Issue: October - December 2008
Bandworld Magazine Page






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A special award of

The John Philip Sousa


The Bandworld Legion of Honor was established in 1989 to honor, over the course of a year, eight of the finest band directors in our business.

Recipients have taught for at least fifteen years, have maintained a very high quality concert band program, and have contributed significantly to the profession through dedication to bands and band music.

Each is honored at the annual Sousa Foundation awards ceremony during the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.

Chairman of the Legion of Honor Committee is Terry Austin,Virginia Commonwealth University.

Legion Laureates List Link


John Combs

John Combs has been the Director of Bands at Hellgate High School of Missoula , Montana since 1981. He holds the BME from the University of Montana and the MME from the University of Southern California. Under his direction the Hellgate High School Bands have marched and performed in some of the most prestigious events in the United States including several performances in the Tournament of roses Parade. John has held state offices in both the Montana Music Educators and the Montana Bandmasters Association.

John will tell you,"I've also been honored to work with Dr. David Maskanka...However, my biggest honor comes each time I give a downbeat to one of my bands. The dedication and desire they show with every performance is my ultimate encouragement and motivation. I'm honored to teach the wonderful young people Missoula lends me each year." He combines that attitude with an inescapable desire for excellence regardless of any situation.

Keith Jordan

For the last twenty-two years Keith Jordan has been the Director of bands at La Cueva High School of
Albuquerque , New Mexico. He also serves there as a piano and math teacher. He holds both the undergrad and graduate degrees from New Mexico State University. He made several teaching stops at various levels before settling in at La Cueva. He has served in many offices of the NMMEA and currently continues as the editor of New Mexico Musician Magazine,

When asked about the important influences in shaping his career Keith would point out the instilled work ethic of his parents and the influence of his band directors, Harold Van Winkle,Tim Lautzenheiser, Gregg Hansen and Sam Trimble.

Our school motto is, "Where excellence is a habit." My philosophy is based off that phrase, excellence in every facet of the music program we chose to participate in. Hard work is rewarded with personal growth and achievement. Don't toot your own horn, if your doing a good job, somebody will play it for you. Don't ask anybody to do something that you can do yourself. Rome wasn't built in a day, pass me some cement and a rock, I've got work to do.



Terry Austin Bio
Legion of Honor Chairman


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