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John M. Long named honorary president in national band association

ROBERT HUDSON

Even someone as decorated as legendary Troy University band director Dr. John M. Long can be caught by surprise.

Long was recently named the honorary president of the National Band Association in Troy — the world’s largest band organization.

“I was very, very honored to get this award,” Long said. “It was a complete surprise.”

Long is no stranger to recognition, having been elected to the Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1977 and inducted into the National Band Association’s Hall of Fame in 1996, among many other honors, but he said this is the greatest honor he’s ever received.

During his 31-years at Troy University, Long served as the band director for the university’s marching band the “Sound of the South.”

He also served as both the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Dean of the School of Fine Arts.

Long retired in 1996.

He said that he often looks back at his time at the university and looks at its current state ,and it fills him with pride.

“I always loved Troy State,” Long said.

“I enjoyed it — working with the Troy University band, all the students, and the university.”

In fact, his time with the students is the time Long said he enjoyed the most.

“I think one of the most important things of my life is that there are over 300 band directors in the United States that were in my bands.” Long said.

“I’m very proud of that.”

Long said he loves to see his former students succeed, including one in particular.

“I’m really proud that those students have gone on and done well,” Long said.

“I’m really proud of Mr. Ralph Ford, the band director out there now. He was my student.

“I’m proud of him and the fine job he’s done and continues to do.”

Long also expressed gratitude to those who have helped him along the way.

“I’m grateful to Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Adams for the great opportunity they both gave me.”