The Nebraska State Bandmasters Association presented their highest honor, the Donald A. Lentz Outstanding Bandmaster Award at their annual awards banquet on March 5th The award was presented to Brian Anderson from Fremont High School. This award is named after Donald A. Lentz of Lincoln, who was the director of bands at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1937-1974 and remained active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the state until his death.
Brian is currently in his 22nd year as Director of Instrumental Music at Fremont High School. Prior to teaching in Fremont, Anderson taught two years at Albion as well as three years at Milford Public Schools. Anderson has also served as a visiting lecturer at Midland Lutheran College as well as served as director of the Fremont Area Community Band from 1996 2000. Anderson has been a member of the 43' Army Band since 1988. He began his military career as a saxophone player and Associate Conductor and was promoted to Commanding Officer/Bandmaster in 2007.
Duane E. Johnson, Professor Emeritus at Hastings College and past Donald Lentz Outstanding Bandmaster recipient stated in his letter of recommendation, "Brian has developed outstanding bands at Milford, Albion, and Fremont High School. His concert bands are always well-rehearsed; play with the greatest of precision and very musically. He is a skilled conductor that imparts his knowledge verbally and expresses his thoughts well through his baton.
"Band is truly a great musical experience for his students. He challenges them with outstanding literature and then proceeds to teach them the little nuances that make the music come alive and to create a wonderful musicalpresentation. It has always been a joy to listen to is bands"
Jed O'Leary, Elementary banG uirector at Fremont Public Schools stated, "Brian demonstrates high interest in not just the total band program, but also in the role of band in the context of arts education in general. He has positive and productive relationships with the students, parents, fellow music teachers, and administrators in the Fremont Public Schools. His dedication with students goes beyond simply learning to play as a band and focuses on the life skills and personal enrichment that a band program has to offer. He continually sets high expectations, and is very successful at leading his students to achieve them.
"Brian has also worked hard to promote music education through his work with organizations on the state and national level. He has served as president of both NSBAand NMEAin the past. He has also been published in The Instrumentalist numerous times. His bands have performed for both NSBA and NMEA, and also at the North Central MENC Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1999. His efforts in the organizations go beyond the scope of this own band and have had an impact on music education throughout the region."
Anderson's nominator, Steve Steager, Director of Bands at Fremont Middle School stated, "Brian's life is dedicated to his profession. It is obvious in his affiliations with many professional organizations, but mostly with his membership in the Legion of Honor, bestowed upon him from the John Philip Sousa Foundation at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. The Fremont Senior High School band was also a finalist for the Sudler Award the same year, 1999."
Shelly Lenz, Instrumental Director at Goodrich Middle School states, "Brian's desire to learn is endless. Anderson has been promoted and taken on the responsibility of leading the 43 Army National Guard Band in Lincoln. Anderson is very articulate in his rehearsals, and knows how to get his point across with his humor and knowledge. It is just amazing to watch him conduct."
Linda Donohue, retired director of Blair-Otte Middle School bands stated, 'Consistently, band students from Fremont High School, under the outstanding teaching of Anderson, have received numerous superior ratings, gold medals, and division one ratings at District Music Contests and other area solo and ensemble competitions. Certainly this is a great testament to the students' abilities, but more importantly to the exemplary teaching of Brian Anderson.
"Anderson has been instrumental in coordinating many commissioning projects of new band music, including the band composition, "October", composed by the internationally known composer, Eric Whitacre. Brian also serves as contributing editor to many band director magazines, including The Instrumentalist and the Music Educators Journal."
Anderson has been guest conductor of over 30 honor bands/professional organizations including the Nebraska Wind Symphony, U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band, U.S. Army Ground Forces Command Band, Nebraska Class C All State Wind Ensemble and the Third Chair Chamber Players. He served as President of NMEA in 1998-1999 and President of NSBA in 1992-1993. He is a Charter Member of Phi Beta Mu Band Fraternity, Alpha Theta Chapter and is a Past President. Anderson is also a member of the College Band Directors National Association, MEN C, NBA, NEA, NSEA, and the Fremont Education Association.
Nebraska State Bandmasters Association