Issue: April-June 2013
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

Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson has been the director of instrumental music at Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida for the past 27 years. He has earned his BA from New Jersey City Univ., his MA from The College of New Jersey, and his DMA from Boston Univ. Before moving to Florida he taught high school in New Jersey,

Under Nelson's baton the Satellite H.S. orchestra has performed at the Midwest Clinic in both 2005 and 2010. Their jazz ensemble has been selected to the Monterey Jazz Festival, the North Texas Jazz Fes-tival and the MENC. The Wind Ensemble has also played at the NBA Conference in 2007 and 2009.

Nelson is quick to point out the benefits of having grown up in the New York metropolitan area for a budding musician. He continues to give back to his profession serving in nearly every imaginable office in far too many organizations to list.

When asked about his philosophy Nelson will say, 'A comprehensive, successful instrumental music program should include literature that represents the aesthetic, analytical, performance and music education development of students at all levels of musical experience. Courses under these guidelines should include, but not be limited to band, chorus, orchestra, cham-ber winds and other ensembles that represent American and world music cultures. The successful instrumental program addresses the needs of all students. It must reach not only the instrumental stu-dents but also choral majors and the general student body. Through the comprehensive selection of literature, disseminated by musi-cally compassionate faculty, music education majors can go forth armed with the tools to create and mold not only an appreciation of music in students/peers but also nurture the value and discrim-ination attributes needed to make musical choices. These musical choices run the gamut from developing future music teachers, appreciators and supporters of music, to also becoming great consumers of music.

Mark Grauer

Mark Grauer has served as the director of bands for New Berlin West Middle and High School for the last 8 years. He has served in various locations and positions from middle schools to university. He always seemed to find the schools that no one else wanted or the program in shambles which needed his help. He earned his BSE from UW-Whitewater and his MME from Vandercook College.

When he thinks of highlights in his career he thinks of "The President's Own" playing one of his com-positions on the steps of the US Capital. He has also served his pro-fession as President of the Milwau-kee Music Educators and the Na-tional Membership Chair for the ASBDA.

In 2001 he suffered an injury to my spinal cord causing drastic changes in his life.This forced him to re-learn everything from how to conduct to how to play my instru-ment. "In the process, I found more joy and intensity in my work, and truly believe that I have become more effective as a teacher than ever before."

Grauer will tell you, "From my very first job to my current one, I have always seemed to have gotten the program that no one else wanted. They were the bands that got straight V’s at contest, or had several directors in a short time, or had dwindled to nothing. And I got to start from scratch and help those kids discover what they could do. When I worked in the Milwaukee Public Schools, there were no feeder programs at all due to citywide busing. So I created one of my own, and took the program at John Marshall High School from four drummers to 90 plus kids in four years. What fun that was, to build a band where no one thought it could work."

His philosophy is stated like this, "Jackie Robinson's epitaph sums up my approach to teaching, “A life is important only in the impact it has on other lives.” My role as a teacher is to prepare my students for success in the real world, and music is the tool I use to inspire them in making an impact of their own."

  Terry Austin Bio
Legion of Honor Chairman


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