Dr. Long Presented band world quot;Oscarquot;

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Features Editor

Of all of the honors and awards that have been bestowed on Troy State University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music Dr. John M. Long, he counts his most recent award as "one of the greatest honors" he has received.

Long was presented the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts Award by the National Band Association at the Chicago Hilton Dec. 20. The award is the association’s highest and is considered the "Oscar’ of the band world.

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The National Band Association is the largest band organization in the world and presents the award in recognition of those in the profession who have made truly significant and outstanding contributions to the furthering of the excellence of bands and band music.

"I am honored and flattered to receive this award," Long said. " What makes it so special and so meaningful to me is the fact that it isn’t presented just to band directors. It can be presented to anyone in the field,from composers to conductors, from authors to manufacturers of instruments. The winner last year was the Ludwig Drum Company which is the largest drum manufacturer in the world. This is a big deal to me. This is a big deal in my life."

The Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts Award can be presented to two recipients annually, to one or to none. Long was the only recipient at the December convention, indicating the significance of the award.

In making the presentation to Long, Paula Crider, president of the National Band Association, said it was especially meaningful for her to take part in the presentation of the "Oscar" to someone for whom she has the greatest admiration and respect and someone who is a legend in the band world.

"Dr. Long, has, not only made an indelible mark in the band world, but his contributions to the National Band Association are valued more than words can express," she said.

The award was very unexpected Long said.

"There are those who are much more deserving than I am, but I am very appreciative," Long said, with a smile and adding that he doesn’t think the award is an "end of life" award. "But this is a lifetime achievement award and it is one of the greatest awards I have ever received."

Long began his career as a band director as a senior at Guntersville High School in 1944.

"Our band director was drafted and I was asked to direct the band until they could find someone to take his place," Long said. "But, there was no one to get, so I stayed on."

Long directed bands on the high school and college level before finding a home and fame at Troy State University for 32 years.

He has conducted bands throughout the United States as well as Spain, England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Canada and Mexico.

He is a member of the Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame, as well as the National Hall of Fame for Distinguished Conductors.

Long has served as president of the American Bandmasters Association and his accomplishments as guest clinician, speaker, conductor and adjudicator are legendary.

He has served his state and community by serving 24 years on the board of the Alabama Historical Commission and as president of the Troy City Board of Education, president of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and president of the Troy Rotary Club.