May 19, 1902 - February 1987
Terry Eastman (Proctor) (1963)
She was a force of nature. I learned so much really fine music-- the classics-- in the three years I spent in her classes.
Diane Taylor (Parks) (1963)
Martha Anne Shelburne (Jones) (1962)
I'm just home from church choir practice. At the grand age of 69 (class of '62) I remember learning Randall Thompson's Alleluia with Mrs. McCorkle. May she smile down on all of us who learned music and singing with her at Lanier.
Anne Shelburne Jones
Rupert Dwight Wilson III (1943-2015) (1961)
I didn't know anything about the classics until I was in the Glee club. She opened a whole new world to me, I went to church with her and I married a Judson Girl so we had a special bond.
J. Philip Hicks (1961)
Pat Riley (1965)
"Mama" taught everyone she knew what it was to love life. I'll always remember her belting out "I Love Life" during one class day. Even in her 70s she still had pipes. She cast me in the leading role as the Captain of the Pinafore. I couldn't believe she got me to wear that ridiculous looking outfit. I have since forgiven her for that. We love you Merle, and thanks from the class of 1965 for the memories!
Jean L. Hall (Searcy) (1937-2015) (1957)
Not only did she teach us about English and Singing but she tought us about Life it's self , " Remember I will never pass this way again."
Charles Rountree (1954)
Mrs. Mc always tried to pull the best out of everyone. I remember her saying if you have a song in your heart you will never be unhappy.
Karolyn Payne (Elliott) (1965)
MS MCCORKLE WAS A VERITABLE FORCE OF NATURE AT LANIER AND WITHIN THE SOUL OF EACH OF US WHOSE LIFE SHE TOUCHED.. HER PRESENTATIONS OF SELF, OF LIFE SUCCESS SECRETS, OF UNABASHED ENTHUSIASM AND PROFESSIONALISM IN EVERY ENDEAVOR , LIVE ON AND HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO OUR CHILDREN AND TO THEIRS. THE HERITAGE OF THE PLETHORA OF CLASSIC MUSIC SHE CONVEYED TO US IS MOST VIVID TO ME AT EASTER WHEN I OR A CHILD OF MINE SINGS EVERY PART OF THE HALLELUIAH CHORUS[ THANKS TO HER LETTING ME SIT NEXT TO PAT IN CHORUS]. SHE WAS WITH US WHEN THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD BEEN SHOT. ONE OF THE DAYS SHE WAS DISCUSSING THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE ASSASINATION. SHE SUDDENLY PULLED UP TO HER FULL HEIGHT AND BELTED OUT A POWERFUL A' CAPPELLO PRESENTATION OF 'I SING BECAUSE I'M HAPPY, I SING BECAUSE I'M FREE. FOR HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW AND I KNOW HE WATCHES ME"!! I CAN STILL HEAR HER VOICE AND IT STILL BRINGS ASSURANCE. THERE CAN NOT BE A REFERENCE TO HER LEGACY WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE PROGRAM THAT CLIMAXED WITH THE BREATHTAKING PRESENTATION OF THE MOST STUNNING , GIGANTIC, AMERICAN FLAG IN THE WORLD RISING[ BRILLIANTLY LIGHTED]ACROSS THE ENTIRE BACK OF THE STAGE INTO THE DARKENED AUDITORIUM.FOR THE FIRST TIME I REALLY UNDERSTOOD THE WORD GLORY. ALL GLORY AND HONOR TO YOU MS MERLE FOR A LIFE WELL AND AUTHENTICALLY LIVED !! KAROLYN PAYNE ELLIOTT
Joyce Holley (White) (1964)
She was truly a great teacher! I learned to love music from her. We were in music class when we learned of Kennedy's assassination . Won't ever forget that day! But I didn't realize that she passed so soon after we graduated!!!