Alvin Patterson was born on January 5, 1923 in Austin, Texas. While he attended Kealing Junior High, Band Director B.L. Joyce encouraged him to learn how to play the trumpet and join the school’s band. After Patterson graduated from high school in 1940, he attended Huston-Tillotson College for two years. In 1942, Patterson was drafted into the Navy and stationed in Boston, Massachusetts.
After Patterson left the Navy in 1945, he attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In 1950, Patterson graduated from the conservatory with a B.A. in Music. During that year, he began his long career as a band director. From 1950 to 1955, Patterson directed the Douglass High School Band in El Paso, Texas.
In 1955, Patterson faced the daunting task of succeeding B.L. Joyce, whom he called “Prof,” in directing the Old Anderson High Yellow Jacket Band. As with Joyce, many of the students came to respect and look up to Patterson. Under Patterson’s 16-year directorship, the Yellow Jacket Band presented programs and concerts around the city as well as summer weekly programs at Rosewood Park and hosted the Regional Band Contest. He updated and modernized the band’s half-time shows and styles of marching as well.
During the 1960s, Patterson was co-leader of the Rhythm Kings. He played the trumpet, his brother Roy played the keyboard, and Larue Banks played the drums. Patterson’s job as director of the Yellow Jacket Band ended in 1971 when Old Anderson High closed. In 1984, Patterson became Assistant to the Dean of the School of Business Administration at St. Edwards’s University. After receiving many awards and recognitions for his long career, Patterson passed away on June 28, 2007.