Charles “Bucky” Steele 1973-1997
Charles “Bucky” Steele played in Georges DeMeester’s Tucson Pops Orchestra from its inception. After six years of service in the United States Navy during World War II, Bucky began an extraordinary career as an educator and devoted citizen. After landing in Tucson, he was the band director at Tucson High School for 23 years, all the while a member of the Pops Orchestra.
Bucky was also well known in Southern Arizona as a tireless supporter of important community events. He was on the Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee, helped establish the Tucson Parks Foundation, was a docent for the Arizona Sonora Museum for 25 years, and was active in the Sabbar Shrine Band and music program.
Under his stewardship, the Pops Orchestra expanded its concert season from six to ten concerts per year, and the City of Tucson built the new Georges DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center where the Pops perform to this day. He mentored many outstanding artists ranging from vocalists to musicians. Many of the relationships he formed are intact today.
Bucky served as Master of Ceremonies and Conductor for just one concert, his first after he took over for Georges DeMeester. Beginning with the second of those concerts back in 1973, Jeanne Steele, who had a professional announcing and narrating voice, became the “Voice of the Pops.”
Jeanne and Bucky performed together for the Pops until their retirement concert on Sunday, June 15, 1997.