Issue: April-June 2015
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 Wardlaw

Mark Wardlaw has done double duty for the past 25 years as the Santa Rosa High School Director of Bands and also as the Santa Rosa Junior College adjunct professor of jazz. Before going to Santa Rosa he served at Sonoma State Univ. and Pacific Union College as a wood-wind instructor.

After high school in Sacramento,he attended CSU - Sacramento and earned his BM in clarinet performance. He then received an MM from University of Washington also in performance.

Wardlaw has served the profession as the NCBDA president. He was also named that group's Director of the Year in 2005.

Wardlaw considers his professional playing as having shaped his career,"I have been a professional wind player in orchestras, big bands, chamber music ensembles, jazz combos and theater pits for 35+ years. Being an active musician keeps me honest about what I ask kids to do musically. The best conductors I've worked with have high standards and expectations, but they never forget that they're working with living, breathing humans who want to be treated with appreciation and respect. I have endeavored to be that kind of teaching musician."

When asked about his philosophy he said, "My primary role is to be an effective mentor for lifelong musicianship, scholarship and curiosity. The music-making process is enhanced in an environment that encourages, develops and stimulates independent, creative and whimsical thinking skills."

Sean Carrier

Sean Carrier has served as the band director of Southside High School of Fort Smith, Arkansas for the last 13 years. He had served at two junior high schools before arriving in Fort Smith. He received his education from Louisiana Tech where he earned his BA in MusEd. He followed that with Masters of Educational Leadership from Harding University.

Carrier has served the profession by holding offices in both the ASBOA and the ASBDA. He has been awarded the Shelby Breedlove Outstanding Educator award in 2006, but considers the best to be that 17 former students are now music educators.

Under his leadership the Southside groups have received Superior ratings in every festival they have been in since 2002. They have also placed more students in all-state and all-region bands in 11 of the past 12 years than any school in their area.

When asked about personal influences he said, "Family and faith - I have a loving and supportive family at home and at church. That makes all the difference." He also added,"Trial and error - "Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success." I stole that quote from a movie, but it is so true."

His philosophy is this,"Be student-centered. Be willing to do what is best for a student. I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror each day and know I did my best for those I serve. As Dr. Francis McBeth once told me, "know your stuff, know those you are stuffing, and stuff'em!"

  Terry Austin Bio
Legion of Honor Chairman


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