Nissly, MaryBelle Johns
- Jill Sullivan
(b Lancaster, PA, May 1, 1918; d Polaski, AR, July 30, 1999). American conductor and educator. She was the first female drum major at Lititz High School, PA. After earning a music education degree from West Chester State Teachers College (BS 1937) she became music supervisor of Lancaster Township Schools. During WWII, she played piccolo and flute in the 400th Women’s Army Corps (WAC) Band at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, eventually conducting the group until sent to attend the Army Music School, Fort Meyer, Virginia, to become an Army Band Leader. After graduation, she was assigned to the 400th WAC Band and then the 401st WAC Band, Fort Hamilton, NY. In 1944 she became the first woman to receive the rank of warrant officer. After the war she attended the University of Pennsylvania (MS 1949) and was an instrumental music teacher in Manheim Township Schools until ...