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TTU News

Tennessee Tech University’s director of bands has been elected vice president of the American Bandmasters Association, a post that puts Joseph Hermann in the five-year succession to president of the prestigious national organization.

After serving a year each as vice president and president elect, Hermann will serve for a year as president, then a year each as board of directors’ chairman and past president.

“His election to the presidency of ABA places TTU and its band program in the national spotlight,” said Eric Harris, associate director of bands. “The finest band directors in the nation will look to Mr. Hermann as the leader of their organization.

“For TTU’s music students, studying with a nationally recognized teacher — especially one who’s been president of the ABA — further increases their marketability in the professional world,” he continues.

The ABA was first organized in 1929 by Edwin Franko Goldman, and since its inception, the organization has elected to membership only the most outstanding band directors in the United States and Canada. Its first president, for example, was John Philip Sousa.

“The membership roster of the ABA reads like a who’s who in the North American band world,” Harris said. “Members include the conductors of the nation’s top military and college bands — including the director of the President’s Own, the U.S. Marine Band.”

Becoming a member is an exhaustive process that involves a detailed evaluation by all living past presidents of each candidate’s programs and recordings for historical accuracy, precision and artistic merit.

In the organization’s 78-year history, fewer than 700 directors have been elected to membership — and election to the ABA presidency is a singular distinction afforded to only the most highly respected and esteemed members, Harris said.

Presidential candidates are nominated by past presidents, who present the name of a single nominee to a vote by the national membership. All elections regarding membership and the presidency take place at the ABA’s national convention held each March.

Hermann is a graduate of Drake University in Des Moines.

After teaching for seven years in public and private schools in Iowa, Hermann was named director of bands at East Tennessee State University in 1978.

In 1986, he served as associate director of bands and director of the Marching Hundred at Indiana University, moving the following year to associate director of bands at the University of Arizona and director of the Pride of Arizona marching band.

Hermann became director of bands at TTU in 1989 and was elected to membership in the ABA in 1996.

His membership sponsors into the organization were J. Julian, director of bands emeritus at the University of Tennessee; Frank Wickes, director of bands at Louisiana State University; and James Croft, director of bands at Florida State University.

Hermann is married to Kay Marcouiller Hermann, and the couple has two daughters, Megan and