Learn from the Masters
Tune in to the audio recordings featured below as our esteemed colleagues share their insights, stories and career highlights.
INDEX: * audio interview | † deceased
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2022
Dr. Thomas V. Fraschillo
University of Southern Mississippi
University of South Carolina-Columbia
Thomas V. Fraschillo, DMA. Through his recordings, publishing, conducting, and lecturing in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, he is considered an international musician/scholar. His publications, translations from the original Italian of Alessandro Vessella’s Studi di strumentazione (Instrumentation Studies), and La Tecnica dell’orchestra contemporanea (The Technique of Contemporary Orchestration) by Alfredo Casella and Vittorio Mortari, both published by BMG Ricordi, Milan, have put his name in libraries of the entire English-speaking world. As a writer/scholar Dr. Fraschillo is a contributing editor to the American Grove Dictionary, 2nd Edition and serves as a frequent conductor and lecturer in Italy. In Italy Dr. Fraschillo often serves as a member of the judging panel for many international festivals, most notably the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione “R. Marenco” di Novi Ligure, and the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Originale per Banda di Corciano.
Aside from Dr. Fraschillo’s work in Europe, he is often engaged throughout the continents of Asia, and Australia. The Melbourne, Australia, Summer Youth Music Program has invited him to be their guest conductor for their summer sessions, and the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association has invited him to lecture and adjudicate their large ensemble festivals. Dr. Fraschillo’s other work in the Pacific Rim includes having served as clinician and guest conductor of the Central Armed Forces Band in Singapore and as conductor of the Singapore All-College Band. His other work in Asia includes the Artistic Director for the weeklong Winter Band Festival at Disney, Hong Kong.
Dr. Fraschillo is a member of the National Band Association’s Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors, a distinct honor recognizing his lengthy career as a public school, university, and professional conductor.
Dr. Fraschillo devoted a significant amount of his career to the education of young people in Mississippi. For example, his ten-year tenure at Meridian High School was highlighted by a performance at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Dr. Fraschillo’s Meridian students obtained successes not before reached, for he taught and helped place the first African American students in the Mississippi All-State Band.
Dr. Fraschillo has attained a significant level in the realm of international leadership in that he currently serves as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the American Bandmasters Association. He is also a past president of the American Bandmasters Association and the National Band Association.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2020
Alfred L. Watkins
Co-Founder, Musical Director and Conductor
Cobb Wind Symphony
Alfred L. Watkins is Co-Founder, Musical Director and Conductor of the Cobb Wind Symphony, an all-adult community band in Marietta, GA. In 2013, he concluded his 37-year career as a high school band director, serving as Director of Bands at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia for 31 years and at Murphy High School in the Atlanta Public Schools for six. Mr. Watkins is a 1976 graduate of Florida A & M University with additional study in Music Education and Conducting at Georgia State University. Concert bands under Watkins’ direction have performed at the Midwest Band Clinic five times, six featured band performances at the Music for All National Festival, and four times at the GMEA In-Service Conference. The Lassiter Percussion Ensemble has performed twice at the Midwest Clinic and once at PASIC. The Lassiter Jazz Ensemble was twice selected as an Honorable Mention in the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition (NYC) and the Lassiter Winter Color Guard was named a two-time Winter Guard International World Champions in 1996 & 1997.
The Lassiter Marching Band was the 1998 and 2002 Bands of America Grand National Champions and also won nine BOA Regional Championships. Under Watkins’ leadership, the marching band also participated in four Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parades (spanning 25 years), three Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades (NYC), two King Orange Bowl Parades (FL), and one Florida Citrus Bowl Parade. During Watkins’ Lassiter tenure, all four (or five) Lassiter concert bands received consecutive Superior Ratings from 1993 until his retirement in 2013, with the top two bands earning consistent superior ratings in Grade VI for the last 23 years. The band program is one of a few bands in America to have received both the Sudler Flag of Honor for outstanding concert bands and the Sudler Shield for outstanding marching band. Watkins has been a judge for Bands of America, DCI, concert bands, and jazz bands, and has served as a keynote speaker, clinician and lecturer throughout the country. He has conducted all-state bands in 18 states and has worked with bands in 38 states.
Mr. Watkins has been selected as a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the Florida A & M University Gallery of Distinguished Alumni, the Georgia Chapter of the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame, and the Bands of America Hall of Fame. Watkins received the Edwin Franko Goldman Award from ASBDA, and in December 2017 he was a recipient of the Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor. He has served as the Guest Conductor of the World Youth Wind Symphony at the Interlochen Arts Camp and has served as guest conductor of the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” on the West Lawn at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. In 2018, Mr. Watkins was selected into the Inaugural Class as a Midwest Clinic Legend and currently serves on their Educational Advisory Committee. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity’s prestigious Distinguished Service to Music Medal. He has received 22 Certificates of Excellence from the National Band Association, the Sudler Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation, and the Band World magazine Legion of Honor Award.
Mr. Watkins is Co-Founder, Musical Director and Conductor of the Cobb Wind Symphony (1999), an all-adult community band based in the Metro Atlanta area, which has earned the Sudler Silver Scroll Award. CWS has performed three times at the Southern Division Convention of the C.B.D.N.A./N.B.A, three times at the Midwest Clinic, and four times at the GMEA In-Service Conference.
At present, Mr. Watkins is one of the few conductors to hold three Sudler Awards (Flag, Shield, Silver Scroll) simultaneously. In 2009 and 2010, two doctoral dissertations were written highlighting his life and centered around his work with the Lassiter Band Program.
Currently, Mr. Watkins is a Co-Founder and President of the Minority Band Director National Association, Inc., an organization charged to serve, promote, celebrate and mentor minority band directors throughout the country. He is currently an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer Corporation and Perform America. The $1.5 million Alfred L. Watkins Band Building at Lassiter High School bears his name.
He and his wife for 36 years, Rita, live in Marietta, GA. They have two adult sons: Christopher, a trumpeter in the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C., and Jonathan, a businessman in Ventura, CA.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2019
Professor Emeritus of Conducting & Director Emeritus of University Bands
University of Minnesota
Craig Kirchhoff is Professor Emeritus of Conducting and Director Emeritus of University Bands at the University of Minnesota where he conducted the University Wind Ensemble and guest conducted in the University Opera Program. Professor Kirchhoff coordinated the graduate program in Wind Ensemble/Band Conducting and guided all aspects of the University of Minnesota wind band program since 1993. He has won critical acclaim from composers Dominick Argento, Warren Benson, William Bolcom, Henry Brant, Susan Botti. Elliott Carter, Michael Colgrass, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Karel Husa, Libby Larsen, George Perle, Vincent Persichetti, Carter Pann, Stephen Paulus, Kevin Puts, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Gunther Schuller, Joseph Schwantner, James Stephenson, Steven Stucky, Elliott Schwartz, Frank Ticheli, Dana Wilson, Chen Yi, and others.
Prior to his appointment to the faculty of the University of Minnesota, Professor Kirchhoff served in a similar capacity as Director of Bands at The Ohio State University for 14 years, as Director of Bands at Washington State University for two years, and Associate Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for one year. Mr. Kirchhoff was the recipient of the Ohio State University Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award and the Ohio State University School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor Kirchhoff serves as an advisor to the BandQuest series published by the American Composers Forum, he joined James Galway, Eddie Daniels, Donald Hunsberger, Wynton Marsalis, and Dawn Upshaw on the Advisory Board for SmartMusic produced by the MakeMusic Corporation, and he serves as the Artistic Advisor for the Windependence wind band series published by Boosey & Hawkes.
Professor Kirchhoff is past president of the College Band Directors National Association and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the National Band Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the Music Educators National Conference, and served as the founding editor and principal advisor of the College Band Directors National Association Journal.
Professor Kirchhoff has appeared as guest conductor, clinician, and lecturer throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, and Scandinavia. He enjoyed a long association with the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra during Frederick Fennell’s tenure as Music Director and he has recorded with them on the Kosei Publishing label. Professor Kirchhoff serves as a Yamaha Master Educator.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2018
Richard L. Blatti
After having taught for 42 years, Richard Blatti retired in 2016 from Ohio State University and became Professor Emeritus. He served OSU as chief executive and academic officer for an internationally recognized faculty and a School of Music ranked 10th among public colleges and universities. Prior to this appointment, he was Area Head of Ensembles and Conducting, supervising all aspects of the conducting curricula and the administration of all university ensembles.
Throughout his OSU tenure, Professor Blatti personally taught conducting at all levels and the ensembles under his direction performed at national conferences, recorded for international recording labels, and toured extensively. For his interpretation of their works, Blatti earned the praise of many composers, including Gunther Schuller, Warren Benson, Michael Daugherty, Augusta Read Thomas, Jennifer Higdon, Eric Whitacre, Steven Bryant, David Gillingham, Carter Pann, Frank Ticheli, John Mackey, Daniel Bukvich, and Roger Cichy.
Professor Blatti has twice received The Ohio State University School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2007 was presented with the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching by the President of the University. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Board of the John P. Paynter Foundation, and on the Executive Board of the OSU Academy of Teaching.
As guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, Blatti has been invited to 42 states, five Canadian provinces, and the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Australia, and China. Prior to his appointment at OSU, Professor Blatti was Director of Instrumental Music at Albion College in Michigan for 10 years, where he was twice selected the outstanding Faculty Member of the Year, and was awarded two grants in support of his research on rehearsal techniques and conducting pedagogy.
Having written articles, analyses, and book chapters for OSU periodicals, GIA books, and Manhattan Beach publications, Blatti also served as Director of Bands and Music Department Chair at York Community High School in Elmhurst, Illinois.
A student of legendary conductor John Paynter, Blatti earned both the Bachelor of Music Education and the Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University and has done postgraduate work in conducting at Michigan State University. He serves as Conductor Laureate of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, Ohio Music Education Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Beta Mu, Omicron Delta Kappa, Tau Beta Sigma and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
In demand as a guest conductor, clinician, author, and lecturer, Blatti also enjoys woodworking, golf, and relaxing with his wife Penny at their lakeside home in central Ohio.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2017
Director of Bands / University of Texas
Serving since 1988 on the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Vincent R. and Jane D. DiNino Chair for the Director of Bands, and in addition to serving as a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Jerry Junkin is recognized as one of the world’s most highly regarded wind conductors. Previously, he served on the faculties of both the University of Michigan and the University of South Florida. In addition to his responsibilities as Professor of Music and Conductor of the Texas Wind Ensemble, he serves as Head of the Conducting Division and teaches courses in conducting and wind band literature.
He has served as Music Director and Conductor of the Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia since 2003, and as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dallas Winds since 1993. Additionally, he serves as principal guest conductor of the Sensoku Gakuen College of Music Wind Ensemble in Kawasaki, Japan. In 2005 he was presented the Grainger Medallion by the International Percy Grainger Society in recognition of his championing of Grainger’s works. A recipient of the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award, he was the 2012 Texas Bandmaster of the Year and in 2015 received the Medal of Honor from the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.
Mr. Junkin has released over 30 CD recordings for the Reference, Klavier and Naxos labels. The New York Times named his release with the UT Wind Ensemble on the Reference Recordings label, Bells for Stokowski, one of the best classical CDs of the year. Other major appearances with the UT Wind Ensemble include two European Tours, the 2007 Festival Del Sole in Napa Valley, and two Carnegie Hall performances.
Jerry Junkin spends his summers in residence at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, as well as appearing at major music festivals throughout the world. Mr. Junkin has served as President of the Big XII Band Director’s Association, is a member of the Board of Directors of The John Philip Sousa Foundation, is Past-President of the American Bandmasters Association, and Past-President of the College Band Directors National Association. Jerry Junkin is a Yamaha Master Educator.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2016
Colonel Akira Takeda
Commander / Conductor
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Central Band
Colonel Akira Takeda is the 13th commander of the Central Band of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, which was established in 1951. He was promoted to Colonel in July 2007 and appointed to his present position in August 2007 after several years as an Executive Officer.
Colonel Takeda holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Musashino Academia Musicae in Trumpet Performance. His primary instruction on trumpet came from Mr. Sueyoshi Nozaki, formerly of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, and Prof. Yutaka Tobe, principal trumpet of the New Japan Philharmonic. He also studied wind band methods with Mr. Toshio Akiyama, former President of the Japanese Band Directors Association. After graduation, he continued conducting studies with Prof. Kazue Kamiya.
Colonel Takeda began his military career in 1980 as an instructor in the education division of the GSDF Central Band. His assignments as band officer included commander of the 2nd Combined Brigade Band, the 1st Division Band, and the Northeastern Army Band, as well as chief of the education division of the Central Band. Concurrently, he was enrolled at Tokyo University of the Arts as an auditor in 1987. He participated in a master class of the 1996 International Conductors Course in the Netherlands under the guidance of Prof. Eugene Corporon of the University of North Texas College of Music.
As premier band commander of the JGSDF, Colonel Takeda has conducted main concerts, tour concerts, national event performances and requested commercial label recordings including New Arrangement Collections Vol. 3-13 of Brain Music Co., Premium Wind Ensemble Collection of Rocket Music Inc., and Best of Marches of Fontec Inc. He is also in charge of education for commissioned officers and enlisted musicians of the GSDF bands.
Colonel Takeda was invited to guest conduct the U.S. Army Band Pershing’s Own in 2009 and the U.S. Military Academy Band in 2012, where he shared examples of Japanese wind band literature with American audiences. Takeda also authorized the Central Band’s Tuba Euphonium Quartet and Saxophone Quartet to participate in Chicago’s Midwest Clinic in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
In 2009, Colonel Takeda and the Central Band were awarded the prestigious Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence for Military Concert Bands, administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.
Colonel Takeda is a member of the Japanese Band Directors Association and is an executive of the Japan Sousa Society. He was selected as an honorary member of the American Bandmasters Association in 2015.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2015
Anthony J. Maiello
Artistic Director and Conductor
American Festival Pops Orchestra
Anthony J. Maiello, Artistic Director and Conductor, American Festival Pops Orchestra, Washington, D.C., makes professional appearances both nationally and abroad conducting music festivals, adjudicating ensembles and presenting clinics, lectures and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas and Europe. He conducted musical activities for the Gold Medal Ceremonies at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York; served as Musical Director for Music Festivals International; was selected as President of International Association of Jazz Educators – New York State Chapter; and is a guest clinician for Yamaha Corporation and Warner Bros. Publications. In 2010 he was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame at Music for All‘s Indianapolis headquarters.
Professional recording credits include conducting the American Wind Symphony and additional studio ensembles for Alfred/Belwin Publications. Locally, Maiello has served as Associate Conductor of The McLean Orchestra, McLean, Virginia; been appointed an Honorary Conductor of The United States Navy Band, Washington, D.C.; and was a participant in the National Conducting Institute with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., to which he has provided his services as a cover conductor.
Maiello received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York in 1965 and 1967 respectively, and has extensive experience teaching in the public schools and at the university level. While at the Crane School of Music, Potsdam College of SUNY, Potsdam, New York, he served as a Professor of Music and Chairman of Performance, where he taught Advanced Instrumental Conducting, Applied Clarinet, Woodwind Techniques, Percussion Techniques and conducted the Crane Wind Ensemble.
Presently a Professor of Music with George Mason University’s School of Music in Fairfax, Virginia, Maiello teaches Graduate and Undergraduate Conducting, all levels of Aural Skills, and Jazz Theory & Arranging. He founded and conducted the GMU Wind Ensemble and GMU Chamber Orchestra. He has served as Associate Director of the School of Music, Conductor of the GMU Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band and Director of the GMU Jazz Ensemble. Under his direction, the ensembles at both Crane and George Mason University commissioned new works, made numerous recordings and appeared at national and international conferences.
Throughout his career, Maiello has published musical compositions for string orchestra and is the author of Conducting Nuances (GIA Publications, Inc. ); Conducting: A Hands-On-Approach (Warner Bros./Alfred Publications); and co-author of The 21st Century Band Method (Warner Bros./Alfred Publications). In 2007, Maiello was awarded the title of University Professor by the GMU Board of Visitors, the highest rank given to Mason faculty members. In 2012 he was presented with the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia “Signature Award” for promoting music in America, and in 2013 was nominated for a Grammy Music Educator Award, a category created by The Recording Academy in partnership with the Grammy Foundation in recognition of music educators.
Maestro Maiello is the founder and Conductor/Artistic Director of the American Festival Pops Orchestra, a professional ensemble in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area dedicated to promoting and performing the finest in American popular music.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2014
Paula A. Crider
University of Texas
Paula A. Crider began her teaching career in Purvis, Mississippi. She has taught at all levels, and holds the distinction of having been the first female Class 5A Director of Bands in the State of Texas. Her Crockett High School Bands won honors at both the state and national levels.
In 1982 she joined the faculty of The University of Texas; first as assistant director, and later as a tenured full professor in the School of Music, conductor of the Symphony Band, and director of the acclaimed University of Texas Longhorn Band. During a 17-year tenure, she earned two “Eyes of Texas” Awards for distinguished teaching. She has enjoyed an active schedule as guest conductor, lecturer, clinician and adjudicator in 47 states, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Singapore, Italy and Australia.
Professor Crider is Past President of both the American Bandmasters Association and the National Band Association. She has served as Chief Adjudicator for the London New Year’s Day Parade, is an Educational Consultant for Conn-Selmer, Inc. and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Association.
Crider has written numerous articles for The Instrumentalist, The Band Director’s Guide, and National Band Association Journal, and manuals for brass techniques, marching band methods and instrumental conducting. She is co-author for the Masterwork Studies series [Hal Leonard] and author of The Conductor’s Legacy [GIA].
Awards and honors include the Tau Beta Sigma/Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award, the Sudler Legion of Merit, the Women Band Director’s International Rose, the Grainger Society Medal, the National Band Association AWAPA Award, 2004 Texas Bandmaster of the Year, Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame, and the Midwest Medal of Honor. She was inducted into both the Women Band Directors International and the National Band Association Hall of Fame. In 2013 she was honored with a Doctor of Music Education Honoris Causa from the Vandercook School of Music.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2013
James F. Keene
Director of Bands Emeritus
The University of Illinois
James F. Keene retired from the University of Illinois in 2008, where he held the titles of Director of Bands and Brownfield Distinguished Professor of Music. During his 23-year tenure at Illinois, the Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony, under his direction, were selected to perform for every major music conference in the U.S. , toured throughout the U.S. and Europe, and performed in several of America′s most prestigious concert halls including several appearances at historic Orchestra Hall in Chicago, as well as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York.
Interview with James Keene
Keene is Past-President of The American Bandmasters Association and also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is a Past-President of The National Band Association. He is a Past-President of the Big Ten Band Directors Association, member of the Board of Directors of the historic Goldman Memorial, past chairman of the ABA /Ostwald Composition Contest, member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Band Research and honorary member of the Board of Directors of the International Percy Grainger Society. Currently he serves as Trustee of the Foundation for Music Education and serves on the Board of Directors of the John Philip Sousa Foundation.
In 2002 he was named Honorary Life Member of The Texas Bandmasters Association. In 2009 he was installed into the Bands of America Hall of Fame in Indianapolis, Indiana. He continues to be in constant demand as conductor, clinician, and adjudicator of bands and orchestras, appearing in those capacities in 44 states and on four continents.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2012
James K. Copenhaver [1943-2014]
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2011
David R. Holsinger
Award-winning composer and conductor David R. Holsinger joined the faculty of Lee University in Cleveland, TN in 1999. He is the conductor of the Lee Wind Ensemble and teaches composition, orchestration and conducting. Dr. Holsinger holds degrees from Central Methodist University, University of Central Missouri and the University of Kansas. His compositions have won four national competitions, including a two-time ABA Ostwald Award. His prestigious series celebrating American wind composers was founded in 1992.
An elected member of the American Bandmasters Association, Holsinger’s recent honors include the Distinguished Music Alumni Award from Central Missouri State University; CIDA’s 1999 Director of the Year Citation; Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s Orpheus Award; the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from Central Methodist College; and the 2003 Excellence in Scholarship Citation from Lee University. Holsinger was honored by Gustavus Adolphus College with the awarding of an honourary Doctor of Human Letters for lifetime achievement in composition and presented the Gustavus Fine Arts Medallion.
Holsinger has served as Visiting Distinguished Composer in Residence at 11 American colleges or universities. He is active as a guest composer and conductor throughout the United States.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2010
Robert E. Foster
Robert E. Foster was born in 1939 in Texas where his father, Estill Foster, was a prominent high school band director. Foster attended the University of Texas. He taught in Austin and in Houston. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Houston. Foster served as the assistant and the associate director of bands and trumpet teacher at the University of Florida. He has served the University of Kansas for 31 years, was conductor of the top wind organizations, and was the chairman of the Division of Bands.
In 2006 he was inducted into the National Band Associations Hall of Fame. Foster has served as president and chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Bandmasters Association, the National Band Association, president of the Southwest Division of CBDNA, and of the Big 12 Conference Band Directors Association.
He is VP of the John Philip Sousa Foundation and has been on the Board of Directors for CBDNA, ABA, NBA, the John Philip Sousa Foundation and the Kansas Bandmasters Association. He was selected Bandmaster of the Year by KBA. Foster is an active composer, arranger, conductor and clinician. He has served as an educational consultant for Wingert-Jones Music.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2009
H. Robert Reynolds
Sincere thanks to GIA Publications President Alex Harris and Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser for allowing Phi Beta Mu International to share this short excerpt from a full length DVD available for purchase from GIA Publications (Master Conductors series)
H. Robert Reynolds is Principal Conductor of the Wind Ensemble at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. He retired from the School of Music at the University of Michigan where he served as the Henry F. Thurnau Professor of Music, Director of University Bands and Director of the Division of Instrumental Studies.
For the past 25 years he has been the conductor of the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. Reynolds has conducted recordings for Koch International, Pro Arte, Caprice, and Deutsche Gramophone and has won the praise of many composers for the sensitive interpretation of their compositions. He has conducted in many of the major concert halls of Europe and the United States and is the conductor of the Tanglewood Institute Wind Ensemble. Reynolds is a sought-after guest conductor and lecturer with engagements in many of the major cities of Europe and Japan. He is Past President of the College Band Directors’ National Association and the Big Ten Band Directors Association.
Reynolds has received many honors from his peers that celebrate his distinguished service to music and teaching excellence. The many former students who now hold major conducting positions at leading colleges and universities evidence his legacy as a mentor.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2008
John L. Whitwell
John L. Whitwell was Director of Bands Emeritus at Michigan State University where he served as Director of Bands, Conductor of the Wind Symphony, Professor of Music, Chair of Conducting, and guided the graduate degree programs in Wind Conducting prior to his retirement in 2006.
He has been a passionate advocate of the commissioning of new music his entire career. A member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest Clinic, past-president of the Big Ten Band Directors Association and past-president of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association,
Whitwell has received many honors that celebrate his distinguished service to music and teaching excellence. He is in great demand as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2007
Regents Professor of Music and Conductor of the Wind Symphony at the University of North Texas, Eugene Corporon‘s groups have recorded over 400 works and released 50 recordings on various labels.
He was Past President of the College Band Directors National Association; co-author of the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series; internationally recognized and sought-after conductor and teacher; and recipient of the Phi Beta Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Citation for advancing the cause of music in America.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2006
Don Wilcox is former Professor of Music and Director of Bands Emeritus at West Virginia State University; an internationally recognized conductor, lecturer, and clinician; Past-President of the American Bandmasters Association and recipient of the Sudler Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2005
Myron Welch is an emeritus professor and former director of bands at the University of Iowa where he conducted the Symphony Band and Chamber Wind Ensemble, coordinated the graduate program in band conducting, and taught courses in instrumental methods, conducting and band literature.
He received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Michigan State University with majors in clarinet and bassoon. He earned the Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Illinois where he studied conducting with Dr. Harry Begian.
Dr. Welch was a reviewer of new music for The Instrumentalist and is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2004
James Croft [1929-2012]
Dr. James Croft received his BME degree from Cornell College, an MA from Northern Iowa University, and his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He taught for 21 years in the public schools in Iowa and Wisconsin, the last eighteen of which were spent in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where his groups were invited to appear at numerous state, regional, and national conventions, clinics, and festivals. In 1972 he joined the faculty of the University of South Florida as Director of Bands, remaining there until assuming a position as Professor of Music at Florida State University in 1980. He became Director of Bands at FSU in 1981. He retired from the faculty in the summer of 2003, after taking the FSU Wind Orchestra to perform for the World Association of Symphonic Band Ensembles convention in Sweden.
Widely sought as a guest conductor, lecturer, adjudicator, and clinician, he appeared in 46 states, Europe, Great Britain, Mexico, Canada, Israel, and Australia. These appearances include the National Music Camp [Interlochen]; the Royal Academy of Music [London]; the Royal Marine School of Music [Portsmouth]; the Central Army Orchestra [Budapest]; the Ensemble Barrundeum [Prague]; the Royal Central Air Force Band [London]; the Matan Music Camp [Israel]; conducting symposia at the University of Calgary and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; the Band Conductors Art [University of Michigan]; The Art of Wind Band Teaching [University of Minnesota]; the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles; the World Association of Symphonic Band Ensembles, and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic [Chicago]. He annually serves on the conducting faculty of Canford [England] School of Music.
A past president of both the National Band Association and the College Band Directors National Association, he also serves as a contributing editor for The Instrumentalist, and as a consulting editor for Research Perspectives in Music Education. He is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association and Phi Beta Mu. In 1966-67, The School Musician selected him as one of the nation’s ten outstanding music educators. In 1997 he received a Florida State University Teaching Award and was recognized as the University Educator of the Year. He is the recipient of the Makovsky Memorial Award and the Distinguished Service Medal from Kappa Kappa Psi; the Florida Collegiate Educator of the Year award from the Florida Music Educators Association; the Midwest Clinic’s Medal of Honour, and was inducted into the Florida Bandmasters Association Roll of Distinction in 2002.
Dr. James Edwin Croft, 82, died September 6, 2012 with his wife of 61 years by his side. With Jim’s passing, so goes a life filled with compassion, acceptance and understanding. His love for his wife and family was felt by each of them every day.
Jim was born September 15, 1929, the oldest of three children to Hugh and Marion Croft in Vinton, Iowa. His family moved to Mt. Vernon, Iowa where he graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1947. He went on to Cornell College in Mt. Vernon where he found his love for music and education. At the end of his junior year he and his sweetheart of three years, Diana Pringle married. She was an elementary school teacher. After his graduation in 1951 they both got teaching jobs in Traer, Iowa.
He loved his job, but felt he needed more education so he started work on a Master’s degree from Iowa State Teachers College (which he later finished while in Oshkosh). A fellow graduate student encouraged him to apply for the band job at Oshkosh High School in Oshkosh Wisconsin. This started an illustrious career, including the opportunity for this band to be the first high school band to play behind the Iron Curtain. While in Oshkosh he took time to earn a PhD at the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1970.
In 1972 he was hired as Director of Bands at University of South Florida. He remained there for eight years before he accepted his final job at Florida State University, where he stayed until his retirement in 2003. He is survived by his wife Diana Croft; his two children, Tim Croft and Nancy Croft-Pierson; and his three beloved grandchildren, Elizabeth, Sean and Melissa Pierson.
The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Croft Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund College of Music at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1180, or the USF Foundation (Mr. and Mrs. James Croft Music Education Endowment) at USF College of the Arts, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, FAH110 Tampa, Florida 33620. The family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2003
Lowell E. Graham
A native of Greeley, Colorado, Lowell E. Graham is the Chairman of the Music Department and Director of Orchestra Activities at the University of Texas at El Paso.
He is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education in 1970 and a Master of Arts degree in performance the following year. In 1977 he became the first person to be awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
His distinguished conducting career includes performances with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra; Virginia Symphony; Spokane Symphony; Valdosta Symphony Orchestra; El Paso Symphony Orchestra; American Promenade Orchestra; Greeley Philharmonic, Chamber Music Palm Beach Chamber Orchestra; Westsachsisches Symphonieorchester; Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Banda Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo; Orquestra de Sopros Brasileira; Banda Sinfonica de la Provincia de Cordoba – Argentina; Banda Municipal de Musica de Bilbao – Espana; Banda Municipal de Barcelona – Espana; National Symphonic Winds; National Chamber Players; Avatar Brass Ensemble; Denver Brass; Commander and Conductor of the United States Air Force’s premier musical organization in Washington, D.C. As a USAF Colonel, he became the senior ranking musician in the Department of Defense.
Graham initiated many important media projects for American Public Radio as well as live telecast/webcast concerts and video productions on which his credits include those of conductor, writer and musical producer. He is a frequent guest on radio talk shows and performed on NBC’s Today Show for five consecutive years on Independence Day.
Awards and honours include: Abraham Chavez Professorship in Music; American Bandmasters Association; University of Northern Colorado School of Music Hall of Honour; Catholic University of America’s 1998 Alumni Achievement Award; University of Northern Colorado Alumni Association Honoured Alumni Award; Award of Distinction from Illinois Music Educators Association; Phi Beta Mu International Outstanding Bandmaster Award; American School Band Directors Association’s A. Austin Harding Award; Director Honourifico Anual for Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Paraguay.
In 2005 Graham was named as the Supervising Editor for LudwigMasters Music Publications, Inc. , a division of Edwin F. Kalmus & Co. , Inc. Graham has released recordings on five labels — Klavier, Telarc, Mark, Altissimo and Wilson — that have been recognized for both their artistic and sonic excellence. These recordings have been recognized in Stereophile’s Records’ To Die For list, The Absolute Sound’s The Super Disc list, as well as one having won a Grammy.
Interview with Lowell Graham
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2002
Harry Begian [1921-2010]
Sincere thanks to GIA Publications President Alex Harris and Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser for allowing Phi Beta Mu International to share this short excerpt from a full length DVD available for purchase from GIA Publications (Master Conductors series)
Harry Begian studied trumpet with Leonard Smith and flute with Larry Teal in the Detroit area. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Wayne State University and a doctorate degree at the University of Michigan. He also studied conducting at Tanglewood.
It was his work at Cass Technical High School in Detroit from 1947 to 1964 that first led to national recognition. Twenty-five Cass Tech recordings are on permanent file in the Library of Congress as part of the Harry Begian Collection. This collection, along with more than 60 record albums and 15 CDs from his University of Illinois tenure, has been called “the most distinguished and complete collection of recorded band performances in existence.“
Professional affiliations include: Director of Bands at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Director of Bands at Michigan State and Wayne State Universities.
Awards and honours include: American Bandmasters Association’s Honourary Life Membership; National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence; American School Band Directors Association’s Edwin Franko Goldman Award; Percy Grainger Award; election to the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2001
Dr. Mallory Thompson
Dr. Mallory Thompson received her Bachelor of Music Education degree and Master of Music degree in conducting from Northwestern University, where she studied conducting with John P. Paynter and trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz. She received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Donald Hunsberger.
Academic posts include: Northwestern University’s Director of Bands, Professor of Music, coordinator of conducting program; Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; University of South Florida; Oberlin Conservatory; Bucknell University; artistic director of Northshore Concert Band.
Professional affiliations include: Pi Kappa Lambda; Music Educators National Conference; College Band Directors National Association; American Bandmasters Association; Board of Directors of Midwest Clinic.
Conducting/clinician positions include: College Band Directors National Association conventions; Midwest Clinic; Interlochen Arts Academy; Aspen Music Festival; United States Air Force Band; United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”; United States Army Field Band; United States Coast Guard Band; United States Navy Band; West Point Band; Dallas Wind Symphony; Symphony Silicon Valley.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 2000
Charles Enloe [1920-2016]
Charles Enloe was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He chose trombone as his performing medium and graduated from Wichita Falls High School in 1938. He enrolled at Southern Methodist University, but World War II interrupted his education and he became a member of the Air Force. After the war ended, he resumed his education at SMU, received his degree in Music Education, spent several months at Highland Park, began his teaching career at Mexia High School, moving to Nederland High School and teaching trombone at Lamar University in Beaumont. Soon, the home area drew Charles to Seymour, where he built an outstanding program.
Charles returned to Seymour, disproving the old theory that “you can’t go back someplace where you have been before.” His bands at Seymour continued to be award winners until he left to return to Wichita Falls as Director of Bands at Rider High School. After a successful tenure there, he was promoted to Supervisor of Bands for the Wichita Fall Independent School District where he served until his retirement.
He served as region chairman; taught at summer music camps and judged in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico. Charles retired, but still served as supervisor of music student teachers at Midwestern University. He was a charter member of TMAA, TMEA, TBA, ASBDA and Phi Beta Mu.
Interview with Charles Enloe
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1999
Robert D. Jorgenson [1945-2015]
Robert D. Jorgensen earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree from Michigan State University where he was a student of Leonard Falcone and Kenneth Bloomquist. From 1969-1972 he was euphonium soloist with the United States Army Field Band in Washington, D.C.
Academic posts include: Director of Bands plus Professor and Assistant Director of School of Music at University of Akron; Morehead State University, Kentucky; Director of Bands at Midwestern State University, Texas.
Awards and honours include: Phi Beta Mu 1999 Outstanding Bandmasters Award; Citation of Excellence Award from National Band Association; A. Frank Martin Award from Kappa Kappa; membership in American Bandmasters Association.
Professional affiliations include: Past-President, board chair of American Bandmasters Association; Past-President of Mid-American Conference Band Directors Association.
Robert Dubois Jorgensen, who led the University of Akron (UA) band program for 26 years, passed away unexpectedly on July 4, 2015, soon after doing what he loved; conducting a band.
The Freedom Brass Band of Northern Ohio is very deeply saddened to announce the passing of our musical director, Robert D. Jorgensen. The entire University of Akron community is also saddened to learn of the passing of Robert Jorgensen. Bob was a devoted and very dedicated band director with a special ability to connect with students, encouraging them to be the best they could be, both in the band and as individuals. His care and concern for them during his 26 years at Akron was legendary.
Following his retirement from UA in 2013, he continued conducting the Freedom Brass Band, a position he had held since 2006. He was conducting this ensemble during a Fourth of July celebration in downtown Akron at Lock 3 when he fell ill.
Jorgensen was born December 26, 1945 in Springfield, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his father, also named Robert and also a band director. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Anne Jorgensen; daughter, Laura Anne Jorgensen of Eugene, Oregon; his mother, Mary Elisabeth “Betty” Jorgensen; brothers, Richard and Nancy Jorgensen of hot Springs Village, Arkansas, and David and Kelly Jorgensen of San Antonio Texas; and sister Mary Jorgensen of Bloomington, Illinois. Cremation took place.
A private family committal service took place on July 23, 2015 at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, followed by a celebration of life reception at Guzzatta Hall, home of The University of Akron School of Music. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested that contributions be made to the Robert D. Jorgensen Endowed Fund for music majors enrolled in University of Akron Concert Bands, The University of Akron Foundation, Akron, OH 44325-2603.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1998
Frank B. Wickes [1937-2020]
Frank B. Wickes [Carruth Alumni Professor and Director of Bands] has served as Director of Bands at Louisiana State University since 1980. Wickes holds the rank of full professor in the College of Music and Dramatic Arts. He received degrees from the University of Delaware and the University of Michigan.
Awards and honours include: 1976 Teacher of the Year in the College of Fine Arts, U of Florida; endowed Alumni Professorship at LSU; recognition from Chancellor for 20 years of distinguished dedication to LSU and his profession; 1994 cover story of The Instrumentalist magazine; Kappa Kappa Psi 1996 Distinguished Service to Music Medal; Phi Beta Mu 1998 National Bandmaster of the Year; 2008 AWAPA [Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts]Award; 2009 Louisiana Music Educators Hall of Fame; National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors; Sudler Order of Merit for outstanding high school programs for the decades 1960 to 1980.
Professional affiliations include: presidency of National Band Association; Southern Division presidency of CBDNA; presidency of American Bandmasters Association.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1997
Dr. William Francis McBeth [1933-2012]
Dr. William Francis McBeth [1933-2012]
William Francis McBeth was a world-renowned composer and conductor. He was the Trustees’ Distinguished University Professor and resident composer at Ouachita Baptist University [OBU] in Arkadelphia [Clark County], where he served as chairman of the Department of Music Theory and Composition. The governor appointed him Composer Laureate of Arkansas in 1975, the first composer laureate in the United States.
View speech given at Dr. McBeth’s memorial service by Julia Reynolds, ASBOA Executive Secretary.
Hear interview with Dr. McBeth courtesy of the Arkansas Educational Television Network from their “Men and Women of Distinction” series.
Francis McBeth received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1954 from Hardin-Simmon University in Abilene, Texas; his Master of Music in 1957 from the University of Texas in Austin and was awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Music from HSU in 1971. He also studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
He served in the military from 1954 to 1956 with the 101st Airborne Band at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and the 98th Army Band at Fort Rucker, Alabama. McBeth was appointed band director at Ouachita Baptist College [now Ouachita Baptist University] in 1957. He remained at OBU, retiring in 1996 as chairman of the theory and composition department, resident composer, and the Lena Shepperson Professor of Music.
McBeth conducted the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in Little Rock [Pulaski County] for many years before his retirement from the orchestra in 1973, at which time he was named Conductor Emeritus
Most of McBeth’s music and books were published by Southern Music Company of San Antonio, Texas. His publications include works for all media: piano, choral, chamber, orchestra, and band. Among his most frequently performed compositions are Symphony No. 3 [which was awarded the Howard Hanson Prize in 1963]; Kaddish, Op. 57; Beowulf, Op. 71; Of Sailors and Whales, Op. 78; Through Countless Halls of Air, Op. 84; and Missa Brevis, Op. 82.
McBeth was widely recognized as a clinician and lecturer and wrote a great deal about his own music and that of his contemporaries. Many of his articles were published in leading music journals, and he published three books on music theory and orchestration: Effective Performance of Band Music ; New Theories of Theory , and Twentieth Century Techniques of Composition for the Beginning Student . All of his major compositions have been recorded and are commercially available.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1996
Frederick Fennell [1914-2004]
Frederick Fennell studied at the Eastman School of Music, gaining his Bachelor’s degree in 1937 and his Master’s two years later, after which he immediately joined the teaching faculty of the Eastman School.
In 1952 he formed the Eastman Wind Ensemble, who made 22 highly successful LPs. The Wind Ensemble became a model for many groups, and its recording of Percy Grainger’s A Lincolnshire Posy went on to be selected as one of the “Fifty Best Recordings of the Centenary of the Phonograph, 1877–1977” by the magazine Stereo Review.
In 1978 he made a landmark recording: the first digital symphonic disc. The result was an enormously successful recording of music by Bach, Handel and Holst.
In 1984 he was appointed chief conductor of the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, the youngest of the lay Buddhist associations in Japan. In 1992 a new concert hall was named after Fennell in Kofu, Japan, and in 1995 he became the group’s Conductor Laureate.
In 1994 Fennell was presented with the Theodore Thomas Award of the American Conductors’ Guild in recognition of his leadership and service to wind band performance throughout the world. The two previous recipients of this award had been Solti and Bernstein.
Fennell remains best-known for his Mercury recordings with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. His skill as an orchestral conductor may be seen in his several ‘pops’ recordings with the Eastman-Rochester Pops Orchestra and the London Pops Orchestra.
Frederick Fennell, the master band conductor who founded the famed Eastman Wind Ensemble and raised band performance to an art form, died December 7, 2004 at his home in Siesta Key, Florida. He was 90. Mr. Fennell died in his sleep, his daughter Cathy Fennell Martensen said.
Through the pioneering Eastman ensemble started in 1952, and a slew of recordings in the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. Fennell set a new standard of wind ensemble performance, often assigning just one player to each part, then infusing band music with a new level of expressivity.
“He was arguably the most famous band conductor since John Philip Sousa”, said Jerry F. Junkin, professor of music at the University of Texas at Austin and artistic director of the Dallas Wind Symphony, where Mr. Fennell was principal guest conductor. Before Mr. Fennell, band music was often considered lowbrow entertainment with an assembly-line feel. “He was the first person to really record so much of the band repertoire”, Mr. Junkin said. “He was really the first conductor to do interpretive readings of some of that repertoire; insightful, interpretive, passionate readings.”
Mr. Fennel also taught for more than 50 years at the music camp at Interlochen, Michigan. He took his meals with the students in the cafeteria and was often seen in a sweater from his colorful collection. Although he was just over five feet tall, his conducting style was equally flamboyant, and his almost shoulder-length white hair attracted attention.
He expressed a wish to have his ashes scattered in the woods at Interlochen, his daughter said. Mr. Fennell was born on July 2, 1914 in Cleveland and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, where he studied percussion. In her email message, Ms. Martensen recounted that on his deathbed, Mr. Fennell said, “I cannot die without a drummer.” She added that his last words were, “I hear him, I’m O.K. now.”
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1995
Charles Emmons [1917-2000]
Charles L. Emmons, 83, of Columbia, Mo. died November 21, 2000 at Lenoir Health Care Center. A memorial service was held on November 29, 2000 at Fairview United Methodist Church. Private graveside services were held on November 22, 2000 at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Mr. Emmons was born May 19, 1917 in Lipscomb County, Texas. He married Lea Van Kirk, and she preceded him in death.
Mr. Emmons was Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Missouri. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the South Pacific and Japan as a supply sergeant and playing in dance bands for Bob Hope and other entertainers. He taught high school instrumental music in Oklahoma and Texas before coming to the University of Missouri in 1957. During his 25 years at MU, he served as director of bands, conductor of the University Philharmonic Orchestra and chairman of the music department and taught undergraduate and graduate music education courses.
Survivors include a daughter, Charla Emmons Kleopfer of Columbia; a sister, Juanita Murray of Hereford, Texas and two granddaughters. Memorials were suggested to Charles L. Emmons Music Scholarship in care of Charla Kleopfer, 2508 Lenox Place, Columbia, Mo., 65203.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1994
Professor Eldon Janzen received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Oklahoma State University and his Master of Music Education degree from North Texas State University, where he also served as Assistant to Director of Bands Maurice McAdow.
He taught in the public schools of Oklahoma and Texas for 14 years before he was appointed Director of Music Activities for the Irving Texas school system in 1966. He was Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas from 1970 to 1995 and also taught instrumental methods and graduate conducting.
His textbook, The Band Director’s Survival Guide, was widely used in instrumental methods courses throughout the country.
Professional affiliations include: American Bandmasters Association; Music Educators National Conference; College Band Directors National Association; Kappa Kappa Psi; Tau Beta Sigma; Lions International; President of Texas Bandmasters Association; President of Southwest Division of CBDNA; President of Arkansas Bandmasters Association; President of Phi Beta Mu International.
Awards and honours include: Arkansas Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame; Phi Beta Mu International Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music; Life President of Arkansas Bandmasters Association; Distinguished Service Citation by Kappa Kappa Psi.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1993
Dr. John R. Locke
Dr. John R. Locke holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from West Virginia University and Doctor of Education from the University of Illinois.
Academic posts include: teaching positions at West Virginia University; Southeast Missouri State University; University of Illinois; Director of Bands, University of North Carolina Greensboro School of Music.
Awards and honours include: Phi Mu Alpha’s Orpheus Award; National Band Association Citation of Excellence; membership in American Bandmasters Association; 1994 Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award; 2003 Outstanding Music Teacher Award at UNCG School of Music; Albert Austin Harding Award from American School Band Directors Association; Old North State Award from N.C. Governor Mike Easley for “dedication and service beyond excellence to the state of North Carolina.”
Professional affiliations include: Past-President of Southern Division of College Band Directors National; President of American Bandmasters Association; Past-President of North Carolina Music Educators Association; Carolina Band Festival and Conductors Conference; founder of UNCG’s Summer Music Camp program.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1992
J. Raymond Brandon [1907-2005]
J. Raymond Brandon‘s interest in music began as a child growing up on a farm near Chambersville, Ark. and was sparked by his father who sang at church and had a deep respect for music. He worked after school delivering telegrams for Western Union and earned $15.95 to buy a cornet from Sears and Roebuck. This instrument functioned well for several years, but was soon replaced by a gold-plated cornet given to him by his father.
Upon graduating from Fordyce High School, he attended Hendrix College. After a few years at Hendrix he worked as the band director at Heber Springs, then became band director at Arkansas High School in Texarkana. He held this position for 15 years. He attended classes at Vandercook School of Music, Lewis and Clark College, and Western State College where in 1949 he received a master’s degree. He moved to North Little Rock where he remained director of bands until his retirement in 1971. He was instrumental in forming the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association.
Professional affiliations include: charter member of Arkansas Bandmasters Association; charter member of Omicron Chapter of Phi Beta Mu; president of American School Band Directors Association.
Awards and honours include: “Mac” award by First Chair of America; Arkansas’ 1977 Bandmaster of the Year; American School Band Director’s Association’s 1977 Goldman Award; membership in American Bandmasters Association in 1986.
John Raymond Brandon, 98, of North Little Rock, Arkansas died peacefully at home on December 5, 2005, surrounded by his children. He was born on January 3, 1907 at Thornton, Arkansas, on the 300th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia.
He was the son of the late William H. and Mae Chaffin Brandon. His great-great-great grandfather − Francis Brandon − of Halifax County, Virginia, fought with the Virginia Militia in the American Army of Nathanael Greene against British forces under General Cornwallis at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse March 15, 1781. In October of that year he served with the American Army in the conclusive battle at Yorktown, Virginia, and then escorted the British prisoners who were surrendered there by Lord Cornwallis to their repatriation ports in Maryland.
Mr. Brandon is predeceased by his beloved wife Ruth Bridwell Brandon of Heber Springs, Arkansas. His surviving relatives include a son, John R. Brandon, Captain, U.S. Navy Retired and his wife Christina of Norfolk, Virginia; daughter, Suzanne Brandon of North Little Rock, Arkansas; daughter Lisa Brandon Doss and her husband Don of Jacksonville, Arkansas; grandson Chaffin Bridwell Brandon of Norfolk, Virginia; granddaughter Elizabeth Smith Gaddy and her husband Marvill Gaddy of Norfolk, Virginia; granddaughter Margarete Nathan Brandon of Virginia Beach, Virginia; great-granddaughters Rebecca Gaddy of Norfolk, Virginia and Brittany Stubbs of Virginia Beach, Virginia; and last but not least, a red-headed great grandson namesake − Ethan Raymond Brandon of Norfolk, Virginia.
Mr. Brandon’s life lasted almost 100 years − spanning most of the 20th century. His life encompassed two world wars; an influenza pandemic; a global economic depression; the Korean and Vietnam Wars; the Cold War; the demise of the Warsaw Pact; and the fall of the Berlin Wall … not to mention a multitude of amazing cultural and technological developments.
He grew up with a horsedrawn buggy in the front yard and stepped into the next world with internet and email communications proclaiming his departure and describing his accomplishments. Mr. Brandon has remembered in writing, with fondness, his life as a young boy at the family farm near Chambersville, Arkansas. In particular, he remembered his beautiful mother Mae Chaffin who died an untimely death in the 1918-20 influenza pandemic.
He also recalled his resourceful and energetic father, William H. Brandon, who personally designed and constructed the family home and worked a magically comprehensive and self-sufficient farm. Mr. Brandon recalled in detail the virtues and sometime hazards of going barefoot through the fields and forests, interacting directly with animals and flora of the area, and a friendly, yet sometimes combative relationship with his four brothers Frank, Zachary, Fred and William.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that gifts be made to the Ray and Ruth Brandon Scholarship Fund which is awarded to an individual entering the field of music education in Arkansas. Gifts may be sent to the Raymond and Ruth Brandon Scholarship Fund c/o ASBOA P.O. Box 6227 Russellville, Arkansas 72801.
Raymond Brandon is survived by a multitude of friends, students and colleagues who celebrate his life and mourn his passing. For them and for his family, he truly was the leader of the band. The memorial service was held on December 9, 2005 at the First United Methodist Church of North Little Rock.
George C. Brite received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1947 and a master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Michigan in 1952. Under Brite’s direction, the Sapulpa High School Band was invited to perform at the Cotton Bowl parade in 1972, the presidential inaugural parade for President Reagan in 1985, and the Orange Bowl parade in 1986. Sapulpa celebrated George Brite Day to honour his retirement in 1987 and dedicated the Sapulpa High School George Brite Band Hall in 1996.
Brite also conducted the Summer Starlight Band Concert series during the 1980s and early ’90s at the River West Festival Park Amphitheater in Tulsa. The Starlight Band has given free concerts to the Tulsa community each summer since 1947.
Professional affiliations include: Oklahoma Bandmasters Association; American Bandmasters Association; Oklahoma Educators Association; National Educators Association.
George C. Brite, 80, passed away May 13, 2007 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was born on July 6, 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Everett and Claire Brite.
He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1947 and a master’s degree in music education from the University of Michigan in 1952. He met his wife, Maxine Brite, at Rogers High School in Tulsa, where they played in his 12-piece band. They married in 1947.
Alex Claussen, Sapulpa High School’s current director and a former student of Brite, said Brite put Sapulpa on the map through his work with the band, which performed across the country. Classmen said, “Brite pushed himself so hard to make sure all his students had a great experience.”
He is survived by his wife, Maxine Brite of Tulsa; two daughters, Roberta Brite of Tulsa and Georgine Gantz of Little Rock, Arkansas; brother Robert Brite of Colorado Springs, Colorado; two granddaughters, and four great-grandchildren. Friends were asked to make memorial donations to Friends of Starlight Concerts of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1990
Robert Sheldon (b. Feb 3, 1954) has taught instrumental music in the Florida and Illinois public schools, and has served on the faculty at Florida State University where he taught conducting and instrumental music education classes and directed the university bands. As Concert Band Editor for Alfred Music, he maintains an active composition and conducting schedule, and regularly accepts commissions for new works. Sheldon received the Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Miami and the Master of Fine Arts in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Florida.
One of the most performed composers of wind band music today, Sheldon is the recipient of numerous awards from the American School Band Director’s Association, Phi Beta Mu and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, his compositions embody a level of expression that resonate with ensembles and audiences alike. His music is performed around the world and appears on many international concert and contest lists. With over one million copies of his compositions and books sold, Mr. Sheldon regularly accepts commissions for new works, and produces numerous publications for concert band and orchestra each year.
Sheldon’s schedule includes many appearances as guest conductor for All-State and Regional Honor Bands. He also frequently appears as a Music Education clinician, and has presented sessions and seminars at numerous colleges and universities as well as state Music Education Association conferences. He has served as a conductor and clinician throughout the United States, Japan, Canada, Italy, Germany, Australia and The Republic of China, and has conducted performances of his works in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Taipei’s National Concert Hall, Matsumoto’s Seiji Ozawa Performing Arts Center, the Sydney Opera House and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
His teaching career included 28 years in the Florida and Illinois public schools as well as at the University of Florida, Florida State University, Illinois Central College and Bradley University. He also held positions as conductor of the Alachua County Youth Orchestra in Gainesville, Florida and the Prairie Wind Ensemble in East Peoria, Illinois. He maintains membership in several organizations that promote music and music education. He is lead author for the Sound Innovations for Band method books, and is a co-author for the Measures of Success, Volume 1 method book and the Sound Innovations for Strings method books.
The American School Band Directors Association has honored him with the Volkwein Award for composition and the Stanbury Award for teaching, and the International Assembly of Phi Beta Mu honored him with the International Outstanding Bandmaster Award. He has also been a 28-time recipient of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publisher’s Standard Award for his compositions in the concert band and orchestral repertoire. His compositions have been recorded and released on CDs including Images: The Music of Robert Sheldon, and Infinite Horizons: The Music of Robert Sheldon, as well as numerous other recordings. Mr. Sheldon has been the topic of articles published in The Instrumentalist, Teaching Music and School Band and Orchestra Magazine, and is one of eleven American wind band composers featured in Volume I of Composers on Composing Music for Band.
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1989
Gary Garner attended Sam Houston Junior High School in Amarillo and in the seventh grade joined the band at the urging of his two best friends. Mr. Eads, the band director, gave him a baritone sax. Since it soon proved to be more than he could handle on his bike when he tried to take it home to practice, he convinced his parents to buy the most portable instrument he could find — a flute. Gary also took up the saxophone and the clarinet.
College was interrupted by a three-year stint in the Air Force. Gary was stationed at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock and assigned to the band, where he served as leader of the dance band and assistant bandleader.
Although Gary didn’t complete his ES from Texas Tech until the summer of 1955, he had already begun teaching on a half-time basis at Hutchinson Junior High in Lubbock. After four years at Hutchinson, he became band director at Monterey High School in Lubbock. He served there only one year and then was offered the position as marching band director at the University of Southern California. During his four years at the university he completed his master’s degree and most of the work on his doctorate. He received his DMA in 1967.
In 1963 he became Director of Bands at West Texas State University, where he remained for the next 39 years until retiring in 2002.
Interview with Gary Garner
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1988
Ray E. Cramer
Ray E. Cramer holds a BA in Education from Western Illinois University; an MFA from the University of Iowa; Honorary Doctorates from Western Illinois University, Vandercook College of Music; in 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Professorship at the Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo. Prior to his appointment at Indiana University, Mr. Cramer taught public school in Bardolph, Illinois (1961-62) West Liberty, Iowa (1963-65) Harlan, Iowa (1965-68) and Parma, Ohio 1968-69).
Ray E. Cramer was a member of the Indiana University School of Music faculty from 1969 to 2005. In 1982, Mr. Cramer was appointed Director of Bands. Under his leadership the Indiana University Wind Ensemble earned an international reputation for outstanding musical performances including the 1982 American Bandmasters Association Convention, Indianapolis; the 1984 joint American Bandmasters Association/Japan Bandmasters Association Convention, Tokyo; the 1988 MENC National Convention, Indianapolis; the 1991 National CBDNA Convention in Kansas City, the 1994 National MENC Convention in Cincinnati, the 1995 American Bandmasters Association Convention in Lawrence, Kansas; the 1997 National CBDNA Convention in Athens, Georgia; a 2000 spring tour to Japan performing in six cities and the Japan Band Clinic; The 2003 CBDNA National Convention in Minneapolis, MN; a December 2003 performance at The Midwest Clinic; plus numerous other regional and state conventions.
In addition to his administrative responsibilities as the Department of Bands/Wind Conducting Chair, Mr. Cramer taught graduate courses in wind conducting, history and literature. He also conducted the University Orchestra for seven years during the fall semester (1994-2001). Mr. Cramer enjoyed a 36-year tenure at Indiana University with the final 24 years as Director of Bands.
Professional affiliations include: ABA; CBDNA; NBA; WASBE; MENC; CMEA; CBA; CIDA; Phi Mu Alpha; Phi Beta Mu; past national president of the College Band Directors National Association, The American Bandmasters Association; president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association; the North Central Division of CBDNA; the Big Ten Band Directors Association; past president of the Midwest Clinic.
Honors and awards include: Student Alumni Council Senior Faculty Award (1983); Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award (1988); CIDA Director of the Year Award (1988); Phi Beta Mu, International Assembly, Outstanding Bandmaster Award (1988); Kappa Kappa Psi Bohumil Makovsky Memorial Award (1991); Edwin Franko Goldman Award (2002); MENC Lowell Mason Fellow medallion (2003); Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor (2005); Bands of America Hall of Fame (2006); Lifetime Achievement Award (2006); Honorary Life Membership of the Colorado Bandmasters Association (2007); Honorary Life Membership in Iowa Bandmasters Association (2007) and the 17th Japan Academic Society of Winds, Percussion and Band Award (2007). In 2008 he was named the the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts honoree by the National Band Association. The AWAPA was established by the NBA for the purpose of recognizing those who have made truly significant and outstanding contributions to the furthering of the excellence of bands and band music. In 2010 he was elected into the NBA Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors.
Mr. Cramer remains actively involved in clinics and guest conducting engagements nationally and internationally. He serves as a regular guest conductor for the Musashino Academia of Music in Tokyo, Japan that began in the fall of 1990 and continues to the present. He has conducted the Musashino Wind Ensemble on tours throughout Japan and two performances at the Midwest Clinic in 1995 and 2006.
He and his wife Molly of 52 years reside in Colorado Springs because they love the mountains and to be closer to family, and grandchildren.
Interview with Gary Garner
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1986
Colonel John R. Bourgeois
Director Emeritus Colonel John R. Bourgeois, USMC [Ret. ], was 25th Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. His acclaimed career spanned nine presidential administrations from presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bill Clinton.
Bourgeois is a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans. He joined the Marine Corps in 1956 and entered “The President’s Own” as a French hornist and arranger in 1958. Named Director of the Marine Band in 1979, Bourgeois was promoted to colonel in June 1983. He retired from active duty July 11, 1996. As director of “The President’s Own,” Bourgeois was Music Advisor to the White House. He selected the musical program and directed the band on its traditional place of honour at the U.S. Capitol for four Presidential inaugurations, a Marine Band tradition dating to 1801. He regularly conducted the Marine Band and the Marine Chamber Orchestra at the White House, appearing there more frequently than any other musician in the nation.
Professional affiliations include: Past-President of American Bandmasters Association; chairman of board and Past-President of National Band Association; President of John Philip Sousa Foundation; American Vice-President of International Military Music Society; Music Director of Washington, D.C. ‘s Gridiron Club.
Awards and honours include: 1986 Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award; 1987 Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award; 1991 Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National; 1993 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic Medal of Honour; election to the Academy of Wind and Percussion Artists of the National Band Association in 1988.
Bourgeois conducted his final concert as Director of “The President’s Own” on July 11, 1996 [the band’s 198th birthday] at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. More than 3,500 people, including prominent musicians and government dignitaries, attended the gala event. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, as well as former First Lady Nancy Reagan, sent letters of gratitude and praise that were read at the concert.
Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton hailed Bourgeois as “a national treasure” and presented him with the Distinguished Service Medal from President Clinton. Marine Corps Commandant General Charles C. Krulak compared Bourgeois to the band’s 17th director, John Philip Sousa, saying, “Our Corps has not only had John Philip Sousa, we have now had a John Bourgeois. His legacy will never be forgotten by the Marine Corps or our nation. “ The change of command received national attention, being covered by CNN, ABC, CBS, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. ABC’s Peter Jennings selected Bourgeois as the Evening News “Person of the Week.”
OUTSTANDING BANDMASTER 1984
Col. Arnald D. Gabriel
Col. Arnald D. Gabriel retired from the United States Air Force in 1985 following a distinguished 36-year military career, at which time he was awarded his third Legion of Merit for his service to the United States Air Force and to music education throughout the country.
He served as Commander/Conductor of the internationally renowned U.S. Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra, and Singing Sergeants from 1964 to 1985. In 1990 he was named the first Conductor Emeritus of the USAF Band. Col. Gabriel served on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia from 1985 to 1995; as Conductor of the GMU Symphony Orchestra, and as Chairman, Department of Music for eight of those years. In recognition of his ten years service to the university, he was named Professor Emeritus of Music.
Following his separation from the Army in 1946, Gabriel enrolled in Ithaca College, where he earned both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Music Education.
Awards and honours include: the first Citation of Excellence awarded by the National Band Association; Midwest National Band and Orchestra Clinic’s Gold Medal of Honour and its Distinguished Service to Music Award; Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s New Millennium Lifetime Achievement Award and its National Citation for “significant contributions to music in America”; Kappa Kappa Psi’s Distinguished Service to Music Award; Phi Beta Mu’s Outstanding Contribution to Bands Award; St. Cecilia Award from the University of Notre Dame; named Music Director Emeritus of the McLean [VA] Orchestra; Ithaca College’s Honourary Doctor of Music degree and its Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also listed in the International Who’s Who in Music, 7th edition.
Sincere thanks to GIA Publications President Alex Harris and Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser for allowing Phi Beta Mu International to share this short excerpt from a full length DVD available for purchase from GIA Publications (Master Conductors series)