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WILLIAM D. COLE (1920 – 1979)

William Cole of Bellingham, Washington died July 1, 1979 at the age of fifty-nine. He was born in Norton, Kansas on June 6, 1920.

William Cole was elected to membership in The American Bandmasters Association in1969. He had served as Director of Bands at Lake Washington High School from 1948 to 1954, and at Stadium High School in Tacoma, Washington until 1957. He joined the University of Washington staff in 1957, where he directed the Husky Marching Band and the University Concert Band. In 1970 he became Director of Bands and Instrumental Music at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Bill was an active professional musician for many years, playing lead trumpet with Les Brown’s Band and principal trumpet with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

Cole received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois in 1946, and did post-graduate work at Los Angeles City College. He received a Masters Degree in Conducting from the University of Washington in 1957. Bill belonged to the College Band Directors National Association and served as President of the Washington Music Educators Association from 1972 to 1974.

He was actively involved as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician throughout the Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii. Bill conducted the Seattle Junior Orchestra and was the founding conductor of the Seattle Concert Band, one of America’s few professional concert bands. He made his last appearance conducting the Seattle Junior Orchestra on June 2, 1979 and was eagerly planning a concert with his university wind ensemble for the Music Educators Conference this spring; thus, he passed away in the midst of a busy and involved career.

Bill Cole left a musical legacy in the lives of colleagues and students who knew him and worked with him.

1980 ABA Annual Report

HAROLD R. COOKE (1894 - 1974)

Hugh McMillen, President of the American Bandmasters Association, read the names of those members who had passed on since the last meeting. This list included Harold R. Cooke, who passed away on October 11, 1974. He had been a member of ABA since 1961.

1975 ABA Annual Report

WELDON COVINGTON (1908 – 2000)

Weldon Covington was born in Alvord, Texas on March 5, 1908 and died in Austin, Texas on July 10, 2000. He grew up in a musical family—his father played clarinet and his brothers played trombone, piano, saxophone and percussion in their church orchestra. At the age of six, Weldon started to take piano lessons and his musical career began when, as a nine year old, he became the pianist for his Baptist church. His feet didn’t even reach the pedals. He was chided by some of his peers as a piano-playing sissy. Weldon responded to their bullying by lifting weights for a year, building his physique so noticeably that the bullies never bothered him any more. Weldon was quite a remarkable young man. He also played the trumpet and for several years commuted to Fort Worth for a weekly lesson. He played in the high school band, and as a junior became the band director when the school lost its director and considered dropping the band program. Weldon also played on the school basketball team. Usually he played with the team for the first half of the game, directed the band during the halftime break, and rejoined the team to play the second half.

In 1925, after graduating from high school, he attended the North Texas Agricultural College at Arlington and was a student of ABA Past President Colonel Earl D. Irons. After serving as band soloist and assistant band director for a year, Colonel Irons encouraged him to enroll in the Ithaca Conservatory of Music to study under the famous band director Patrick Conway. After finishing the two-year course Weldon earned his diploma and accepted a teaching position at the Marietta, Oklahoma high school. There he directed the band, the city band and his church’s choir.

In 1929 ABA member D. O. Wiley, director of the Cowboy Band at Hardin-Simmons University, hired Weldon as assistant director and trumpet soloist. He was a featured soloist with the band on their three-month European concert tour. Weldon graduated from Hardin-Simmons with a B.A. in music and later earned his M.A. in music at the University of Texas.

In 1931 Weldon was hired to direct the Austin, Texas high school music program. At his first band rehearsal he had eight members, his orchestra had six, and the choir 30. At their first football game, twelve band members rooted for their home team. In order to keep the band playing together, Weldon would play the trumpet with one hand and beat the bass drum with the other, and if he quit, they quit. Although all of his first-year band members were boys, he succeeded in convincing his superintendent and principal that girls should be allowed to play in the band. Weldon eventually developed his bands into state and national contest winners. He also composed the school song, “Loyal Forever.” It was during his tenure at Austin High School that Weldon was elected to ABA membership in 1952.

After 21 years with the Austin High School program, he was promoted to Supervisor of Instrumental Music for the Austin district, retiring from that position in 1973. Although he never taught at the Covington Middle School in southwest Austin, when the school was dedicated in 1986 it was named in honor of Weldon and his wife, Verna. Incidentally, Verna has the distinction of being the first female band director in Texas. In gratitude for the honor bestowed on him and Verna, Weldon composed the middle school’s alma mater, “Loyalty and Honor.”

Weldon took great pride in the personnel decisions he made, staunchly stood by them, and had a unique talent for recognizing musical ability. In 1961 he recommended a music student in his senior year at the University of Texas to fill a position at the O. Henry Junior High School in Austin. All of us can agree that Weldon made a great choice when he hired [future ABA Past-President] Bob Foster as that director. He was also greatly impressed by the potential of a 22-year-old female band director from Mississippi. He recommended Paula Crider to be the band director at Crockett High School in Austin. In spite of doubts and protests from the school’s personnel department, he hired her, and she became the first female band director in a Class 4A school. After a notable career developing outstanding musical groups and more than fulfilling Weldon’s high expectations, Paula became the director of the University of Texas Longhorn Band.

Weldon served as president of the Texas Music Educators Association and was later inducted into their Hall of Fame. Following his retirement from all activities, Weldon was inducted into the Austin High School Hall of Honor. In the early 1940s he was director of the 143rd Infantry Band and for 26 years he directed the Austin Municipal Band.

The legacy of Weldon’s long and illustrious career is one that few that match and fewer will surpass.

2001 ABA Annual Report

WILLIAM R. “Ziggy” COYLE (1928 – 1997)

William R. Coyle was born in Columbus, Ohio on March 16, 1928 and passed away in his sleep on December 22, 1997 in Worthington, Ohio. He was known to his family and friends as “Ziggy,” a nickname he took from Ziggy Elman, featured trumpet soloist with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Educated in the public schools of Columbus, he played trumpet in the Columbus West High School Band. At the age of 14 Ziggy was invited to sit in and play with Dan Crawford’s dance orchestra at the high school prom. He enjoyed the experience so much that he joined the American Federation of Musicians at the age of fourteen! In 1944, at age sixteen, Ziggy played in the Chuck Selby Band, one of whose members was our own ABA member Dick Bowles. Dick was the director of the Lockbourne Air Force Base Band, located just southeast of Columbus.

Following graduation from high school at the age of sixteen, Ziggy enrolled in The Ohio

State University where he eventually earned the Bachelor of Science in Music Education

degree. He began his teaching career at Starling Junior High School in Columbus and the

Columbus East High School.

From 1946 through the early 1970s he led his own Ziggy Coyle dance band, featuring himself on trumpet and his wife, Margie, as vocalist.

In 1952 Ziggy formed a partnership with Warren Wesler and opened the Coyle and Wesler music store. Eventually, Ziggy became the sole owner and operated six Coyle Music Centers. He was especially supportive of local school music programs and was always giving things away, especially his time and wisdom. Many aspiring young musicians benefited from his generosity when he furnished them with instruments they could not afford to buy.

Ziggy founded the Columbus Annual Jazz Band Festival, which his business sponsored for thirty-six years, specializing in student workshops and clinics. One of the first noted artists to participate was Jack Teagarden.

When Ziggy retired in 1991 he turned over the business to his son Jeff. Coyle Music was elected to ABA Associate Membership in 1970. Ziggy served as Secretary of the Associated Members Committee and was named Honorary Associate Member in 1989.

Some of Ziggy’s many personal and professional accomplishments include: Co-Founder and Past President of the National Association of School Music Dealers; Past President of the National Association of Music Merchants; Treasurer of the Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic; Honorary Board Member of the Jazz Arts group in Columbus; Co-Founder of Omega Music Dealers group; Past President and Executive Secretary of the North American Band Directors Coordinating Committee; member of the Founding Board of Directors of the Columbus Brass Band and supporter of The Ohio State University in numerous ways.

Early in 1987 ABA Associate Member Jimmy Saied told Ziggy of his John Philip Sousa dream. It was his hope that “The Stars and Stripes Forever” be adopted as the nation’s official march. Ziggy was to serve as national chairman while Jimmy would portray Mr. Sousa at concerts throughout the United States. Jimmy did appear in more than one hundred concerts and generated hundreds of thousands of signatures. On December 11, 1987 President Ronald Reagan’s signature made the dream a reality. We are indebted to Jimmy and Ziggy for their sacrifices and perseverance. On January 4, 1998 at a service celebrating the life of William R. “Ziggy” Coyle, ABA member Jack Evans and a fifty-four piece Ohio State Alumni Band performed “The Stars and Stripes Forever” in his honor.

Ziggy authored two books: “Twentieth Century Music Men” and “Ziggy, the Biography.” (If you haven’t read them, you should.) Ziggy was a member of numerous other organizations: Doc Severinsen’s Big Band, National Concert Band Association and an Honorary Member of Phi Beta Mu.

In 1983 one of the greatest honors given to Ziggy was The Ohio State University Distinguished Service Award. It is one of the university’s most coveted honors presented at the commencement ceremony. The award singles out special individuals recognized for their service to the university and community rather than for their academic achievements. Other awards came from the Greater Columbus Salvation Army, the Columbus Citadel Band, Distinguished Alumni and Golden Circle Award from the Alpha Omega Fraternity, the Alumni Citizenship Award from The Ohio State University Alumni Association, The Ohio State University School of Music Distinguished Service Award and an Honorary Doctorate from VanderCook College.

Ziggy was a unique, unselfish person, one who left his mark on an industry nationally and on music education throughout Ohio. In a letter to Margie Coyle, our Secretary, Dick Thurston, wrote:

Ziggy has been a familiar figure in our ABA ranks for almost thirty years. His firm, Coyle Music Centers, was truly a leader in the music industry; and Ziggy, its representative since 1970 and an Honorary Associate Member since 1989, was just such a leader in our Associate Member ranks. He filled several important posts, and his dedicated efforts on behalf of the entire ABA organization were an inspiration to us all. Adding to that, his engaging personality and warm friendliness to all, we realize that our loss is profound, indeed.

1998 ABA Annual Report


MAX FOREMAN DALBY (1920 – 2005)

Max Foreman Dalby, 84, died March 20, 2005. He was born in Driggs, Idaho, August 22, 1920 to Cleon Ezra Dalby and Ethelwynne Griggs Dalby. He married Betty Marler on December 18, 1941. Following her death in 1992, he married Marjorie West Crow of Palisade, Colorado. Max spent his childhood in Idaho, Western Colorado, and Salt Lake City, graduating from West High School in 1938. He received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from San Diego State University and an EdD from Utah State University.

Like a growing number of ABA members, Max was a second-generation band conductor and instrumentalist, and even a second-generation ABA member. His father, Cleon E. Dalby, studied with Hy Lammers of the Sousa Band, and with William H. Bickett of San Francisco. The elder Dalby made his career primarily as a music educator, but also performed on the trumpet. He organized many band concerts and band competitions during his career. Cleon Dalby was an ABA member and was honored as a Trendsetter in Music Education in Colorado.

Max obviously came into the business with a strong background and a powerful example in his father. Max was the principal clarinetist in the early years of the Utah Symphony, and during three years of military service he conducted the 249th Army Ground Forces Band in the Canal Zone, Panama. Dalby established the instrumental music program of the San Diego Diocese school system in 1946 and administered it until 1950. Max was the instrumental music director of Cyprus High School, Magna, Utah 1950-1951; Ogden High School, Ogden, Utah 1951-1955; and Weber College, Ogden Utah 1955-1957.

From 1957 to 1985 Max served as a faculty member at Utah State University. While there, he was coordinator of music education, director of bands, head of the music department, conductor of the USU Symphony Orchestra, cofounder and conductor of the Cache Chamber Orchestra, and founder and conductor of the USU Alumni Band. Max received the Distinguished Service Award from Utah State University and in 1994 was named Utah State’s “Alumnus of the Year.” He was elected to the American Bandmasters Association in 1979.

During his long and distinguished career Max served as president of several professional organizations. He was active as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator in 25 states, Canada and Europe. Throughout his career, Max gave thousands of private music lessons. The comments of his former students and colleagues speak warmly and with deep respect of his musicianship, but even more of his genuine caring and dedication to his students as individuals, and his positive influence on their lives.

Max is survived by his wife Marjorie, and children: Diana Edvalson, Ogden; Kim (DaNaze) Dalby, Bluffdale; Jonathan Dalby, Ft. Wayne, Indiana; Chris (Beth) Dalby, Clearwater, Florida; Rebecca (Ron) Nelson, Kaysville; Bruce (Mirle Hernandez) Dalby, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Victoria (Michael) Sweet, Gardnerville, Nevada; Cynthia (Paul) Watson, Salt Lake City; Mariann (George) Lucy, Salt Lake City; 27 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Read by ABA Memorial Speaker David Blackinton

2006 ABA Annual Report

Note: The 1993 Annual Report noted the death of Betty Dalby, wife of Max, on April 12, 1992.

EDWARD D’ANNA (ca 1879 - 1965)

George C. Wilson, President of The American Bandmasters Association, paid a brief and poignant eulogy for members of the association who had passed away recently. The name of Edward D’Anna was included. He was elected to membership in 1937 and passed away in1965. Edward D’Anna was the conductor of the Carborundum Band, which was sponsored by The Carborundum Company of Niagara Falls, New York. The band was founded in 1926.

1966 and 1987 ABA Annual Reports

THOMAS FRANCIS DARCY, Jr. (1895 – 1968)

Captain Thomas Francis “Tom” Darcy, Jr. was born in Vancouver, Washington where his father was an Army musician at Vancouver Barracks, and later an Army Bandmaster. Tom once told me that he was practically raised in the army, where he many times lived in the barracks until he was found by the officers and ordered home. He first studied cornet with his father; he later studied with the late ABA member Ernest S. Williams, Max Schlossberg, the Institute of Musical Art, and the United States Army Bandmaster School. He first performed on cornet at age 7 in his home town of Vancouver.

ABA member Eddie Mear tells of meeting Tom Darcy and occasionally playing in the same bands on Chautauqua circuits sometime around 1911 or 1915.

Tom became an Army Bandleader at Handelaincourt, France during World War I at age 22; from 1917 to 1924 he was Assistant, then Leader of the 18th Infantry and 1st Division Band; and from 1924 to 1935 was Assistant Leader and cornetist with the United States Army Band; he also served as Dean of the U.S. Army Music School from 1941 to 1945.

In World War II he took the U.S. Army Band of 86 men overseas where they saw service for approximately two years. Over a period of his years in the service, Tom was awarded the Silver Star with Cluster, Purple Heart, French Fougere, and the Verdun Medal.

In 1946 he retired from the U.S. Army and founded Somerset Music Press, where he did considerable composing and arranging. Included in his compositions are: Alma Mater, An American Overture, An International Affair, Army of the Free, El Burrito, Festival Overture, Gremlins, King Arthur, March Fantastique, March of the Free Peoples, Misty Mountain, National Geographic, Nocturne, Okinawa, Pride of the Capitol, La Princesita, Private Kilroy, Processional March 1 and 2, Rhapsody, Romance, Shaff, Then Marched the Brave, Trip for Trumpeters, United States Army, With Flags Unfurled, and Youth on Parade.

A note from ABA member Col. William F. Santelmann (as told to him by ABA member Lt. Col. Sam Loboda, Leader of the United States Army Band): Tom had been in a bad automobile accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was not known if he had gone to sleep or died at the wheel. He was buried in Arlington Cemetery, Washington, D.C. with the United States Army Band playing the burial services. The flag was presented to Lt. Col. Sam Loboda, Leader of the U.S. Army Band, as there was no one from Tom’s family there to receive it.

His death brought sorrow.

1969 ABA Newsletter

ROBERT W. DEAN (1916 – 1994)

Robert W. Dean was born on August 4, 1916 in Kearney, Nebraska and died on September 29, 1994 in Waterloo, Iowa following heart bypass surgery. Bob started playing clarinet in Kearney, organizing his own grade school and high school bands. Bob performed at a state music contest in Minden, Nebraska where John Philip Sousa was the adjudicator. Later at a social gathering Mr. Sousa gave Bob a quarter, which he mounted as a souvenir to be treasured during his lifetime. This experience impressed Bob so much that it influenced his desire to become a band director. Eventually Bob gave over fifty-two years of service to the music profession.

Bob received his Bachelor of Science in music from the Kearney, Nebraska Teachers College, and his Master’s degree from Northwestern University. During his forty-year teaching career in the public schools, Bob was band director and instructor of instrumental music in Iowa high schools in Spencer, Belle Plaine and Mason City, and in Wells, Nevada. Bob first taught at the Elko County High School in Wells in 1938. The school had an enrollment of 100 students, 65 of whom were members of the band! Bob took them to the regional contest in Ogden, Utah where they received a superior rating.

Bob’s teaching was interrupted when he served in the Army for two and a half years. His special services unit landed in France on D-Day plus 4.

Bob was the director of the high school and municipal bands in Spencer, Iowa in 1960 when he was elected to the American Bandmasters Association. In 1980 Bob joined the University of Northern Iowa at Cedar Falls where for 14 years he was professor of music education and supervisor of instrumental music student teachers. He was still active at the university when he died. His colleagues and students thought of him as a music missionary, a fervent advocate of public school music with an endless passion for music education.

David Reul, past president of the American School Band Directors Association eulogized him, saying:

With the passing of Bob Dean, another giant has left the ranks of the band world. It’s almost incomprehensible to younger generations how men like William D. Revelli and Robert W. Dean could live their lives, totally and unequivocally dedicated to the act and art of teaching—down, almost, to their last breath.

Bob was a charter member and past president of the ASBDA, and past president and honorary life member of the Iowa Bandmasters Association. For nine years he served as chairman of the board of electors for the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors. He received the ASBDA Edwin Franko Goldman Award for distinguished service to bands. Other honors were bestowed by the University of Nebraska, the University of Northern Iowa Music School, the Iowa Bandmasters Association and the National Band Association. He was also given the Mid-West International Band Clinic Medal of Honor. Last November in Bob’s behalf, his wife, Dorothea, accepted the 1994 National Federation Interscholastic Association Award of Merit.

Bob donated his body to the University of Iowa College of Medicine. This generous contribution to the advancement of medical science and the welfare of mankind was thus acknowledged by the College of Medicine. “To give of one’s self so that others may live in health and happiness is a truly noble gesture.”

We can add our own Coda: in a sense, he’s still teaching.

1995 ABA Annual Report


Ray Thomure DeVilbiss was born in Chicago on January 9, 1919 and died in Sioux Falls, South Dakota of congestive heart failure on December 13, 2002. When he was three years old his family moved to Three Rivers, Michigan. He started taking violin lessons at an early age and later took up the cornet. In 1934 when Ray was fifteen the family moved to Marshall, Missouri where he played violin in the high school orchestra and cornet in the band. While living in Michigan, Ray had his first experience playing jazz music in a six-piece combo. While attending the University of Missouri, Ray used this experience to play with various dance bands, earning money to defray some of his tuition expenses. Although he was a pre-med student, he continued playing violin and trumpet in the university symphony orchestra and in the band. By his junior year he became a music major and an accomplished violinist. Following graduation, he began his teaching career in the Unionville, Missouri high school as director of both the orchestra and band, in addition to teaching a science course. His musical groups participated in many contests, earning “I” ratings. Ray’s teaching was interrupted by World War II. He joined the Navy and served as a naval communications officer in the Pacific Theater.

In 1946 Ray returned to the University of Missouri to complete his master’s degree in music. Additional study took him to Drake University and the University of Michigan. Ray next taught for seven years in the Winterset, Iowa public schools system, and again his bands earned first division ratings. While at Winterset, Ray also played in the Simpson College orchestra and in the area concert bands and jazz orchestras.

In 1953 he joined the music faculty of the University of South Dakota as Director of Bands, a position he held for 28 years. In addition to his university obligations, Ray played in the Sioux City Symphony and other Siouxland area orchestras. He developed and maintained an exemplary university band program until his retirement in 1981. Ray played solo trumpet with the municipal band for 25 years. When ABA member Leo Kucinski retired as director of the band, Ray succeeded him and became only the fourth director of this internationally famous band. He served in this capacity until he retired in 1997.

During his career Ray established a national reputation as an adjudicator, festival coordinator, clinician, orchestra player and author. In 1964 he founded the Upper Midwest Music Camp and managed it until 1981.

Ray’s many awards include the Phi Beta Mu National Outstanding Service Award, the South Dakota Music Educators Association Service Award, charter membership in the South Dakota Bandmasters Hall of Fame and the Iowa Bandmasters Association Award. In 1974 he was recognized by the School Musician magazine as one of the ten most outstanding band conductors in the United States. In 1981 the University of South Dakota established the Ray T. DeVilbiss Band Scholarship Fund in his honor. Ray became a member of ABA in 1968.

Ray’s personal philosophy regarding music was this:

Music gives us the opportunity to rediscover that “memorable moment.” What is the “memorable moment”? It can’t be bought, tasted or seen, yet any musician knows that it exists. It could be called that momentary chill that tingles your spine at the climax of a stirring march, a patriotic hymn, a thrilling overture, solid jazz, a powerful symphony or a tranquil tone poem. This, I believe. Participation in music develops our inner self, our feeling for the arts, for beauty, for creativity—this is what it is all about.

We would be remiss if we did not include some verses by our “poet laureate.” This he called “Treasures Untold.”

Talent wasted for want of a chance.

Talent un-nurtured, How to enhance?

Encourage, enlighten, Open a door

To visions, horizons never before!

Give if you can, To talent worthy be.

Music enhances Man – Help to set it free.

2003 ABA Annual Report

JAMES L. DIXON (1897 – 1984)

James L. Dixon, husband of psychic and columnist Jeanne Dixon, died in our nation’s capital on May 16, 1984. He was born in England but came to the United States as a child.

During World War I he served with the air arm of the United States Army in France.

His life’s work was in real estate. Jim Dixon owned one of the largest real estate firms in the Washington, D.C. area. Although he had no formal training in music, he was an amateur composer who earned a legitimate membership in the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Jim, who was an Honorary Associate Member of ABA, was a staunch supporter of bands and band music and was co-sponsor of one of ABA’s conventions that was held in the nation’s capital.

One of his greatest services to the American Bandmasters Association was his work as co-chairman of the John Philip Sousa Memorial Committee, which established the John Philip Sousa Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

1985 ABA Annual Convention Report

Speech to the ABA Convention - 1965

Mr. President, Distinguished Guests, Members of the American Bandmasters Association, Ladies and Gentlemen: Allow me to welcome you to the nation’s capital.

You do me a great honor indeed in appointing me chairman of this wonderful ABA Convention. I’m sure that when your president sold your Board of Governors on appointing me to this very important assignment, he just automatically thought that I would be doing most of the heavy and tedious work that goes with such an assignment. But, Gentlemen, I must confess to you here and now that I have done none of the work required to put this convention into being. In fact—to make a very long, long story short on this subject—it is a genuine pleasure for me to tell you that none other than your own good president, Col. Chester E. Whiting, has done at least 90% of the work involved with this undertaking.

Of course, no man by himself alone deserves all the credit for successful accomplishments of this kind—it is only through the help and influence of many people that such things are carried out to peak performance. Nevertheless, to Col. Chester Whiting goes great credit for this convention.

Very frankly, I often wonder how I came to be tied into the American Bandmasters Association and also the Sousa Memorial. But on thoughtful reflection, I am sure that it came through the influence of none other than our dear departed friend, Lt. Charles Benter. Charley Benter called me early one morning about five years ago and asked me for a job. He got it. And it was one of the finest relationships between two men I have ever enjoyed. Subsequently, he arranged for me to meet Col. George Howard. We had lunch at the National Press Club. At that luncheon, Col. Howard asked me the very simple question as to what my claim to fame was in the musical world, and I answered him just as simply by saying that “as far as music is concerned, Col. Howard, I must confess that I guess, music-wise, I would be regarded as a counterfeiter.” However, we did discuss one of my songs and Col. Howard was kind enough to have it scored for band arrangement, and I hope to have the pleasure of conducting the U.S. Marine Band with this number during this convention.

Again, Gentlemen, when I say you do me great honor at making me chairman of this convention bureau, it is indeed still another great honor when you allow me to lead this great Marine Band playing my own composition. The District of Columbia is my home town. It will be my first attempt at leading a band.

And speaking of the District of Columbia, our nation’s capital, permit me to say, Gentlemen, that just as the stars and stripes in Old Glory are the symbol of freedom, and just as the American Eagle is the symbol of strength, just so is the District of Columbia, our nation’s capital, the symbol of greatness, and anything that goes on here should not be second great, including this great American Bandmasters Convention, because, just as every citizen of this nation prides himself about his own home town, the facts are that the District of Columbia is everybody’s other home town. This is our nation’s capital, Gentlemen, and every citizen owns a small piece of this great capital city of which I am personally very proud. And I’m sure that every other citizen is also. God Bless America!

And now if I may for a few moments touch on the subject of the Sousa Memorial and what it means to you and me. I’m sure that George Howard thought that when he made me Co-chairman of the Sousa Memorial, he too thought that I would be doing most of the work. But I fooled him also. George Howard has not only done at least 90% of the work involved in this great work, but he has also brought to all bands throughout the nation a new stature: a new high level of dignity when, through his masterful handling of affairs with Mr. Roger L. Stevens, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the National Cultural Center, the new Sousa Bandshell to be erected therein will not only be for the purpose of accommodating the great symphony orchestras of the world performing in this great new Sousa Shell, but all of our type bands, as well. Therefore, no longer will our great brass bands be playing “second fiddle” to orchestras, great or not so great, and it certainly is about time that the ABA be given this equal recognition.

And now just a few words about the funding, financing, of this great Sousa Memorial. It takes money to do this job. We are committee to raise $100,000 by June of this year in order that we not only qualify for this great honor but to also earn the right to pay this everlasting tribute to the late, great John Philip Sousa.

Gentlemen, Bandmasters all, This is your heritage! Like the runners in a great marathon race, the baton has been passed to you, and you, and you, and yes, to all of you. And we must not betray our trust to that great heritage. If the baton has been passed to you, and the baton is now your instrument, then let us master that instrument to lead us on to victory in the establishment of the John Philip Sousa Memorial in the new national cultural center, in our nation’s capital. No group of men ever had a greater opportunity to pay individual homage to the grand old patriarch of American bands and American band music.

In closing, I repeat, it is indeed a great honor to be associated with you fine gentlemen, and I am deeply grateful. God Bless You—all of you.

1965 ABA Annual Report

PETER M. DOMBOURIAN (1920 – 1992)

Peter M. Dombourian died of cancer in New Orleans on January 13, 1992 at the age of 71. Elected to ABA membership in 1970, he served on the Board of Directors for two years beginning in 1974.

A lifelong resident of New Orleans, he was a graduate of Fortier High School. Peter earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Louisiana State University. In 1989 his alma mater awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

In 1947, following service in World War II as a battery officer, Peter began his teaching career in the Orleans Parish School System, an association that lasted for forty-two years. His school activities were again interrupted in 1951 and 1952 when he served in the Korean War. Peter served both as Acting Supervisor and Supervisor of Instrumental Music on the Parish School Board. For twenty consecutive years his bands received superior ratings from the Louisiana Music Educators. Besides extensive appearances in the United States, his bands concertized in Japan, Mexico and Canada, and he himself made guest appearances with the Sony Band in Tokyo and the Prefecture Police Band in Paris.

In 1974 Peter inaugurated a music program at the Benjamin Franklin High School for gifted students. Among the many students he taught at Franklin was the famous trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Peter taught part time until his retirement in 1991 for health reasons. Peter was active in New Orleans musical circles. He was conductor and board member of the Summer Pops Orchestra, director and conductor of the Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, conductor of the Civic Symphony, and founder-conductor of the New Orleans Concert Band.

During his career Peter was member and president of the Louisiana Music Educators Association, convention chairman for the Louisiana Music Educators National Conference, state chairman of the National Band Association, and President of the Louisiana chapter of Phi Beta Mu. In 1986 Peter was elected to the Louisiana Music Educators Hall of Fame.

In a letter to Joyce Dombourian, Dick Thurston made the following reflection on Peter’s life:

To all of us in ABA, I know, Peter Dombourian was “Mr. New Orleans,” with a life and career full of musical spirit and flair that distinguishes that great city. His achievements as the preeminent music educator in New Orleans have few parallels; the achievements of the Marsalis brothers, significant as they are, are only examples of the thousands of lives he touched, illuminated and inspired.

1992 ABA Annual Report

JAMES W. DUNLOP (1913 - 1975)

Eulogy read by ABA Past President Clifford O. Hunt.

It is a privilege for me to pay tribute on your behalf to the late Dr. James W. Dunlop.

His influence in the field of music education and his exemplary conduct as a human being will be long remembered. To make band music important in the cultural life of this continent, we need many more men such as Jim Dunlop to set the example and lead the way.

Many fine tributes have been paid to Jim through his associates at Penn State University. President Dr. John W. Oswald said that it was difficult to know how they would get along without him, since Jim was Director of the Penn State Blue Band for 29 years. Jim was extremely proud of the achievements of his school and particularly proud of the prowess of the football team, which provided the opportunity for his band to be present at the Bowl Games for at least seven consecutive years.

During my twenty years in the ABA, he had become one of my closest friends, and we became even closer during the years I followed him through the Chairs of this organization. During the subsequent years, we were together adjudicating in Vienna, at which time Helen and Fay became very good friends. Jim and Fay visited with us in Canada while Jim adjudicated our National Competition. One week before his untimely passing, we were making plans for him to adjudicate the Kiwanis Festival in Toronto following his planned retirement after the Bowl Game in 1975.

Jim Dunlop had tremendous respect for and pride in the ABA, and you will remember how fervently he tried to insist on attendance at conventions. I don’t think anything less than a disaster would change his plans to attend the annual ABA convention. This is why he had such strong views regarding those who seemed only to attend when it suited them. His type of dedication is rare today, and I hope that his example will be a guide to all our members. You get from any organization only to the degree in which you contribute. Jim Dunlop gave fully of himself to ABA.

Jim was honored by many organizations, which is a testimonial to his standing in the community of musicians. In 1972 Jim was awarded the Citation of Excellence by the executive committee of the National Band Association for “an outstanding contribution to bands and band music.” He also had received the University’s “excellence in teaching award.” He was President of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Bandmasters Association. He also served as President of the Eastern Division of the College Band Directors and, of course, served this organization as President, with distinction. Jim was a member of Phi Mu Alpha, professional music fraternity; Phi Delta Kappa, professional education fraternity; and Kappa Kappa Psi, honorary music fraternity. He was faculty counselor to Sigma Phi Epsilon, social fraternity. His service to Penn State has been recognized in honors awarded by Skull and Bones, senior men’s honorary, and Alpha Phi Omega, service fraternity. He also found time for active participation in St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, service clubs, etc.

Through his skills and example, Jim has influenced the lives of thousands of young people, many to the profession of music and many to help fulfill their lives in other endeavors.

We share with Fay and her family their great loss, and I know that his influence in this organization and all others with which he participated will be felt for many years.

1976 ABA Annual Report

Note: The 2001 Annual Report noted the death of Faye Dunlop, wife of James.

President Dunlop’s Address - 1972

Distinguished members of the ABA, honored guests and visitors—It is a pleasure to welcome you to the opening meeting of our 38th Annual Convention.

During the past year I have served in person and in writing as your president. There will never be another “in person” thrill to equal the one I had when I represented you at the Kennedy Center on October 7, when the band world assembled to applaud the Inter-Service Band concert and the dedication of the John Philip Sousa Memorial Stage.

Several weeks ago, on a cold, snowy Sunday afternoon, I read and reread the President’s Message given from this podium in Toronto, Columbus, Elkhart, Long Beach, Coral Gables, Evanston, Washington, San Antonio, Greensboro, and Lafayette for guidance on what to say to you today. Several of my predecessors hit upon:

The History and Tradition of the Band

Band Literature and Band Proficiency

On the Founding of the ABA

Instrumentation and Music of Bands Outside the U.S. and Canada

Commissioning New Works

The Past, Present and Future

More Radio Exposure of Band Music

The Cornet


Encouraged Membership to Express Opinions

Accept the Challenge of Keeping ABA Vital, etc., etc., etc.

For the next few minutes I want to talk with you about the State of the Union, ABA, if you please, on a subject very near and dear to me: attendance at our annual meetings.

When we nominate a man for active membership, it is done in good faith and we assume membership will mean something to him and he will attend our meetings and participate. Not always so.

Later today I will display a chart showing the 10-year attendance record of every active member of this organization. This chart was constructed from the membership list as printed in the official convention programs from 1962-1971 and the attendance record as printed in the secretary’s official minutes for the same ten annual conventions.

I do not intend to stand here and bore you with columns of figures on attendance, but let me say this now: the record shows that we had 172 members in 1962 and now boast 215. During this 10 year period, we hit a high of 59% attendance in 196 and a low of 43% in 1963, for an average of 51.1%.

Fifty-one percent! Is this good enough for the Elite of the Band World? I don’t think so. We have 9 men who have never attended a convention since elected, 8 who have not made a meeting in 10 years, 2 in 9 years, 1 in 7 years, 6 in 6 years, 8 in 5 years, and 17 who haven’t been with us since 1968. Why aren’t many of the other 49% here today? There are basically two reasons: 1. we have elected men to active membership who are not really interested in ABA; or 2. our programs are a disappointment to them the few times they have attended. Travel, finances, retirement, and professional commitments naturally enter into the picture. Speaking of professional commitments, there are 51 other weeks in the year when we can give local concerts, guest conduct, give clinics, adjudicate, etc., etc. Sorry, I cannot accept these as legitimate excuses for not attending ABA. Travel distance, health and finances for some of our members should certainly be taken into consideration.

Lack of interest in ABA…well, that’s something else.

I’m not sure we have always invited the right men to join our organization. Why do we really need someone like Mr. “X” who has not attended a meeting since I last saw him at Purdue. For his “name” or his $15 dues? Ridiculous!

I would personally rather elect an “up and coming” high school or small college man who lives and breathes the hope that some day he’ll receive that telegram of invitation to be one of us.

Later this morning I will appoint a committee to thoroughly study this matter and instruct them to make a preliminary report at the final business meeting of this convention and give a final report next March. I will charge them to consider introducing legislative action which will very clearly define procedures to drop non-active members. I encourage you to talk with the members of this committee and express your views on this subject. It is your ABA.

I know how long most of you would put up with this record of attendance in the bands you conduct.

Is it time now to get rid of some of this “dead wood” or do you wish to continue to accept their dues as “active” members?

During the next four days the chairmen of committees I appointed last March will report to you on the activities of their various groups. I do not intend to duplicate their report at this time, but I do wish to thank them now for their interest and dedication.

Ours has been a team effort. Your Board of Directors—Foss, Harpham, Minelli and Mahan, chaired by Nilo Hovey; Vice-President Hunt; our gracious and efficient host Jack Mahan; this grand gentleman on my right [Col. William Santelmann] whose first love (after Margaret and the Marine Corps) is, I am sure, ABA; and finally your grateful President. Only 21 men living today have known the thrill of being introduced as the President of ABA. You’ll never realize what that can mean to you until you stand in this spot. I thank you again for this honor and privilege.

When we return to our homes after four glorious days in Texas, those of us on the team hope you will recall and be tempted to agree with the final live in a song made popular by one of my favorite male vocalists---


1972 ABA Annual Report

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