Florida Band Association Inducts During 26th Annual FBA Hall of Fame Weekend

Mike Lawson • Directors Who Make a Difference • January 7, 2016

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Florida Bandmasters AssociationMusic to their Years. The Florida Bandmasters Association celebrated its 26th Annual Hall of Fame Weekend at Stetson University in Deland, Florida by inducting one new Hall of Fame member and two Roll of Distinction honorees. Southern Winds structured this event around concerts for the Roll of Distinction ceremony and the Stetson University Symphonic Band for the Hall of Fame.

The Florida Bandmasters Association established the Hall of Fame in 1990 to recognize members of the association “that have distinguished themselves in their careers as leaders in secondary band programs”. In 2001, the Association inaugurated a Roll of Distinction in addition to the earlier Hall of Fame. The 2015 Roll of Distinction inducted two new members, Charles “Charlie” Carter and Cliford K. Madsden.

Charles “Charlie” Carter Carter passed away in 1999, but his impact on Florida band music continues to this day. Born in Oklahoma and growing up in Ohio, Carter’s musical career began with piano lessons at seven, followed by clarinet at ten. After viewing “A Night at the Opera” with Harpo Marx playing the trombone in the movie, he abruptly switched to the trombone. Kay Kyser’s weekly radio show, Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge, prompted Carter to begin arranging. Majoring in music education, he attended Ohio State from 1944-1950, with a short break in an army band. He would focus on composition at Ohio State followed by a masters in composition at the Eastman School of Music.

With his masters in hand, he returned to Ohio State to teach low brass and do arranging for the band, then under Director Manley Whitcomb. Whitcomb had become Carter’s mentor.

When Whitcomb accepted a position in the new Florida State University (FSU) band program Carter followed to Tallahassee in 1953. Doing all the arrangements for the Marching Chiefs, Carter loved Tallahassee and was quoted saying, “I liked Tallahassee, and I liked doing the arrangements…and I realized what a unique situation this was and how much fun it was!”

From 1954 to 1963 he also would conduct the FSU Circus Band. This unique ensemble of 36 members supports a circus production by the FSU Department of Student Afairs extracurricular program, the FSU Flying High Circus, which appears each summer at a lake resort area in Georgia and elsewhere throughout the year. In 1979, after years as the legendary and exclusive arranger for the Marching Chiefs, he was named arranger-in-residence and associate director of bands.

Kappa Kappa Psi awarded Carter their highest award, the Distinguished Service to Music Medal in 1984. Carter would not retire until 1996 and was then designated arranger emeritus. He continued to compose until his passing in 1999.

The Carter Roll of Distinction Presentation Ceremony was presided over by Bentley Shellahamer, assistant dean of music (ret.) at FSU and 2003 Roll of Distinction member. The ceremony included four Charlie Carter compositions performed by the Southern Winds. This ensemble was made up of 82 members drawn from elementary, middle, and high schools, universities as well as freelance and retired musicians and music instructors. The concert included compositions directed in sequence by Patrick Dunnigan, director of bands at FSU, Robert Thurston, chief arranger for the USAF Band, and Bentley Shellahamer. Thurston prefaced the musical performance with a tribute to Carter.

The Association maintains a pool of nominees for the Roll of Distinction and accepts recommendations to that pool each year. The Roll is described as “recognizing individuals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the feld of secondary school band music programs in Florida and the goals of the Association”. Further, “those making recommendations should have a record of attendance at the annual Hall of Fame and Roll of Distinction events so as to understand the historical perspective of selection to the Roll.” Specific criteria include making significant contributions to Florida secondary band programs, residency in Florida for some of the time of those contributions and receiving a majority vote at the Association Annual Meeting. The Roll previously included fifteen members such as Purdue University director Al. G. Wright and composer/ directors Henry Fillmore and Richard Bowles. Established in 2001, the Roll usually only adds one new member each year. This year was only the second time that two have been added.

Cliff K. Madsen Cliford K. Madsen was the other Roll of Distinction inductee. Madsden began his musical career in the fourth grade playing a tonette in a tonette band, a recruitment tool of the public school band. Madsden moved through the brass section playing French horn in the school band and trumpet in various dance band formats.

He became director of the Helper (Utah) School Band while attending Carbon College (later renamed Utah State University – Eastern). He became director of Brigham Young University Bands. Marsden moved to Florida to earn a doctorate at FSU and became associate director of the FSU bands. In that role he served with fellow 2015 Roll inductee Charlie Carter. Marsden has previously received a number of honors including the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Medal.

The Roll of Distinction ceremony included an overture, welcome by the Association Executive Director, Neil E. Jenkins (HOF 2007), and opening comments by Linda Mann, association president. Each inductee’s recognition included a tribute, musical selections, and the actual induction. For Carter, the tribute was by Robert Thurston, retired USAF chief arranger and was followed by four Charlie Carter compositions.

The actual induction ceremony was presided over by Bentley Shellahamer. He delivered the Marsden tribute as well as presiding over Marsden’s induction. The Hall of Fame nominees should have 25 years of teaching experience with a majority of that time in Florida, have demonstrated consistently high performance levels and have been a Florida Bandmasters Association member that consistently supported all association programs.

Gary Bottomly Hall of Fame honoree Gary Bottomly is the product of Florida and Florida school music programs. Recently retired, he spent 29 of his 32-year career in Florida including director of instrumental music in Winter Park, Florida before moving to Seminole County (southwest of Orlando) to build middle school band programs with 340 student participants. He would innovatively incorporate jazz into these programs. Bottomly established two summer music camps that are still in operation after twenty-eight years serving 250 students each year. He directs these camps as well as directing a number of all-county bands and the 2014 All-State Middle School Band. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his music leadership.

The Stetson University Symphonic Band performed the Hall of Fame induction concert. Directors including two previous Hall of Fame members directed this 120-member band in the ten Selection Hall of Fame concert. The induction ceremony was presided over by Cynthia Berry, FBA Hall of Fame 2002. Bottomly becomes the 44th Hall of Fame member, only the seventh time that only one person has been so honored in a year; most years have added two new members.

The Florida Bandmasters Association was formed in 1936 when it was discovered that there was no organization to provide guidance to and for secondary school musical organizations. It has expanded its programs over the years and is now responsible for adjudication at all levels of music education as well as recognizing the contributions of its members.

Further information is available at their website, flmusiced.org, or by phone (954) 432- 4111. The executive director is Neil Jenkins. The Association publishes a newsletter, The Florida Bandmaster, now in its 80th year and available online.

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