Billy Graham dead at 99

Memorial fund provides private lessons to Page High School band students

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It was because of Alexander's love affair with music from the time he was born that everyone discovered he was quite unique.

In middle school, Alexander picked up the saxophone and hardly ever put it down again.

His father, Bill, a professional artist himself, says it was through music that his son, who struggled academically, soared.

"While we all appreciate music, he was one that understood music on a much deeper level," Bill Mangum said. "But to see how it moved his soul and then to see how it became a salve as he shared it with others that might be struggling with life."

After high school, Alexander played in college at Appalachian State and then in community and church groups.

But last October, he died unexpectedly from complications of type 2 diabetes. Now, his family is determined his legacy will live on.

The Alexander Mangum Memorial Fund at Page High School will provide private music lessons to band students.

"This is the kind of program that for a lot of students could be transformative as far as how they participate in music and how it affects their lives," said Page band director Eddie Deaton, who was also Alexander's former classmate.

Bill says it's the perfect way to honor Alexander's memory and his passion.

"You never know the catalyst for a young person," he said. "And if nothing more comes out of this and they don`t perform professionally, and they have the gift of music appreciation, that's a great way to celebrate his life."