Dr. John M. Long was recognized for his work in music education in 1980

Published 8:19 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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In 1980, Dr. John M. Long received a distinguished award for his work in the music education field.

The opening of the seventh annual Southeaster United States Concert Band Clinic at Troy State University will be one of the most important evenings in the musical career of Dr. John M. Long.  He will receive the Distinguished Service to Music Medal, the highest award of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Long, who wears several hats at TSU—Director of Banks and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Fine Arts—will be presented the medal Thursday night during the TSU Reading Band Concert in Smith Hall Auditorium.

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Making the presentation will be Dr. Richard Rodean, National President of Kappa Kappa Psi. 

The award recognizes his work in the field of instrumental music education:  for outstanding contributions in clinics, publications and other aspects of music education.

Long is the first native Southerner and the seventh educator to receive the award since it was established in 1963.  The award may be presented biennially to an individual who has rendered exceptional service to American bands.

Long is in good company, considering five of the men to be inducted Saturday in the National Band Hall of Fame—Frank Simon, Karl L. king, Harold Bachman, Glenn Gliffe Bainum and Richard Franko Goldman—have been recipients.

Other well-known recipients include Dr. Paul Yoder, Distinguished Professor of Music at TSU; Dr. William Revelli, Conductor Emeritus of the University of Michigan Band and Doc Severinson, trumpeter, who can be heard on NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

Long, a native of Guntersville, has been honored on numerous occasions.  Most notably, the ultimate tribute came in 1976, when TSU dedicated an ultra-modern $400,000 band building in his honor.

In years past the Alabama House of Representatives has passed resolutions noting his teaching abilities and cities such as Montgomery, Guntersville, Crestview (Fl.) and Valdosta (Ga.) have also honored him by proclaiming Johnny Long Day.

Before joining Troy State in 1965, Long directed high school bands in Oneonta and Fort Payne and Montgomery’s Robert E. Lee High.

He earned his B.S. and LL.D. degrees from Jacksonville State University and M.A. from the University of Alabama.

His professional affiliations include membership in the American Bandmasters Association, American School Band Directors Association, College Band Directors Association, American Federation of Musicians, National Association of University Administrators, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Kappa Kappa Psi.

Long was nominated for the award by TSU’s Zeta Upsilon Chapter of Kapa Kappa Psi.

He and his wife Mary Lynn have a daughter, Deborah  Lunn, and a son, John M. Long, Jr.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.