Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction

The Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction award is designed to recognize band programs that exhibit and exemplify the founders’ ideals of honoring superior achievement, moral uprightness, and promote the international development of bands, in order to challenge other groups to strive to attain these same levels of achievement.

2019 recipient of Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction

Rich Armstrong, Director of Bands at Waxahachie High School; Paul Worosello, Phi Beta Mu International
[l to r:] Rich Armstrong, Director of Bands at Waxahachie High School; Paul Worosello, Phi Beta Mu International
photo: Robert James Cesario

One band was selected as the recipient of the Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction in the third year of the award. Congratulations to:  

Waxahachie High School, Waxahachie, Texas
Richard Armstrong, Director

This outstanding band program was recognized and celebrated during the Midwest Clinic [December 17-21, 2019] at the Phi Beta Mu Awards Breakfast.

View previous recipients →

Purpose

The purpose of the Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction award is to recognize those bands that exhibit and exemplify the founders’ ideals of honoring superior achievement, moral uprightness, and promoting the international development of bands, in order to challenge other groups to strive to attain these same levels of achievement.

Nominating Process

The Phi Beta Mu Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction is open to all high school band programs. Director must have been at that program for at least the previous five years. Any Phi Beta Mu member may nominate one program. Nomination of program is made without knowledge of director, similar to how an individual member is nominated for membership to a state/province chapter. (Exception: Member may not nominate their own program, or program in their feeder system). Director of the nominated school will be notified of the nomination by Phi Beta Mu International. Director of the nominated school is responsible for providing all supporting documentation needed in the selection process. Some video will be required for a representative sampling of the band. Submission deadline will be determined by electronic timestamp or postmark and will be strictly enforced. Please direct any questions about the nomination process to Paul Worosello: <http://www.privatedaddy.com/?q=GHlKTHdRQXF4U24CVHdLAE11cld4TlQ-3D_360>

Nomination Timeline

Academic Year – April 30: Bands may be nominated at any time up to April 30 of the current academic year.  Bands are under no obligation to act upon the nomination.

By May 1 (at the latest): Director of program will be notified of the nomination. Director of nominated band program will be sent an application form, along with a letter of congratulations and information on how to proceed.

Application Process

By June 1: Application form MUST be uploaded  to Dropbox by June 1 of the current year.

Application Timeline

June 1 of the year following the academic year of nomination: Strict deadline for submitting all application materials to the Phi Beta Mu International website. If bands submit all material during their year of nomination by June 1 (early), they will be considered for the award that year.

  • Application form with completed signatures
  • Three examples of concert band in MP3 format and video compilation in MP4 or FLV (Flash) format
  • All other documentation in PDF format

Required MP3 Files

In addition to the application, three MP3s from performances within four years of the date of application will be uploaded to Dropbox by June 1 and will consist of:

  • one traditional march (Sousa, King, Fillmore, etc.)
  • one work from the “core”* repertoire of band music
  • one other significant work written for concert band/wind ensemble

*Following is only a small sample of pieces representative of the core repertoire. Any comparable piece is acceptable:

Bennett – Suite of Old American DancesNelson – Rocky Point Holiday
Chance – Variations on a Korean Folk Song Persichetti – Symphony for Band
Giannini – Symphony No. 3Reed, Alfred – Armenian Dances, Set 1
Gould – Symphony No. 4Reed, H. Owen – La Fiesta Mexicana
Grainger – Lincolnshire PosySchumann – George Washington Bridge
Hanson – Chorale and AlleluliaTull – Sketches on a Tudor Psalm
Hindemith – Symphony in BbVaughn Williams – English Folk Song Suite
Holst – First Suite in EbWilliams – Fanfare and Allegro
Holst – Second Suite in FWood – Mannin Veen
Milhaud – Suite Francais 

Note: One of Phi Beta Mu’s charges is the promotion of band music. Whereas there are many wonderful transcriptions that are appropriate for performance, the three MP3 examples must reflect the band repertoire.

Required Video – Submitted in MP4 or FLV (Flash) Format

A video compilation not to exceed 10 minutes in length will provide an excellent perspective of all facets of the band program. It is suggested that the video include representative footage from the concert setting, marching band, jazz ensemble and chamber groups, and no one excerpt should contain more than four minutes of continuous footage. Video must be submitted to Dropbox by June 1.

Additional required documentation from concert programs, adjudication sheets, concert personnel lists with names highlighted

 Please submit to Dropbox [in PDF format] the following information:

Performance

  • List all repertoire performed the previous three years by Marching Band, Top Jazz Band, Top Concert Band.
  • List a one-page sampling of chamber group repertoire from the previous two years.

Awards and Honors

  • Submit copies of all adjudication sheets from the previous two years for the top concert band from the Regional or State level of competition.
  • Submit copies of sheets for up to two other state or national level adjudicated concert events from the previous three years.
  • Submit copies of all adjudication sheets from the previous two years for the marching band from the Regional or State level of competition.
  • Submit up to two other state or national level adjudicated marching events from the previous three years.
  • Submit copies of adjudication sheets from two performances by the jazz ensemble from the previous two years.
  • Submit any Distinguished Performances from state or national conventions such as The Midwest Clinic, NBA, WIBC, BOA, etc. for concert band, marching band or jazz ensembles.
  • Any special activities unique to your program may be documented here as well.
  • List all students/instrument/year recognized through audition for Regional and All-State accomplishments for the previous three years (minimum, you may submit more).
  • Document Solo/Ensemble participation in district or state contests by listing student names and events with ratings for the previous two years.

Community – Outreach, Culture and Developing Interest in Bands

  • Submit press releases or documents from the previous five years that demonstrates community outreach and involvement.
  • List guest artists or conductors who have appeared with your program the previous five years.
  • List any commissions you have initiated or participated in.
  • List collaborative performances with college/universities or community bands, with documentation.

Leadership

  • List specific ways you have enhanced instruction these past five years through the use of master classes, guest clinicians and/or private instructors.
  • List any innovative strategies you have employed. Supply documentation if available.
  • List presentations you have given at in-service clinics or conferences.
  • List regional or state offices held, publications, compositions.

Legacy

  • List at least five students, year graduated and current position who have become music educators and have come out of the band program (not restricted to the tenure of the current director).
  • List at least five students, year graduated and current position who have become professional or military musicians and have come out of the band program (not restricted to the tenure of the current director).
  • List at least five students, year graduated and band of students who are playing in community bands, community jazz bands, or church orchestras and have come out of the band program (not restricted to the tenure of the current director).

All additional documentation must be submitted by June 1 to to Paul Worosello: <http://www.privatedaddy.com/?q=GHlKTHdRQXF4U24CVHdLAE11cld4TlQ-3D_360>.

In order for your application to be processed, all items requested must be included. Your application will be disqualified for consideration if you are missing any required item and fail to provide adequate explanation.

Evaluation Process/Timeline

June 2 – June 30: Each chapter is charged with selecting one person from their active membership whose judging experience enables an awareness of the standard to be met for this international award. How that person is selected will be determined by each individual chapter. The size of the evaluation panel will vary from year to year, depending upon the number of chapters that choose to participate.

July 1 – July 31: (First Round) Evaluators will have access to mp3 files via Dropbox. Files will be labeled Band A, Band B, etc., to keep bands anonymous. If a majority of the evaluators feel a band’s concert performance meets the highest level of achievement worthy of the award, that band will move on to the final round of evaluation. In the event of a tie, chair of the Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction committee will cast the deciding vote.

August 1 – August 31: (Final Round) Evaluators will have access to the video compilation and supporting documentation via Dropbox for those groups qualifying for the final round. Bands will now be identified, since anonymity will now be impossible to maintain. Judges will evaluate all remaining documentation and based on this material, will compile a list of bands they feel are deserving of the award. If a majority of panel members feel the band is deserving, that organization will be honored as an Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction. In the event of a tie, chair of the Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction committee will cast the deciding vote.

There will be no specified number of programs honored for any given year.

Winners will be notified by September 1, (earlier if possible), with presentation made during Midwest of that same year. If the winning director is unable to attend Midwest, the presentation will occur in the spring by a member of the local chapter of Phi Beta Mu.

Please direct any questions to Paul Worosello: <http://www.privatedaddy.com/?q=GHlKTHdRQXF4U24CVHdLAE11cld4TlQ-3D_360>


Congratulations to the previous recipients of the Earl D. Irons Program of Distinction Award

2019

2018

  • No Award

2017

2016