Issue: July - Sept. 2017
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

Gregg Abe

Gregg Abe has been the Director of Music at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu, Hawaii for 30 of his 32 year career in music. It also happens to be the high school he attended. AT Roosevelt he directs the marching band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble and the symphony orchestra.

Abe earned his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Hawaii. He has done extensive extra studies at Brigham Young (Hawaii) and Vandercook College of Music.

Abe has been named hte ASBDA-UNI SW RTegional Teeacher of the Year in 1998, The Hawaii Music Awards HS Music Educator of the Year in 1996, Time Warner Outstanding Educator in 2001 and his band was nominated for the Sudler Flag in 2005.

He has served his profession as Treasurer of both the Oahu Band Director and the ASBDA Hawaii Chapter.

It is not unusual and almost expected that his bands will be at the Superior Rating whether they are competing locally or at the state level.

Abe says, "The most important factor that I consider that has shaped my career are my students. I am still learning my profession and who I learn from are the students themselves. I learn from their mistakes as well as their success. I listen to what they have to say and structure my curriculum at times around them in order to bridge the communication gap sometimes prevalent in a highly structured environment."

"My philosophy stresses the knowledge and development of three basic principles--Discipline, Effort, and Pride. Stressing discipline is the primary step. In order to accomplish and achieve any goal, your mind must be focused on the task at hand. When one is able to listen and receive, understanding and learning can take place. The second step is effort. Effort requires one to participate in the learning process without fear or rationalization. One must practice or study for the purpose of strengthening their weak areas. Through effort, one is able to achieve whatever goals they have set for themselves. The third basic step is pride. To develop pride one must have an awareness of oneself and others in whatever one does. As this process continues, the student becomes truly involved with learning and is able to reach their inner self to realize specific values." 

Todd Summers

Todd Summers is the Director of Bands at Henry Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California where he has been for the last 16 years of his 26 year career. His previous experience was in Ohio at Miller HS, Tri-Valley HS and Frannklin Heights HS. He also spent a year as a graduate assistant at Ohio University.

Summers earned his BA in Music Ed. from Capital University, his MA in Conducting from Ohio University and his MA in Educational Admin. from Santa Clara University.

In 2010 Summers was named Henry Gunn HS Teacher of the Year. In 2011he was named the CMEA Bay Section Instrumental Teacher of the Year. In 2013 He took the Henry Gunn HS Orchestra to the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.

Summers has served the profession as Vice-President of the Santa Clara County BDA as well as President of the CMEA Bay Section.

Under his leadership Henry Gunn HS ensembles have established themselves as a perennial Superior Ratings machine since 1999.

Summers attributes much of his success to" being a lifelong learner: Working with mentors, being a mentor, continual professional development through conferences, course work and working with colleagues at my school."

When he is asked about his philosophy Summer says,"Teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth. I hope that I can instill a lifelong love of learning and appreciation for music in my students. I try to shaare my passion for learning everyday with my students and colleagues."

HIs colleagues hold him in high regard as someone who has moved the case for music far beyond the walls of Henry Gunn HS into the greater California area.

  Terry Austin Bio
Legion of Honor Chairman


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