The American Bandmasters Association, founded in 1929, with John Philip Sousa as Honorary Life President, recognizes outstanding achievement on the part of Concert Band conductors and composers. The current membership (invitational) comprises approximately 300 band conductors and composers in the USA and Canada, and 80 Associate Members (music businesses and corporations that provide significant services to bands and to the publication of band music.)
Jay Gephart, ABA President
I am deeply honored to serve as the 83rd President of the American Bandmasters Association and am grateful to the membership for giving me the opportunity to steward this wonderful organization for the coming year. When the American Bandmasters Association was established in 1929, the founding members were living in rather difficult and tumultuous times. Their perseverance through life’s challenges and their commitment to excellence set our profession on an upward trajectory that changed our world forever. Musicians around the globe have been and continue to be direct beneficiaries of the vision of Edwin Franko Goldman and the work of the American Bandmasters Association!
I wonder if Edwin Franko Goldman had any idea the impact the ABA would have over the next 91 years. ABA members would be the founders of the American School Band Directors Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity and the American Bandmasters Association Research Center. Most importantly, the ABA’s ongoing commitment to the betterment of the concert band, our continued encouragement of new works for our medium and our unwavering dedication to research in the band profession have and continue to provide tremendous leadership in an ever- changing profession and world. To say the importance of the ABA lies in its membership has never been more true.
On a personal note, one of the greatest blessings of being part of ABA is our annual convention. Jana and I look forward to this yearly event more than any other as it gives us the opportunity to spend time with old friends and meet new ones. I invite you to join us when we meet on March 3-7, 2021 on the campus of the University of Kanas in Lawrence, for the 87th annual convention of the American Bandmasters Association. Hosted by Paul and Julie Popiel and Bob and Jenny Foster, this year’s convention theme is Heartland, History, Hoops and Hops. Excursions will include something for everyone including basketball, museums in both Lawrence and Kansas City, shopping and much more. Performing groups include the Broken Arrow High School Wind Ensemble, the University of Iowa Symphony Band, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble and the University of Illinois Wind Symphony. An announcement is coming soon about our Friday evening performing ensemble.
Please mark your calendar and plan to be in Lawrence for what I truly believe will be an incredible convention. In the meantime, please accept my sincere best wishes for a healthy and happy year. I’ll look forward to seeing everyone in Lawrence.