Issue: April-June 2010
Bandworld Magazine Page






Previous Legion Next Legion

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

Melinda McKenzie Hall

With a Bachelor of Music Education from the Univ. of Illinois and a Master of Conducting and Wind LIterature from the Univ. of Iowa in hand Melinda McKenzie Hall returned to Fairfax County, VA where she now conducts the W.T. Woodson High School Band. Her philosophy "is to teach students the fundamentals that they need to enjoy personal success in music performance. All the trophies in the world don't mean anything if the students don't feel that they personally contributed to the performance."

Melinda has served as the Secretary of the VBODA for eight years and still serves as the All Region Orchestra Wind and Percussion Auditions Chair. Her bands have played at the VMEA Conference in 1994 and 2009. She was awarded a summer fellowship at Northwestern Univ. Her band has been invited to play at the 2010 USC Band Clinic and Conductor Symposium.

Melinda says," I have had the good fortune to be able to observe the "legends" in the band world (ie. Harry Begian, John Paynter, Frank Wickes, Gary Green, Ray Cramer and many more) and have taken away a wealth of great information. I also have lived and worked in a geographical area of the country where students and parents have high standards and expectations for education. This has pushed me to continue to learn and improve my teaching year after year."

James Kusserow

For the last 19 years James Kusserow has been teaching at the same high school he attended. He is the band director at Porterville High School in Porterville, CA. A hometown boy, he even began his college years at Porterville College, before he earned his Bachelors degree from San Jose State. He also earned a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Cal State Bakersfield.

James has been named the National Hall of Fame Band Director of the Year as well as being listed in "Who's Who in America" and "Who's Who in American Teaching."His Porterville High School Concert Band has consistently received unanimous superior ratings at the CMEA festivals, including sight reading.

James Kusserow says,"Punctuality, self discipline, hard work and dedication are all important tenets of my philosophy and I believe that I must exhibit these behaviors if I expect my students to acquire them. I am passionate about my bands, and that passion is contagious when students experience the heights that beautiful music can create. If I lead by example, my students can see the importance of being on time, working hard at the notes, working with others, and no matter what field of work they enter, they can experience a life long love of music."


  Terry Austin Bio
Legion of Honor Chairman


The page you have requested is part of the subscriber area.
  • You can select another page using the navigation above.
  • If you have a subscription, please login below to view this page:
User ID: