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ASBDA History


The formal organization of the American School Band Directors Association, Inc., took place at the First Annual Convention held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on November 21-22, 1953. The first national organizing committee was comprised of three members, the late Louis M. Blaha of Illinois, James C. Harper of North Carolina and Dale C. Harris of Michigan. George W. Patrick, Illinois, at his own request, was not listed as a member of the original organizing committee although he attended each of the meetings held in Chicago prior to the Cedar Rapids convention and was at all times a tireless worker in the interest of the Association.

The purpose of this committee was to ascertain if there was a sufficient interest and desire among school band men for an organization on a nationwide level to justify the founding of a national association. The response was such that the national organizing committee was expanded to include Earl Pat Arsers of Texas, Robert W. Dean of Iowa, Al Wright of Florida and George W. Patrick of Illinois. It was then definitely decided to hold a convention for the purpose of organizing a national association.

There were many other school band men besides those on the national organizing committee who gave unstintingly of their time and effort to help bring the American School Band Directors Association, Inc., into being. Without their interest and endeavors, the Cedar Rapids organizing convention would not have been possible.

In this organizational phase great impetus was given to the movement by the wholehearted interest and support of conductors of professional and college bands. Dr. Edwin Franko Goldman, Founder and Honorary Life President of the American Bandmasters Association, wrote a warm letter of endorsement and maintained an active interest in the development of our new Association until his death in February, 1956. Dr. A. Austin Harding. Director Emeritus of the University of Illinois Bands, was another ardent supporter of the newly organized school band directors' group. He not only stood loyally by with expert advice and counsel, but encouraged the group throughout the organization process. Almost 
without exception, college bandsmen throughout the nation were also encouraging and gave very practical and valuable assistance in recommending school band men in their states who would be qualified for membership in the American School Band Directors Association.

During the early years of the Association's span of existence, much time by necessity had to be spent on organization and membership activity. At present the broad generalities of the objectives for which the group was organized are now being, or for the most part have been, translated into actualities. Besides the wholesome professional opportunities for exchange of professional ideas, the major function of the Association is now focused on a continuing and comprehensive program for the improvement of school bands. Many phases of public school instrumental music are under serious study, including such items as budgets, physical facilities, instrumental schedules, visual aids, instrumental methods, solo and ensemble material, acoustical research and others.

Since the first convention held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1953, other conventions have been held throughout the United States. At these gatherings, programs of extremely high standards were presented which have served to advance the stature of this organization of school band directors.

From a very modest beginning when fourteen states were represented in the membership, it has now grown to include all fifty states and Canada and one thousand active and affiliate members, and a strong supporting group of associate members numbering over one hundred. The latter group represents music industries, music publishing firms and allied interests, and is a clear indication that the American School Band Directors Association, Inc. is recognized as a wholesome constructive force in school instrumental music. Continued success will be assured if we hold firmly to the original ideals and objectives which brought the Association into existence.

DALE C. HARRIS, First President


ASBDA Charter Members

Colorado
Lloyd Jensen, Sterling
Edward A. Kehn, Boulder
Roland S. Roberts, Denver
Byron E. Syring, Monte Vista

Georgia
John T. Lee, Columbus

Illinois
Ernest O. Caneva, Lockport
Lynn Huffman, Belvidere
F.C. Kreider, Collinsville
Karl H. Kibitz, Freeport
Charles H. Loomis, Ccntralia
Louis E. Meek, Granite City
Chalon B. Nesler, Herrin
George W. Patrick, Springfield
LaVerne R. Reimer, Elmhurst
C.J. Shoemaker, Downers
Grove George C. Wall Glen Ellyn
F.J. Woodman, Dunlay

Indiana
Larry Johnston, Evansville
John D. Melton, Hammond
Carlye J. Snider, Whiting
Al Stodden, Fort Wayne
Fred Weber, Michigan City

Iowa
R. Cedric Anderson, Cedar Rapids
Paul Behm, Mason City
Robert W. Dean, Spencer
Melvin Hill, Washington
Ivan Kennedy, Oskaloosa
Richard Simpson, Red Oak

Michigan
Harry Begian, Detroit
Mac E. Carr, River Rouge
Dale C. Harris, Pontiac
Charles W. Hills, Jr., Fowlerville
Robert Lint, Hillsdale
Stanley Shoemaker, Jackson
William Stewart. Muskegon
Fred N. Wiest, Pontiac

Minnesota
John E. Berg, Truman
Butler Eitel, Edina
Earl Ericson, St. Peter
H.L. Lidstrom, Rochester
Gerald Niemeyer, Worthington
Allen J. Opland, Pipestone
Lloyd F. Swartley, Duluth

Nebraska
William Kelly, McCook
Robert Lute, Oakland
Ralph Salyard, Bandelman
James Sewrey, lmperial

New York
Dean L. Harrington, Hornell

Ohio
John Farrinaci, Cleveland Heights
George Toot, Carrollton
Kaarlo Mackey, Conneaut
Howard Pardee, Salem
Emil W. Puffenberger, Canal Fulton
Walter M. Sells, Fremont

Oklahoma
William C. Robinson, Norman

Tennessee
V.C. Adcock, Newport
Wilkse S. Bobbitt, Erwin

Texas
Earl Pat Arsers, San Antonio

Wyoming
Morine Nyquist, Reliance