minilogoAMEA Past Presidents Gallery

Leaders of the Alabama Music Educators Association.

1946 – Yale H. Ellis

Yale EllisYale Ellis was band director at Woodlawn High School (Birmingham) from 1927-1938, Sydney Lanier High School (Montgomery) from 1938-1955, and assistant band director at the University of Alabama from 1955-1967.  Under his direction, Woodlawn became the first high school band in Alabama to perform half-time shows at football games. Mr. Ellis was one of the originators of the Ala Breve magazine, and continued to contribute articles for the magazine throughout his career.  He was one of the pioneers of the Alabama Bandmasters Association, and later served as its President. 

Mr. Ellis was, for many years, director of the summer music camp at the University of Alabama, and taught music camps at Auburn University and in South Carolina. He also taught instrument repair on public television and in the classroom.

1948 – Walter A. Mason

Walter MasonWalter A. Mason was professor of music and chairman of the division of fine arts at Jacksonville State College. He played a leading role in the building of music education in the public schools of Alabama, organizing and directing the first district music and band festivals in his area of the state. 

 Mr. Mason graduated from Fredonia State Teachers College (New York), received his master’s degree from Northwestern University, and had accomplished work toward his doctorate at PeabodyCollege (Nashville). 

He served as Supervisor of Music for the Chautauqua County (New York) Schools, and was City Supervisor at Westwood (New Jersey). He was a member of the music faculty at Northwestern College of Louisiana from 1940-1945. In 1945, he joined the faculty of Jacksonville State College. The music building at Jacksonville State University, Mason Hall, is named in his honor.

1950 – Vernon Skoog

Vernon SkoogVernon Skoog was Director of Fine Arts for the Jefferson County School System. He graduated from Riverside-Brookfield (Illinois) High School. He attended the Sherwood School of Music and University of Chicago, where he earned his BME.  Mr. Skoog relocated to Birmingham in 1937, where he developed an outstanding choral program at Ensley High School. In 1947, he was appointed Director of Music for the Jefferson County School System. In 1962, he was promoted to Director of Fine Arts. His accomplishments include the establishment of an annual spring music festival, including approximately 2,500 students each year. He began the “Annual Dental Clinic Halftime Show,” including 13 high school bands.

Mr. Skoog served as a lecturer at Birmingham-Southern College, and worked with the State Educational Television Network to produce a series of television programs on “Music Through Instruments” and “Music Through Song.” In addition to his work with public school music, Mr.Skoog directed church choirs at Ensley United Methodist, First Presbyterian of Birmingham, and Vestavia Hills United Methodist. His professional memberships include Kappa Phi Kappa, the American Choral Directors Association, Dean of the American Guild of Organists, and membership on a number of boards and civic organizations.

1952 – John J. Hoover

John HooverDr. John J. Hoover served as a music professor at Livingston State Teachers College from 1950-1955. In the 1950 college yearbook, the Paragon, he is listed as “Acting Head of Music Department.” Thereafter, his title is listed as “Professor of Music” in catalogues and yearbooks. 

 Dr. Hoover is credited with significant growth in the band and Glee Club at Livingston.  He became a member of the music faculty at Auburn after the Livingston tenure and remained for several years.

During his career, Dr. Hoover also served as Director of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra.

1954 – Lamar Triplett

Lamar TriplettJames Lamar Triplett was band director at Emma Sansom High School (Gadsden) from 1939-1943, started the band programs at Oxford High School and Alexandria High School, and served as band director at Bessemer High School from 1950-1960. In his later years at Bessemer, he served as band director and Supervisor of Music.

Mr. Triplett graduated from Gadsden High School in 1936. He received his BS from Jacksonville State College in 1939, his MA from Peabody College in 1950, and did post-graduate work at the University of Alabama. He served as president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association and was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame in 1976. 

Each year, the “Lamar Triplett Scholarship” is awarded to an outstanding high school senior who plans on attending college in Alabama and aspires to a career as a band director.

1956 – Carleton K. Butler

Carleton ButlerColonel Carleton K. Butler is best known as the long-time director of the University of Alabama “Million Dollar Band.” It was during his tenure this term was coined. He graduated from high school in Warren, Ohio. He attended Dana’s Musical Institute from 1924-1928, Kent State University from 1928-1932, and the University of Alabama in 1935.

Colonel Butler was band director at Ramsay High School (Birmingham) from 1930-1934 before becoming band director at the University of Alabama, where he remained until his retirement in 1969. From 1935-1946, he also served as band director at Tuscaloosa High School.  During his 34 years as band director at the University of Alabama, Colonel Butler was a driving influential force behind the band movement in Alabama. In 1939 he called a meeting of Alabama band directors at the University of Alabama to form the Alabama Bandmasters Association and served as its first president.

Colonel Butler was appointed Honorary Colonel in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (University of Alabama) in 1940, and was appointed “Honorary Colonel in the Great State of Alabama” by Governor John Patterson in 1959. At his retirement in 1969, he was appointed “Professor Emeritus of Music.” He was awarded the “Outstanding Bandmasters Award” by Phi Beta Mu, the national bandmasters honorary fraternity in 1969. In 1979, $10,000 was donated by former students and friends scholarships in the name of Colonel Butler.

In 1980, the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama dedicated and named the band practice field “Butler Field.” Colonel Butler was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1976.

1958 – Mort Glosser

Mort GlosserDr. Mort Glosser was band director at Gadsden High School from 1936-1959. He became Director of Instruction for the Gadsden City School System in 1959, and remained in that position until July 1, 1965, when he became Superintendent of Gadsden City Schools. He served as superintendent until his retirement in 1975.

Dr. Glosser graduated from Rochelle (Illinois) High School in 1930. He received his BSM from Connell University (Iowa) in 1934, MM from the University of Wisconsin in 1943, and EdD from Michigan State University 1954. He taught in Woodbine, Iowa before coming to Gadsden.

Dr. Glosser served in the Army Air Force (Europe) from 1944-1946. He is a past president of the Gadsden Rotary Club, Gadsden Jaycees, and Alabama Bandmasters Association. He was named to “Who’s Who in American Education” and “Who’s Who in The South” and Southwest. Dr. Glosser was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1976.

1960 – Wilbur Hinton

Wilbur HintonWilbur “Bodie” Hinton was Director of Bands at Auburn University from 1956-1969 and served as head of the Auburn University Department of Music from 1969-1984. He served as band director at Tuscaloosa Jr. High, and then, Tuscaloosa High School, before beginning his tenure at Auburn.

Dr. Hinton’s professional memberships include Phi Beta Mu, The American Bandmasters Association, the Alabama Music Educators Association, MENC, Phi Kappa Phi, and Omicron Delta Kappa. He is a past president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association.

In 1986, the band practice field at Auburn University was dedicated the “Wilbur ‘Bodie’ Hinton Field” in his honor. Dr. Hinton was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame in 1976.

1962 – Lacey Powell, Jr.

Lacey Powell, Jr.Lacey Powell was the first band director at the University of South Alabama, appointed in 1965. He later served as Executive Director for the Alabama Music Educators Association.  Dr. Powell received his bachelor’s from Troy State University, master’s from VanderCook College of Music (Chicago), and PhD from the University of Alabama, with additional study at Northwestern University.

Dr. Powell was a member of the 43rd Division Army Band during the Korean Conflict. He was a member of the Mobile Symphony for seven seasons and a charter member of the Mobile Symphonic Pops Band. During his career at Georgiana High School, Andalusia High School, and Davidson High School, Dr. Powell’s bands received only Superior ratings at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Competition Festival. Before joining the faculty at the University of South Alabama, he was Supervisor of Music for the Mobile County Public Schools. As part of the bicentennial celebration, Dr. Powell was director of the “Marching 200,” the official Alabama bicentennial marching band, which performed on three national telecasts.

Dr. Powell has been honored with induction in the Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame (1995), Troy State University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year (1993), Troy State University Outstanding Music Educator (1992), AMEA Outstanding Music Educator (1993), and Outstanding Educator of America (1971) and AMEA Hall of Fame (2008). Dr. Powell has published articles in the Ala Breve, The Instrumentalist, Music Educators Journal, and School Musician-Director.

Dr. Powell served as president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association and Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. He was state chairman of the College Band Directors Association and the American School Band Directors Association.  Memberships include Music Educators National Conference, Alabama Music Educators Association, Alabama Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, Alabama Alliance for Arts Education, Phi Beta Mu and Phi Mu Alpha.

1964 – G. Truman Welch

Truman WelchG. Truman Welch organized the Elmore County High School Band, combining students from Wetumpka and Eclectic. He directed this band for 26 years. The Elmore County Band was consistently rated Superior at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Competition Festival and first place winner of the Virginia Beach Festival. The band was selected to play at the Midwest Clinic (Chicago) in 1965, the All-South Clinic at Jekyl Island (Georgia) in 1969, the Lion’s International in 1959 (New York, and 1960 (Chicago), and the Southern Division of MENC (Mobile) in 1969.

During World War II, Mr. Welch was director of the 13thAir Force Show Band. He taught woodwinds at the Auburn University and University of Alabama music camps, and taught at Troy State University, Auburn University, and Huntington College. He played professionally for many years in both symphonies and dance bands and was a member of the board of directors of the Montgomery Symphony. For over a decade, he was director of the Capitol Sounds Concert Band, an adult community band located in Montgomery.

Mr. Welch and Ed Jones originated and organized the Studio Lab Band movement. He also organized the first annual Southeastern United States Concert Band Clinic at Troy State University in 1974. He was recruited by Yamaha Musical Instrument Company to serve as their flute clinician throughout the Southeast. Mr. Welch was elected Mayor of Wetumpka in 1980.

Mr. Welch was president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association, president of the Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, and served on the governing board of the National Band Association. He was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1978. Other memberships include the National Band Association, American School Band Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, College Band Directors National Association, and the Alabama Music Educators Association.

1966 – Jerry Countryman

Jerry CountrymanJerry L. Countryman grew up in Attalla. He received his BS in Music Education from JacksonvilleState Teachers College (1955) and MA in Music Education from the University of Alabama (1959). He was band director at Ohatchee High School from 1953-1954, Oneonta High School from 1956-1960, and Decatur High School from 1960-1983. 

Under Mr. Countryman’s direction, The Decatur High School Band received 21 years of Superiorratings at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Band Competition Festival. The band performed at the 1965 Southern Division MENC Conference, the 1979 Southeastern United States Band Festival (Troy), and the 1982 Tri-State Band Festival (Florida State University).

Mr. Countryman’s memberships include MENC, the American School Band Directors Association, Phi Mu Alpha, and Phi Beta Mu. Mr. Countryman was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1983.

1968 – Floyd C. McClure

Floyd C. McClureFloyd C. McClure was the long-time band director at Coffe High School in Florence. He was a charter member of the Alabama Bandmasters Association in 1939, and was among those who were responsible for organizing the first All-State Bands. He pushed through legislation to authorize an ABA-sanctioned state band contest and organized the first one in 1947. He also organized the first All-State Band and Choral Festival held at the University of Alabama in 1947.

Mr. McClure graduated from Decatur (Illinois) High School in 1933. He received his BME from Murray (Kentucky) State College in 1937 and attended the University of Alabama from 1938-1941. He was band director at Thomasville High School from 1937-1940 before accepted the position at Coffee, where he served from 1940-1972. In 1972, he organized the Weeden Junior High School Band and was the director until his retirement in 1976. During Mr. McClure’s tenure at Coffee High School, the band was consistently awarded Superior and Excellent ratings at Alabama Bandmasters Association State Band Competition Festival. The band performed frequently in Mardi Gras parades in Mobile and New Orleans, performed at the Lion’s International Convention in Miami, and performed in the Orange Bowl Parade on two occasions.

Mr. McClure played with the Huntsville Symphony, the Florence Civic Orchestra and the Florence Big Band. He was Choir Director at the First Methodist Church in Florence and for 20 years was Choir Director at Trinity Episcopal Church. He organized and directed the Tri-Cities Oratorio Association.

Mr. McClure is a past president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association. Memberships include MENC, AMEA, Phi Beta Mu, and charter membership in the Gamma Delta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha. Mr. McClure was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1984.

1970 – Jerry Bobo

Jerry BoboJerry Bobo was band director at Fayette County High School from 1956 until his retirement in 1991. He graduated from Fayette County High School in 1953. He received his BS and MA in music education from the University of Alabama. He later earned the “AA” certificate in music education supervision. 

During his years at Fayette, the band program grew from 54 students to approximately 400. The Fayette County High School Band performed at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Band Competition Festival 35 consecutive years, earning a Superior rating 31 times and an Excellent rating four times.

Mr. Bobo served as president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association, president of the Fayette County Teachers Association, president of the Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, was named “Alabama Outstanding Music Educator of the Year,” was winner of “Mac” Award, and was guest conductor of the Alabama All-State Blue Band. Mr. Bobo was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1986. The Jerry Bobo Music Building at Fayette County High School is named in his honor.

1972 – Frances P. Moss

Frances P. MossDr. Frances Moss taught at Calhoun Community College from 1962 until her retirement in 1999. She received her bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State College and her master’s and doctorate from the University of Alabama. She also holds a doctorate from Covington Theological Seminary. Dr. Moss taught band and choir in public schools from grades 1-12. At Calhoun, she taught voice, piano, music theory, conducting and vocal ensembles, served as chairperson of the music department, and initiated the church music program. She founded the Alabama Honor Choir Festival, which was held at Calhoun Community College for 23 years.

The Alabama Vocal Association acquired its name while Dr. Moss was its president. During that time, the AVA instituted its first auditioned All-State Chorus, implemented required sight reading at both district and state choral festivals, gave the first medals to members of the All-State Chorus and established provision of certificates for choirs participating in state competition festivals. Dr. Moss edited the first AVA handbook, and wrote the handbooks for district chairmen and choral adjudication. During her tenure as president of AMEA, the first state convention was inaugurated. Dr. Moss served as interim editor of the Ala Breve. She served many years as historian, preparing materials for state and divisional projects. Dr. Moss served on the board of the Southern Division and on several national committees, including a task force to develop goals and objectives for the improvement of music education in the United States.

Professional memberships include Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Delta Pi, Delta Omicron and MENC. Awards from Calhoun Community College include Outstanding Faculty Member Award, External Service to the Community Award, and the Carlton Kelley Teaching Excellence Award. Austinville United Methodist Church annually presents a music scholarship in her honor. The AVA annual “Frances P. Moss Outstanding Choral Director Award” is given in her honor. In 1999, Dr. Moss retired from full-time teaching to serve as Minister of Music and Laity at Austinville United Methodist Church (Decatur).

1974 – George Hammett

George HammettGeorge Hammett started the band program at Jefferson Davis High School (Montgomery) in 1968 and remained its director until 1983. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and attended AuburnUniversity, where he earned his BS in 1966. While at Auburn, Mr. Hammett played with the Auburn Knights, played in the Auburn University Orchestra, and was Drum Major for the marching band.  

Mr. Hammett taught for two years at Brooks County High School (Quitman, Georgia), earning Superior ratings in concert festival performance both years. He then returned to Montgomery to organize the program at Jefferson Davis High School. He served three times as chairman for the Alabama Bandmasters Association District VI, and was a board member of the Southeastern United States Band Clinic. He has been an active concert band adjudicator in Alabama and Georgia. 

Mr. Hammett served as Assistant Principal and then Principal at Goodwyn Jr. High (Montgomery) until his retirement in 1993. Following retirement from education, Mr. Hammett remains musically active through membership in church orchestra and several community bands.

1975 – Frances P. Moss

Frances P. MossDr. Frances Moss taught at Calhoun Community College from 1962 until her retirement in 1999. She received her bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State College and her master’s and doctorate from the University of Alabama. She also holds a doctorate from Covington Theological Seminary. Dr. Moss taught band and choir in public schools from grades 1-12. At Calhoun, she taught voice, piano, music theory, conducting and vocal ensembles, served as chairperson of the music department, and initiated the church music program. She founded the Alabama Honor Choir Festival, which was held at Calhoun Community College for 23 years.

The Alabama Vocal Association acquired its name while Dr. Moss was its president. During that time, the AVA instituted its first auditioned All-State Chorus, implemented required sight reading at both district and state choral festivals, gave the first medals to members of the All-State Chorus and established provision of certificates for choirs participating in state competition festivals. Dr. Moss edited the first AVA handbook, and wrote the handbooks for district chairmen and choral adjudication. During her tenure as president of AMEA, the first state convention was inaugurated. Dr. Moss served as interim editor of the Ala Breve. She served many years as historian, preparing materials for state and divisional projects. Dr. Moss served on the board of the Southern Division and on several national committees, including a task force to develop goals and objectives for the improvement of music education in the United States.

Professional memberships include Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Delta Pi, Delta Omicron and MENC. Awards from Calhoun Community College include Outstanding Faculty Member Award, External Service to the Community Award, and the Carlton Kelley Teaching Excellence Award. Austinville United Methodist Church annually presents a music scholarship in her honor. The AVA annual “Frances P. Moss Outstanding Choral Director Award” is given in her honor. In 1999, Dr. Moss retired from full-time teaching to serve as Minister of Music and Laity at Austinville United Methodist Church (Decatur).

1976 – S. J. Allen

S. J. AllenSebastian Joseph “Chick” Allen was born on July 19, 1938 in Bessemer and died July 7, 2008. He was a long-time choir director at Hueytown High School.

Allen was a graduate of Bessemer High School, and attended the University of Alabama, where he was a member of the Million Dollar Marching Band. At Hueytown, Mr. Allen started the Swingers Show Choir in the early 1970s and led it until his resignation in 1986.

1978 – W. Frank McArthur, Jr.

Frank McArthur, Jr.Frank McArthur is noted for his outstanding band programs at Tuscaloosa Hr. High and Tuscaloosa High School, and for his work as band director at the University of North Alabama. Dr. McArthur graduated from Tuscaloosa High School in 1953. He earned his undergraduate BS and PhD from the University of Alabama.

Dr. McArthur began his teaching career in 1956 as band director at Tuscaloosa Junior High School. For two years, he served as band and choir director at Oneonta High School, and then accepted the position of band and orchestra director at Tuscaloosa High School. In 1965, he became Supervisor of Music for the Tuscaloosa City Schools, a position he held for a year and a half.  

After completing his doctorate in 1969, Dr. McArthur accepted the position of Music Supervisor for Cobb County Georgia and also served as band director in Powder Springs. After one year in CobbCounty, he was named band director at the University of North Alabama. In 1975, he was named Deanof the College of Arts and Sciences. From 1980-2000, Dr. McArthur held the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs at Delta State University (Cleveland, Mississippi).  In addition to his work with bands, Dr. McArthur served as church choir director at Covenant Presbyterian (Tuscaloosa), Wesley Memorial United Methodist (Tuscaloosa), Saint Luke United Methodist (Tuscaloosa), First United Methodist (Oneonta), Edgemont United Methodist (Florence), Trinity Episcopal (Florence), First United Methodist (Florence), and First United Methodist (Cleveland, Mississippi).           

Professional and honor societies and awards include Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Music Educators National Conference, president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association, Order of the Silver Horn, Million Dollar Band Gold Key Award, National Association of Rudimental Drummers, Phi Kappa Sigma Distinguished Alumni Award, and “Boss of the Year” from the National Secretaries Association.

1980 – Paul Hall

Paul HallPaul Hall served as chairman of Samford University’s Music Department from 1970 until his retirement in 1995. In addition, he served as Associate Dean for Music Graduate Studies from 1982-1995.In 1974, Dr. Hall was the recipient of Samford’s John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching. In the same year, he and his wife were elected Danforth Associates. For 20 years, he was conductor of the Alabama Singing Men, a men’s chorus composed of Baptist Ministers of Music in Alabama. For 10 years, he conducted the Samford Community Choir. In 1991, Dr. Hall’s colleagues elected him President of the Samford University faculty.

1982 – Lacey Powell, Jr.

Lacey Powell, Jr.Lacey Powell was the first band director at the University of South Alabama, appointed in 1965. He later served as Executive Director for the Alabama Music Educators Association.  Dr. Powell received his bachelor’s from Troy State University, master’s from VanderCook College of Music (Chicago), and PhD from the University of Alabama, with additional study at Northwestern University.

Dr. Powell was a member of the 43rd Division Army Band during the Korean Conflict. He was a member of the Mobile Symphony for seven seasons and a charter member of the Mobile Symphonic Pops Band. During his career at Georgiana High School, Andalusia High School, and Davidson High School, Dr. Powell’s bands received only Superior ratings at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Competition Festival. Before joining the faculty at the University of South Alabama, he was Supervisor of Music for the Mobile County Public Schools. As part of the bicentennial celebration, Dr. Powell was director of the “Marching 200,” the official Alabama bicentennial marching band, which performed on three national telecasts.

Dr. Powell has been honored with induction in the Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame (1995), Troy State University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year (1993), Troy State University Outstanding Music Educator (1992), AMEA Outstanding Music Educator (1993), and Outstanding Educator of America (1971) and AMEA Hall of Fame (2008). Dr. Powell has published articles in the Ala Breve, The Instrumentalist, Music Educators Journal, and School Musician-Director.

Dr. Powell served as president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association and Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. He was state chairman of the College Band Directors Association and the American School Band Directors Association.  Memberships include Music Educators National Conference, Alabama Music Educators Association, Alabama Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, Alabama Alliance for Arts Education, Phi Beta Mu and Phi Mu Alpha.

1984 – Johnny Jacobs

Johnny JacobsJohnny Jacobs is noted for his outstanding bands at Minor High School and his work as Supervisor of Bands for the Jefferson County School System. He earned his BME from Birmingham-SouthernCollege in 1965, MA from the University of Alabama in 1968, Advanced Certificate in Music Education from the University of Illinois in 1975, and EdD from the University of Alabama in 1985. 

Dr. Jacobs served as band director in Jefferson County at Dixie Jr. High School, Minor High School, and Berry High School, before his 13 years as Supervisor of Bands. His tenure with the school system spanned from 1964-2000. As an outgrowth of his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Jacobs published Supplementary Material for Beginning Band, Fifteen Settings for Beginning Band and Pre-Recorded Electronic Synthesizer. This work, named “The Johnny Book” by the students and directors who adopted it, has been used with significant success in several Birmingham area middle schools.

In addition to his work with bands, Dr. Jacobs played principal trumpet with the Alabama Pops Orchestra, the Birmingham Symphony Pops Orchestra, and second trumpet with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He taught trumpet at Birmingham-Southern College for thirty years and at Samford University for eleven years. After retiring from the Jefferson County Schools, Dr. Jacobstaught music education and trumpet for two years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition, Dr. Jacobs has maintained an active private trumpet studio.  He is affiliated as a conductor with the Birmingham Community Concert Band and plays principal trumpet with the Celebration Winds. He is a deacon at First Baptist Church Warrior and also serves as Director of Discipleship Training.  Dr. Jacobs served as president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association from 1977-1979. He was inducted into Phi Beta Mu Rho Chapter’s Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1997. 

1986 – Merilyn Jones

Merilyn JonesDr. Merilyn Jones is noted for the choral program she developed at Andalusia High School and her work in music education at the University of Alabama. She graduated from Alabama College (today known as the University of Montevallo), where she was a piano major and gained certification in choral/elementary music education. She earned her MA from the University of Alabama, and in 1974 earned a PhD in Music Education from Florida State University. Her research on the development of the child voice was published in the Journal of Research in Music Education and reported in professional seminars held in conjunction with the convention of the Music Educators National Conference. 

Dr. Jones was supervisor of vocal music for Andalusia City Schools, where she taught elementary general music and served as choral director at Andalusia High School. After completion of her master’s degree, Dr. Jones joined the faculty at the University of Alabama. There, she directed the University Chorus as well as preparing future teachers in elementary and choral methods. She served as Professor and Music Education Department Head from 1979-1994. 

1988 – Ronald D. Hooten

Ronald D. HootenDr. Hooten served for 30 years as Director of Bands at Birmingham-Southern College. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1966 with a BME. He earned the MM in Performance from the University of Mississippi in 1971, and earned his DA in Music Education from the University of Mississippi in 1980. 

Dr. Hooten began his teaching career at Clinton  High School (Mississippi), where he served as Director of Bands from 1966-1970. He then served as Director of Bands at Lakeshore High School (Atlanta) from 1971-1975. He was appointed Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Jazz Band at the University of North Alabama, a position which he held from 1975-1978. 

Dr. Hooten’s longest tenure was as Director of Bands and Director of the Music Education program at Birmingham-Southern College, where he served from 1980 until his retirement in 2010. 

1990 – Ken Williams

Ken WilliamsKen Williams is known for the outstanding band programs he developed at Meek High School and Haleyville High School. He graduated from Winston County High School in 1965. Mr. Williams attended Florence State University (now, the University of North Alabama) from 1965-67 and the University of North Alabama from 1971-1973, where he earned his BS in Music Education. Between the years 1967-1971, he served in the United States Marine Corps, including 13-months of service in Vietnam. 

Mr. Williams was band director at Meek High School (Arley) from 1973-1980 and again from 1981-1990. He was band director at Gadsden High School for one school year in between the years at Meek. Mr. Williams served as band director at Haleyville High School from 1990 until his retirement in 2007.   Under his direction, the bands at Meek, Gadsden, and Haleyville received a Superior rating 22 times at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Band Competition Festival. His concert and marching bands received Superior ratings and were named “Best in Class” at many band festivals in the United States, including Grand Champion at the University of Montevallo Concert Competition(1983), the St. Louis American Music Festival (2001), and the Orlando All-Star Music Festival (2000 and 2002).

Mr. Williams served as president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association and president of the Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. He was a deacon of the First BaptistChurch in Arley for over 10 years. Mr. Williams was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 2004.

1992 – Dianne Johnson

Dianne JohnsonDianne Johnson has served at every level of general and vocal music from elementary through college. She currently serves as director of the Department of Arts Education for the Jefferson County School System.

Mrs. Johnson holds a BME and MM from the University of Montevallo and master’s level Orff Certificate from the University of Memphis.  After success in the classroom at all levels, she became elementary and choral music supervisor for the Jefferson County School System, a position she held from 1996-2006. From 2000-2005, her duties also included that of band supervisor, overseeing the instrumental programs of 13 high schools and 11 middle schools. In her present position as director of the Department of Arts Education for the Jefferson County School System, Mrs. Johnson is responsible for overseeing the choral, elementary music, band, visual arts, theatre, and debate programs of 52 schools.

Mrs. Johnson became a member of MENC as a college student and has remained active at both the state and national levels since that time. She was a Southern Division MENC president and served as a member of the Benchmarks Committee for Content Standard Five. Other services to MENC include clinician at the 1994 National Conference, MENC National Certified Music Educator, participation in the Symposium for National Standards in the Arts and participation in the National Assembly, and planning conferences of the Southern Division. She has also served as president of the Elementary/General Division and chair of the Society for General Music.

Mrs. Johnson’s articles have appeared in professional publications such as Ala Breve, Collegiate Exchange, and Teaching Music. She has been honored as guest conductor and keynote speaker for numerous local, state, and national conferences. In 1989-90, the Alabama Music Educators honored her with its “Outstanding Music Educator of the Year” award. In 2015, the AMEA again honored her with the “Outstanding Administrator Award.”

1994 – James K. Simpson

James K. SimpsonDr. James Simpson was the chair of the Music Department at the University of North Alabama for 33 years. A native of Montgomery, he received his BME from the University of Southern Mississippi and his MM and DMA from the University of Mississippi.  Dr. Simpson served as band director in Union, Mississippi and Canton, Mississippi. During his tenure, the Canton High School Band received outstanding ratings at the Mississippi State Band Festival and won the first annual Six Flags Over Georgia Concert Competition in 1969. While in Mississippi, Dr. Simpson performed in the Hattiesburg, Tupelo, Meridian, and Jackson Symphony Orchestras. He was a featured soloist with the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra and the University of Mississippi Concert Band. For two years, he served as Concert Director of the Mississippi Lions All State Band.

After joining the music faculty at UNA in 1973 as assistant band director and woodwind instructor, Dr. Simpson performed as featured soloist with the UNA Concert and Jazz Bands, the UNA Invitational Honor Band, and several regional high school bands. He is a charter member of the Shoals Area “Big Band,” and played lead alto saxophone and clarinet with the band for twenty-eight years. Under his leadership, the University of North Alabama Department of Music became an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music in 1986. Dr. Simpson has also served as president of the Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, and president of the Association of Alabama College Music Administrators. He was listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers (2004), Outstanding Young Men of America (1977), International Who’s Who in Music and Musician’s Directory (1975), and Outstanding Educators of America (1975). He received the Shoals Area Band Director’s Association Service Award (2003) and a UNA Education Leadership Award (2000).

Dr. Simpson is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He retired in 2007 after thirty-four years of service to the University of North Alabama.

1996 – Johnnie Vinson

Johnnie VinsonJohnnie Vinson is Director of Bands and Professor of Music Emeritus at Auburn University and a noted composer of band literature. He received the BS and MA from Auburn and the DMA in Music Theory from the University of Mississippi.  

Dr. Vinson taught in the public schools of Columbus, Georgia, and worked as a graduate assistant with the bands at the University of Texas and University of Mississippi before coming to Auburn. At Auburn, he supervised the overall band program, conducted the Symphonic Band, and taught conducting and band arranging. Dr. Vinson retired from Auburn University in 2007, after a 36-year career with the Auburn Bands.  In addition to his work as a band director, Dr. Vinson is a widely-recognized arranger/composer of music for band, with over 360 published works to his credit. He has also served as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the United States.      

Dr. Vinson has been National Vice-President for Professional Relations for Tau Beta Sigma, and has served as Alabama’s state chair of the College Band Directors National Association. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Band Association and president of the Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. Memberships include the Music Educators National Conference, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, and ASCAP. Dr. Vinson was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 1994, and has twice served as a member of its Board of Directors. He has been presented the Distinguished Service to Music Medal by Kappa Kappa Psi and the Citation of Excellence by the National Band Association. In 1998, he was elected to the Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame.

1998 – Michael Meeks

Michael MeeksDr. Michael Meeks is Executive Director of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and has extensive experience as a public school choral director and music supervisor. He is a graduate of SamfordUniversity and holds both an MA and EdD in music education and educational leadership from The University of Alabama. Dr. Meeks taught choral music for 12 years at Bottenfield Jr. High School and Minor High School. He then served as both high school choral director and K-12 Music/Arts Administrator for Bessemer City Schools. His choirs earned consistent Superior ratings at district and state festivals, and received invitations to perform at state, Southern Division and national ACDA and MENC conventions.  Dr. Meeks became an associate professor in the University of Montevallo Department of Music Teacher Education program from 1990-1999. He also founded Birmingham’s Cahaba Chorale, the University of Montevallo University Chorus, and in 1977-78 co-founded the Birmingham Boys Choir.  

Dr. Meeks served as District Program Administrator for Georgia’s DeKalb County School System and was named the state’s “Administrator of the Year” in 2011. DeKalb County Schools, which serve more than 100,000 students across 131 institutions, was named among the Top 100 Communities for Arts Education and Music Education in the country by the U.S. News and World Report and the National Association for Music Merchants. Dr. Meeks served on the boards of numerous Georgia arts and education organizations, including the Woodruff Center for the Arts, High Museum, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Education Advisory Committees. In 2011, Dr. Meeks was appointed Executive Director of the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Memberships include Birmingham Metro Diversity Coalition, Birmingham Business Alliance, Alabama Association of School Boards, School Superintendents Association of Alabama, Arts Schools Network, Asbury United Methodist Church and the Arts and Lectures Club of Shelby County.

2000 – John McAphee, Jr.

John McAphee, Jr.John McAphee served as band director at Phillips High School (Birmingham) and Jess Lanier High School (Bessemer), and is currently Coordinator of Fine Arts with the Birmingham City School System. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Tennessee State University, a master’s degree in music education from Samford University, and EdS from the University of Montevallo.  Mr. McAphee served for 25 years as a high school band director. His band consistently received Superior ratings at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Competition Festival and throughout the Southeast. His band was the first band from an urban school district selected to perform at the AMEA conference.

During his tenure in the classroom, Mr. McAphee was presented the “Sousa Legion of Honor Award,” signifying his accomplishments as one of the top band directors in the country by Band World magazine. He was also the youngest persons to be inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Mr. McAphee has performed with “big bands” and orchestras around Birmingham, in Europe, as a percussionist with the U.S.O., with Nell Carter’s Birmingham performance, and with the Erskine Hawkins tour in Los Angeles.

2002 – Tony Pike

30 Tony PikeTony L. Pike was band director at Davidson High School in Mobile as a culmination to a career in music education lasting 32 years. Mr. Pike graduated from Hogansville High School in 1977. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Troy State University.

Mr. Pike was the band director, elementary music teacher, and choral director at Straughn School (Covington County) from 1980-1986. He moved to Opp in 1986 to serve as band director at Opp Middle School and Opp High School. In 1994, Mr. Pike accepted the position of band director at Davidson High School, and served there until his retirement. Under Mr. Pike’s direction, the Davidson Band has consistently received Superior ratings at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Competition Festival. The band’s performances include the Lord Mayor’s New Years Day Parade in London (1998 and 2005), the Music Educators National Conference Southern Division Conference (1999), nationwide television coverage in Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas parade at Disney World (1999), the Paris New Year’s Parade (2001), and Washington D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (2002).

Professional associations include Music Educators National Conference, Alabama Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi, Kappa Delta Pi, National Education Association, Alabama Education Association, and Mobile County Education Association. Mr. Pike was elected to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and Who’s Who in American Education. Tony served as chairman of ABA District VIII ABA 1990-94 and president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association. He was Mobile County Council PTA Teacher of the Year for 1996-97.

2004 – Becky Rodgers Warren

Becky Rodgers WarrenBecky Rodgers Warren developed an outstanding band program during her long tenure at Fort PayneHigh School. She graduated from Austin High School, and earned her BME and MME from the University of North Alabama. During her collegiate years, Mrs. Warren was chapter president and state secretary of the collegiate division of the Alabama MENC.  Mrs. Warren began her teaching career in 1980 as band director at Lynn High School. After 4 years, she moved to West Point High School, where she served as band director for 10 years. At that point, she accepted the position as band director at FortPayne High School, a position she held until her retirement from Alabama public education in 2008. She then became associate band director at Mandan (North Dakota) Middle School. 

Mrs. Warren was an active member of the music education profession, serving as Alabama Bandmasters Association district chairman for two districts, and president-elect of the Alabama Bandmasters Association. While serving as AMEA president, she founded the FAME (Future Alabama Music Educators) program to recruit and educate high school juniors and seniors interested in becoming music educators.  Professional memberships include the Alabama Music Educators Association, the North Dakota Music Educators Association, the Alabama Bandmasters Association, the National Band Association, and Phi Beta Mu. She has served as adjudicator, guest conductor, and clinician in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Mrs. Warren has also been a featured clinic presenter at the Alabama, North Dakota, and South Dakota Music Educators Association conferences as well as at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.

2006 – John Baker

John Baker John Baker served as the choral director at Enterprise High School for 27 years. He received his bachelor’s in music education from Auburn University and the master’s in music education from TroyUniversity. He began his teaching career in Americus, Georgia before moving to his hometown of Enterprise, Alabama. In addition to his work at Enterprise High School, he has served as music director at Saint Luke United Methodist Church, a position he held soon after coming to Enterprise.

During his tenure at Enterprise High School, Mr. Baker’s choirs performed and competed in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, and Hawaii. The Enterprise choirs traveled abroad to England, Germany, France, Belgium,Holland, Austria, Switzerland and China. Students from the choral department participated in 7 overseas tours. Choirs from Enterprise High School have been invited to sing for state and regional conventions of the Alabama Music Educators Association as well as the American Choral Director Association. They have given two performances in the East Room of the White House and were the featured choir at the nationally-televised Lighting of the National Christmas Tree, where they were accompanied by the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”.

Mr. Baker has served as president of the Alabama Vocal Association. He serves as a clinician for Show Choir Camps of America and keeps a busy judging schedule during show choir competition season.

2008 – Pat Stegall

Pat StegallPat Stegall served as band director at Muscle Shoals High School for 23 years. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from the University of North Alabama.  

During his tenure at Muscle Shoals High School, the bands consistently received Superior ratings at marching, concert, and jazz festivals, including Grand Champion Awards (Vanderbilt University and Pinson Valley), the All-Star Music Festival (Orlando), and four consecutive Class A championships at the Bands of America Regional competition in the Atlanta Georgia Dome. Prior to his retirement in 2011, the Symphonic Band compiled a string of 16 Superior ratings at concert band assessment, the last two being “Superior with Distinction” awards.

Mr. Stegall is a past chairman of the Alabama Bandmasters Association District III, and is active as a clinician and judge for band festivals and honor bands throughout the Southeast. He is a member of the Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. In 2004, Mr. Stegall was Teacher of the Year for the Muscle Shoals City School System and was named Colbert County Teacher of the Year by the Wal-Mart Company in 2008.  Following retirement, Mr. Stegall continued to work part-time with the Muscle Shoals City School System, teach music education classes at the University of North Alabama, and teach private clarinet and saxophone lessons.

2010 – Steve McLendon

34 Steve McLendonSteve McLendon is Director of Bands at Dothan High School. He received his BME from Troy State University and his MA from the University of North Alabama.

Mr. McLendon began his career as band director at Fairview High School in 1977 and remained there though 1988. At that point, he accepted his current position at Dothan High School. At both schools, his bands consistently received Superior ratings at the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Competition Festival. At Dothan, Mr. McLendon directs the marching band, jazz band, and three concert bands.

Mr. McLendon has served as president of the Alabama Bandmasters Association. Memberships include the Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, NAfME, AMEA, ABA, NAJIE, AEA, NBA, and NEA.

Mr. McLendon was elected into the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame in 2013.

2012 – Sara Womack

Sara WomackSara Womack teaches music at Greystone Elementary School in Hoover and is an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She earned a BS in music education and MA in music education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in music education from the University of Georgia and a MA in educational leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Womack began her teaching career as an elementary music teacher in the Talladega City School System. She then taught elementary music in the Jefferson County School System and Mountain Brook City School System.

Dr. Womack has attained Level I, II, and III Orff Schulwerk certification from the Eastman School of Music, University of Memphis, and Samford University, respectively. She achieved National Board Certification in early and middle childhood music and was named 2013 Hoover City Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. Dr. Womack has presented at numerous workshops and conferences and has been awarded multiple grants for her work with students, and for her research.

In 2014, Dr. Womack was voted President-Elect of the National Association for Music Education, Southern Division.

2014 – Carl Hancock

carlbhancockCarl B. Hancock is Professor of Instrumental Music Education at the University of Alabama. He received his Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music Education, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Florida State University.

Prior to his 2005 appointment at UA, Carl served as an assistant professor of music education at the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ; 2002-05), graduate assistant with the University Bands and Center for Music Research at Florida State University (1998-02), director of bands at Sebstian River High School (Sebastian, FL;1994-98), music supervisor for North Indian River County Schools (Vero Beach, FL;1994-98), and band and choir director at Santa Fe High School (Alachua, FL; 1992-94).

His service to Alabama’s music educators includes terms as State Collegiate Advisor (2008-10), State Research Chair (2010-12), President-Elect (2012-14), and President (2014-2016). In 2011, Carl was commissioned by the AMEA to conduct the first state-wide Alabama Music Teacher Census.

Nationally, Carl served on the editorial board of the Journal of Research in Music Education (2010-16) and as National Chair of the Learning and Development, Special Research Interest Group (2008-2010), and the Affective Response, Special Research Interest Group (2004-2006), for the Society for Research in Music Education. He also served on the Southern Board of the College Music Society (2010-12).

As a researcher, Dr. Hancock investigates issues concerning teacher preparation, band pedagogy, professional development, research dissemination, teacher attrition, and the national supply and demand of music teachers. He has published articles in the Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Research in Music Education, Psychology of Music, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Band Research, Arts in Education Policy Review, and Update: Applications of Research in Music Education. He has also presented at numerous state, regional, national, and international symposia including The Midwest Clinic, the Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference (NAfME), the National Conference of the American Educational Research Association, the Music Educators National Conference,  the College Music Society National Conference, and the International Symposium on Research in Music Behavior.

Carl Hancock is a member of The National Association for Music Education, the Society for Research in Music Education, the Alabama Music Educators Association, and the American Educational Research Association.