2006 Lowell Mason Fellows
Gregory Lawrence Bimm
Director of Bands, Marian Catholic High School – Designated by: Bobby Lambert & Marian Catholic High School
Mr. Greg Bimm has been the director of bands at Marian Catholic High School since 1977. Under his direction, the band has grown from 70 to 280 members. In addition to being a vial part of the Marian family, Mr. Bimm is considered one of the nations leading experts on high school bands and band music. He is in great demand throughout the United States as clinician, conductor, and judge annually working with directors and students alike in numerous clinics and demonstrations. Mr. Bimm is a current member and past chairman of the Bands of America Advisory Board and has served several terms on BOA advisory bodies. His input and expertise have been instrumental in guiding the direction of Bands of America programming.
Mr. Bimm has received five National Band Association Citations of Excellence and the NBA Certificate of Merit, was named the 1983 national winner of the ASBDA Stanbury award for young band directors, and received the Sudler Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation in 1991 and 1997. In 1999, Mr. Bimm was among the first to be awarded the Mary Hoffman Award of Excellence by the Illinois Music Educators Association and in 2000 was recognized for contribution and support to art education by the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education. In 1994, Bimm was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. Mr. Bimm holds degrees from Illinois State and Western Illinois Universities. His professional affiliations include ABA, ASBDA, IMEA, MENC, NCBA, NBA, Phi Beta Mu, and Phi Mu Alpha. He has served on the Illinois High School Association Music Advisory Committee, and has served as Band Division chairman, District I and state equipment manager for IMEA. In constant demand, Mr. Bimm has performed as conductor, clinician, adjudicator, drill writer, or music arranger throughout the United States and Canada.
Dr. Leon H. Burton
Professor of Music Education (Retired), University of Hawaii – Designated by: Ruth Ann Knapp, Teresa McCreary, Barbara McLain, and Jane Hughes
Dr. Leon Burton has completed a long and distinguished career with the University of Hawai’i. He received his music education degree from UH College of Education and completed his graduate work at Columbia University, a M.A. in 1957 and his Doctorate in Education in 1963. After serving for eight years as a teacher of music, mathematics, and history in Hawaii’s public and private schools, Dr. Burton assumed the role of DOE Curriculum Specialist. In this position he helped start the cooperative DOE/UE Hawaii Curriculum Center, which became the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) in 1969. Dr. Burton then joined the University staff in 1970 as head of the CRDG projects in the arts and in 1976 was promoted to the rank of Professor.
Leon Burton is an international figure in music education, still serving on policy bodies in Hawaii, the nation, and throughout the world. He has made study trips to Sweden, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark. Since 1950 to this date, he has played with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.
In partnership with his colleague Diane Witt, he has led projects, which have helped shape music and arts education in the state, including the Comprehensive Musicianship through Classroom Music series, a K-12 textbook series consisting of 48 publications. They produced texts in classroom guitar and ukulele. More recently he has developed materials for early childhood education, resulting in publications for teachers and parents of young children. Burton led the team that designed the DOE’s Artists-in-the-School Program, and active DOE program for the past 30 years. In addition to developing curricula, he has served thousands of music and early childhood teachers in his teacher professional development programs.
Leon Burton has served in numerous leadership capacities, including Chair of the College of Education Faculty Senate, President of the Western Division of MENC, President of the Hawaii Music Educators Association, member of Board of Directors of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and State President, as well as active long-term member, of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Conductor, American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra; Musical Director, AYP Orchestras – Designated by: Tom Lee, American Federation of Musicians
Born in Santiago, Cuba, Luis Haza has earned distinction in the United States and abroad for his roles as conductor, violinist, and human rights advocate. Mr. Haza has an extensive performing career, which includes 30 years with the National Symphony Orchestra. As solo violinist, he has performed at the White House, appeared on television in the Dominican Republic, and performed the Washington premiere of Cuban composer Jose White’s Violin Concerto. Currently in his 23rd season as Music Director of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras, Mr. Haza leads its premier ensemble, the American Youth Philharmonic, and oversees i ts three other ensembles; Symphonic Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and String Ensemble. In April 2002 Mr. Haza received the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Recording Academy (Grammy Awards) “Heroes Award”. In March 2004, the American Immigration Law Foundation presented him with the American Immigrant Achievement Award.
As conductor, Luis Haza has led the London Symphony Orchestra (including a compact disc recording for RCA Red Seal with acclaimed trumpeter Arturo Sandoval), the National Symphony Orchestra (including the highly praised premiere of Sandoval’s own trumpet concerto), the national orchestras of El Salvador, Panama, and Guatemala, as well as the ASAPH Ensemble (with which he produced the compact disc “A Taste for the Classics”). Mr. Haza has served as music director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center and the Prince William Symphony Orchestra. He is currently director of the Virginia Chamber Orchestra, a conductor for the Virginia Ballet Company, has served on the Board of Governors for the Grammy Awards (NARAS), and was an Honorary Chairman of Fairfax’s “Spotlight on the Arts” Festival. From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Haza was the conductor of the Orchestra Program for the MasterWorks Festival in New York State. As a recitalist Luis Haza’s collaboration with pianist Sara Wolfensohn has also been extensive.
As educator, Mr. Haza has worked with youth orchestras for over 20 years, including more than 20 years with the American Youth Philharmonic. He is active in the National Symphony Orchestra’s American Residencies, teaching, coaching, and presenting workshops and master classes nationwide. Mr. Haza has served on the faculty of the National Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Fellowship Program, teaching violin to gifted students. A strong supporter of music programs in public schools and arts education, Mr. Haza has frequently served as adjudicator in orchestra festivals and competitions across the United States. This role has also taken him abroad, touring Panama with the National Panamanian Youth Orchestra.
Luis Haza began his performing career in Cuba at the age of 11. By the end of the following year, he had toured the provinces of Cuba, obtained his first professional post as Assistant Concertmaster of the Lyric Theater and made his debut as conductor in a program that included one of his own orchestral compositions. After he came to the United States in 1964, he continued his studies on full scholarship at the Curtis Institute, Peabody Conservatory, and the Blossom Music Festival, with teachers including Daniel Majeske, Efrem Zimbalist, Robert Gerle, Eduardo Vidal Aviles, as well as coaches Mstislav Rostropovich and Henryk Szeryng.
For all his achievements, Mr. Haza has been the recipient of numerous honors. In January 2002, Mr. Haza led the American Youth Philharmonic at New York’s Carnegie Hall in a concert titled “The Spirit of Freedom,” dedicated to the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001. His work has been recognized by President and Mrs. Clinton, Governor of Virginia Douglas Wilder, and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the last-named honor commemorating his 10th and 15th anniversary with the American Youth Philharmonic and the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony Association. In addition, the U.S. Congress and the Architect of the Capitol, in Mr. Haza’s honor, flew an American flag over the Capitol on Paganini’s birthday. In 1996, a scholarship was created in his name for the Kennedy Center Fellowship of the Americas. In 1994 Hispanic Business Magazine chose him as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics.”
Executive Director, CMEA; Past President of CMEA – Designated by: All eight sections of CMEA
Mr. John Larrieu was born in Spring Valley, Wisconsin in 1938. After graduating from Spring Valley High School he joined the Air Force and played tuba in the Air Force Band. After completion of his military service, John enrolled in Chaffee College and then transferred to San Jose State University where he graduated with a B.M. degree. John began his teaching career in Etna, California where he taught public school music from 1964-1970. In 1969, John enrolled in Southern Oregon College in Ashland where he earned a Masters degree in Humanities. In 1970, he was hired to teach instrumental and choral music at Portola High School and retired from this position in 1998.
Throughout his teaching career, John has remained active in CMEA, served as President of the Northern Section and then became President in 1986. At the conclusion of his duties as Past President of CMEA, John was the Equipment Chairman and Exhibit Coordinator for the annual CMEA Professional Development Conference for many years. He became Executive Director in 1998, a position that he still holds today, and has most recently held the position of President of MENC’s Music Managers Association from 2004 to 2006.
John is an active musician, performing as a string bass player with the Reno Pops Orchestra, where he also acts as their Assistant Director. He continues to be a music education resource for the Portola School District and is a substitute teacher. John is also an active member of the California Band Directors Association and American Choral Directors Association. As former Mayor of Portola, John is currently a member of the Portola City Council and a member of the County Museum Board.
David Z. Marmel
President and Executive Producer, Marmel Entertainment, Mrs. America, Inc. – Designated by: Fifty State Directors of Mrs. America Inc.
David Marmel, President of Marmel Entertainment & The Mrs. World and Mrs. America Organizations, has always had a strong passion for music and our children. Under his leadership for the past several years, The Mrs. America Organization has chosen to take on the task of promoting The National Anthem Project as their cause of choice.
In addition to this project, for the next several years, The Mrs. America Organization will focus all of their attention towards the promotion of strengthening music education in schools. This important recognition will honor David’s strong commitment to our mission and association. His personal interest in music education and The National Anthem Project has resulted in recruiting and training pageant contestants and winners throughout the organization as outstanding spokespersons for MENC and music education.
From appearing on Capitol Hill on our behalf to literally hundreds of local events these ambassadors have caught the commitment, spirit, and support of David Marmel for this cause. Creative incentives, positive support, and increased visibility on print and television have expanded MENC’s mission and cause.
James “Jim” Moore
Consultant, Marian Catholic High School – Designated by: Bobby Lambert & Marian Catholic High School
Jim Moore has worked in the clothing industry for the majority of his life. He made a name for himself with several clothiers as an astute businessman and a person of integrity and leadership. Mr. Moore has played trumpet in the North Shore Concert Band under John Paynter and Mallory Thompson as well as contributed his talent to playing in numerous high school m usical productions, free of charge. He has been an enormous supporter of the Catholic Band programs throughout the Chicago area, even acting as Master of Ceremonies at the Catholic Concert Band Competition for many years.
Jim has always played and taught music throughout his varied career. He has done clinics for colleges such as Northwestern and Notre Dame as well as worked with high schools such as Glenbard South, Brother Rice, St. Rita, Glenbrook South, Wheaton Cental, and Marian Catholic. Jim continues to further the world of musicians while consulting the Musicians Union of Chicago and serving the Midwest Clinic as consultant, volunteer, and member. He has served on the boards of several music institutions including Bands of America, Marian Catholic High School, VanderCook College of Music, and DePaul University School of Music.
Dr. Bert Nelson
NYSSMA Executive Administrator – Designated by: Steve Schopp on behalf of NYSSMA (New York State Schools Music Association)
Dr. Bert Nelson earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees at Queens College and his Professional Diploma and Doctoral degree at Hofstra University. He has been a teacher, an administrator, an advisor, and a mentor throughout his educational career that spans 42 years to date. Dr. Nelson began his career as a teacher in the New York City public schools and has served as a full-time faculty member at Queens College and for over thirty-five years as an administrator, including sixteen years as Superintendent of School in Hewlett-Woodmere on Long Island.
His service with NYSSMA started in 1980 when he began service as an advisor to then NYSSMA President, Joe Sugar. In 1998, upon Bert Nelson’s retirement from the position of Superintendent of Schools, he became the full-time NYSSMA Executive Administrator. Most interesting, perhaps, is the fact that as an educator and administrator, Bert Nelson is not a professional music educator. Nevertheless, his love and support for music and all of the arts has been reflected in his administrative activities in the public schools and in NYSSMA on behalf of music education throughout New York State.
Over the years he has received numerous awards and recognitions: NYSSMA Distinguished Award; NYS Alliance for Arts Education – Arts in Education Award; Nassau Music Educators Association – Administrator of the Year; and Black Music Caucus Recognition Award.
Dr. Fran M. Page
Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education, Meredith College; Past-President NCMEA – Designated by: Capital City Girls Choir
Fran Page is the Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education at Meredith College in North Carolina. She is also the founder and director of the Capital City Girls Choir, a three-choir organization. Dr. Page received her B.A. in music education from Limestone College, her M.M. and Ed.D in music education from UNC-Greensboro. She is a past-president of the North Carolina Music Educators Association, past chair of the Arts Education Coalition (AEC), and president of Southern Division MENC: The National Association for Music Education. Recognized for her expertise as a children’s choral specialist, she frequently conducts workshops and festivals. She also has done considerable work in the area of curriculum integration and arts curriculum planning and assessment and consults with schools in that capacity. Dr. Page is certified in Orff Levels I, II, and III. At Meredith College, she teaches methods courses for music education majors and also K-6 teacher licensure students, and as the Coordinator of Music Education, she advises music education majors and directs and supervises student teaching.
Dr. Frank Tracz
Professor of Music and Director of Bands, Kansas State University – Designated by: Kansas State University: Dr. Jon Wefald, Dr. Pat Bosco, Dr. Stephen White, Dr. Anthony Pursell, Dr. Jana Fallin; Dr. Larry Blocher, Troy University; and Dr. Jay W. Gilbert, Doane College
Dr. Frank Tracz is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. At K-State he coordinates the undergraduate and graduate conducting programs, teaches classes in music education, and administers and guides all aspects of the K-State band program, which includes the Symphony Band, Concert Band, University Band, Athletic Pep Bands, and Marching Band. Under his direction the Symphony Band has performed at the Kansas Music Educators Association Conference, the MENC Conference as well as regional and international tours. The “Pride of Wildcat Land” Marching Band has enjoyed the privilege of traveling to nationally acclaimed bowl games in support of the University.
Dr. Tracz received the Doctor of Philosophy (music education) from The Ohio State University, a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Ohio State University. Dr. Tracz has several years’ experience teaching in the public schools of Ohio and Wisconsin. He has also served as Assistant Director of Bands at Syracuse University. Prior to his appointment at K-State, he was the Director of Bands at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky.
He has served as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor for all-state and honor bands across the nation, as well as in Canada. Dr. Tracz is a past member of the Music Education Journal Editorial Board and is a contributor to the series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. He also researched and developed a Master of Music Education/Band Conducting program that is now in place at K-State. In addition to being an inducted member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, he is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Beta Mu, and Pi Lambda Theta. He currently serves as the advisor for the Kansas State chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma and the K-State Band Ambassadors. Dr. Tracz is past President of the Big XII Band Directors Association, past-President of the Kansas Bandmasters Association, and Director of the Manhattan Municipal Band.
Dr. Tracz has received many awards and recognition. At K-State, he has been honored with the prestigious Stamey award for Outstanding Teaching, and has been recognized as a Mortar Board Outstanding Faculty Member. Most recently he was honored with the Outstanding Bandmaster Award from the Kansas Bandmasters Association and Phi Beta Mu.
David A. Wells
Director of Athletic Bands, Boise State University – Designated by: Walt Lovell
Boise State University Professor David A. Wells is director of the Keith Stein Blue Thunder Marching Band, Boise State Athletic Bands and Kappa Kappa Psi faculty advisor. He is the founder of Idaho High School All Star Marching Band. For twenty-nine years Professor Wells has been the Marching Band Drill Design Director for the Pearl City High School Charger Band in Hawaii. He ser ves as adjunct professor for VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. Professor Wells attended Kent State University and holds music education degrees from Ashland University in Ohio and from VanderCook College of Music.
Before coming to BSU, Professor Wells directed the marching bands at Murray State University in Kentucky. He was Supervisor of Music and taught instrumental music in Lexington Public Schools in Ohio. He began his teaching career in Cuyahoga Heights High School and Hillsdale Consolidated Schools in Ohio.
Professor Wells has served as guest conductor, performer, adjudicator, and producer of many nationally acclaimed events. Presently he produces the pre-game and half-time shows for the MPC Computer Bowl in Boise, Idaho. He directs the Idaho High School All Star Band, which marched in the Boise River Festival “River Giants” Parade and the 2004 Tournament of Roses Parade. Professor Wells has been an adjudicator for the Oahu High School Marching Band Festival since 1990. He has presented the Cavalcade USA workshops and clinics throughout the country for the last thirty years. The BSU Blue Thunder Marching Band marched in the Hollywood Christmas Parade in California. Professor Wells produced the half-time show for the NFL/AFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii, for eleven years and has produced the half-time shows for the Hall of Fame Bowl in Florida and the Holiday Bowl in California. He originated the “Best of the West” honor band which appeared in the nationally televised Orange Bowl Parade in Orlando, Florida. Professor Wells was a guest conductor and performer with the Pearl City High School Wind Symphony at the Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. He gave the graduation address at VanderCook College of Music, was guest conductor at the Hamamatsu International Band Festival in Japan and adjudicator at the “Easter in Maastricht” music festival in The Netherlands.
Professor Wells is a member of the American Bandmasters Association. He was awarded the National Band Association “Citation of Excellence.” He received the Medal of Honor from the Mid-West Band Clinic during the concert appearance of his Lexington High School and Junior High School Bands. He was awarded the “Who’s Who Among Students” from Ashland University.