State University in Kentucky, he earned his Bachelors in Music Education in 1948. His major instrument was piano, and he played professionally in jazz bands while in college at Murray State. He received his Masters of Music from George Peabody College in 1952.
Walt Chunn began his first and only teaching position in 1948 in Harrisburg, Illinois, as the junior high band director and instrumental music instructor for the elementary schools. The Malan Junior High School Band performed at many universities in Illinois and was selected to perform at the 1967 Mid-West Band Clinic in Chicago and the 1974 Southeastern United States Band Clinic in Troy, Alabama. His band program had guest conductors over the years that included Dr. John Paynter, Colonel Arnald Gabriel. Dr. Harry Begian, and Vaclav Nelhybel. He was a member of the American Bandmasters Association and was presented as a charter member in 1984 of the Bandmasters Hall of Fame by Phi Beta Mu XI Chapter of Illinois. He retired from the Harrisburg school system in 1985 after 37 years of teaching.
His retirement years were spent with time split between Harrisburg, Illinois, and southern California until 2006. He passed away November 3, 2007, in Hudson, Ohio, where he and his wife were living close to his son.