LAWRENCE, KS — Robert E. Foster, KU School of Music professor of music education and former director of bands, was recently named president and CEO of the John Philip Sousa Foundation at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.
The John Philip Sousa Foundation is a non-profit foundation that promotes an international understanding through the medium of band music by organizing and supporting community bands, college bands, and high school bands, as well as performances abroad. Additionally, it administers many awards and honors, including the Legion of Honor award, recognizing outstanding directors; the Colonel George S. Howard Citation for Musical Excellence for military concert Bands; and the coveted Sudler Trophy, an award honoring the close historical relationship and outstanding contribution of college marching bands to the American way of life. In 1989, under the direction of Foster, the KU Marching Band was awarded the Sudler Trophy for Intercollegiate Marching Bands..
“Bob Foster’s reputation and experience as one of America’s leading bandsmen make him an outstanding choice for this position. The KU School of Music is honored to have one of our own selected for this important leadership role,” KU School of Music Dean Robert Walzel said.
Foster was elected to the position after previously serving as vice president, as well as serving on the board of directors. He has been involved with the Foundation for more than 25 years.
He is only the fourth person to hold this office since the Foundation’s inception in 1980. Foster’s main responsibilities are to represent the Foundation, manage projects, organize its annual meeting and direct the Foundation’s future.
About Rober Foster
Robert E. Foster is Professor of Music Education and Music Therapy at the University of Kansas, where he served as Director of Bands for 31 years beginning in 1971. He is also the conductor and musical director of the award-winning Lawrence City Band. His KU Symphonic Band performed at numerous national and regional conventions, including performances and clinics for Music Educators National Conference, the American Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, and others. He continues an active career as a guest conductor, adjudicator, author, composer, arranger, and editor, and has conducted or adjudicated in 37 different states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, and throughout Europe. Foster is President and CEO of the John Philip Sousa Foundation, and is former President of the American Bandmasters Association, the National Band Association, the Southwest Division of the College Band Directors National Association, and the Big Twelve Conference Band Directors Association. He also served as Chairman of the North American Band Directors Coordinating Committee.
Foster has been actively involved in the promotion and performance of music by John Philip Sousa, and he worked with The Instrumentalist magazine as guest editor to produce their Sousa Sesquicentennial issue in November 2004. In 1988 he was selected as the Kansas Bandmasters Association Bandmaster of the Year. In 1989 his KU Marching Band was the seventh band to be awarded the Sudler Trophy for Intercollegiate Marching Bands. In 2001 Foster was awarded the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award. In 2006 he was inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame for Distinguished Conductors. In 2007 he was presented an Award of Distinction from the Women Band Directors International organization for exceptional support for women in the band movement. He was selected as the recipient of the 2010 International Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award. He has written several books, including: “Multiple-Option Marching Band Techniques, and Championship Auxiliary Units”, published by Alfred Publishing Co. ; “Practical Hints For Playing the Cornet or Trumpet”, published by Belwin Publishing Co.; and “My First Arban, book I and book II (a method book for brass instruments”), published by Carl Fischer, Inc. He has written numerous articles for The Instrumentalist magazine as well as for other band/music publications, and has several hundred publications of music for bands or for band instruments. He is editor of the "Authenticated Fillmore Editions" of band works by Henry Fillmore, published by Carl Fischer, and he serves as Educational Consultant to Wingert-Jones Music Publications.
About The John Philip Sousa Foundation
The John Philip Sousa Foundation is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the promotion of international understanding through the medium of band music and research. Through the administration of band-related projects, the Foundation seeks to uphold the standards and ideals of that icon of the American spirit, John Philip Sousa.
Sousa, known primarily for American military and patriotic marches, is one of the most famous American composers and conductors. Sousa led the U.S. Marine Band in the late 1800s and composed The Stars and Stripes Forever, the official march of the United States, in 1896.
For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436. music.ku.edu.