Inducted in 2019
After graduation from high school in Oklahoma City and Muskogee, Oklahoma, Don
graduated in 1962 from Northeastern State University with a BME. He and his wife
Carole moved to Baldwin City, KS to begin his teaching career. After 3 years, they
moved to Emporia where Don completed an MS in Music. Subsequently they moved to
Ulysses for 11 years where the HS band program grew from 66 members to 145
members in 1977. The next stop was Independence where the band also grew from 63
students to a top of 127 members. During his tenure at Independence, Don earned an
EdS in School Administration in 1985. In 2000-01 Don became the interim Band director
for Dodge City Schools.
Bands under the direction of Don appeared in 1978, 1971, 1986, and 1990 at the KMEA
In-Service Workshop. The band in Independence also appeared at the Fiesta Bowl,
Peach Bowl, and Blue Bonnet Bowl, as well as numerous festivals in Kansas, Colorado,
and Missouri. Over the years, concert and marching bands under his direction have
consistently received Superior ratings. Don also served as director of the All Kansas
International Lions Band from 1996 to 2002.
Don was a member of the High Plains Band Staff for 18 years and over the years he
served as adjudicator, clinician, and mentor to educators at various levels. He
volunteered to work with private students and also volunteered for the KSU Concert Band
Locally, Don organized the Neewollah Marching Festival which completed its 40th year
of marching competition in 2018. During the summer he conducted the Mid-Continent
band and in the fall he directed 10 musicals for the Neewollah Festival. In 2004 Don
served as the Generalissimo for the Neewollah Festival.
Don served as President of Kansas Bandmasters Association, having been a founding
member in 1974. He was a KMEA district president four times and also served as State
Festival Band Chairman for two years. He holds memberships in NAfME, Kansas
Bandmasters, Phi Beta Mu, and Life NEA. In 2009, Don was selected as the
Outstanding Bandmaster in Kansas by KBA and Phi Beta Mu. Presently he teaches
privately, enjoys rose gardening as well as biking with friends.