LAWRENCE -The University of Kansas School of Music will officially name the band rehearsal room “The Robert E. Foster Rehearsal Room” in a dedication ceremony from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. The ceremony will take place in Murphy Hall outside room 130. The public is invited to attend.
As part of Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the School of Music set a fundraising goal of $500,000 for the Robert E. Foster Legacy Campaign. Gifts of all sizes to endowed funds that support KU Band scholarships counted toward this goal. To date, gifts and pledges for the initiative have exceeded $500,000.
Robert E. Foster, conductor of the Lawrence City Band, served as director of KU bands from 1971 to 2002 and continues his career today as a KU professor, composer, arranger, guest conductor and author.
“We could not be more pleased to honor Bob Foster with this room dedication,” said Robert Walzel, KU School of Music dean. “For over 40 years Bob has been synonymous with KU Band. We hope Bob’s many supporters can come to the dedication ceremony on the 5th of October, which is also the day of KU’s homecoming game against Texas Tech. It seems fitting to honor Bob on the day of a big game!”
What Phog Allen was to Jayhawk basketball, many believe Bob Foster is to Jayhawk Bands. During his tenure, KU Bands grew and prospered. Under Bob’s leadership, the KU Marching Jayhawks marched down Campanile Hill to Memorial Stadium for the first time in the fall of 1971 – now an essential pregame tradition. Through Bob’s efforts, women became a regular part of the Marching Band in 1972, and he later received an Award of Distinction for exceptional support toward women in the band movement. The KU jazz program began when Bob started the first official jazz ensemble in 1972. The Symphonic Band (now called Wind Ensemble) first appeared at the Music Educators National Association convention in 1979 and now has appeared there six times. This group first performed at the prestigious American Bandmasters Association convention in 1983 and now has appeared there four times. In 1989, the KU Marching Band became the seventh band ever to be awarded the Sudler Trophy, the highest honor available to college marching bands. Foster’s legacy is perhaps most evident in the recollections of band alumni who remember his enthusiasm, genuine interest helping students grow as musicians, and ability to build camaraderie. Many of Foster’s former students claim that joining KU Bands was the best decision of their college careers.
During his illustrious career, Foster served as the first president of the Big 12 Conference Band Directors Association and as president of the American Bandmasters Association, the Southwest Division of the College Band Directors National Association, and the National Band Association. Foster was inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame in 2006 and currently serves as president of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. To learn more about his exceptional career, visit: http://music.ku.edu/robert-foster
Far Above is the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.
The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.
For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit www.music.ku.edu.