Brent has been selected for membership in the American Bandmasters Association. He has also been selected for induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
“I’m truly humbled by both of these awards and I share both of these honors with the thousands of students with whom I’ve been blessed to teach and the outstanding faculty, staff in the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the administrations I have served, including President Robert Alost and President Randall J. Webb,” said Brent. “I guess I will always remember where I was when I was called to inform me that I had been elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association. It is the most prestigious organization in my profession. When I was notified I had been selected to be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame, I was speechless. To know that my name is going to be listed along with Louis Armstrong, Pete Fountain and many other wonderful musicians who have contributed so much to the rich heritage of music in our state was a bit overwhelming.”
Brent has been at Northwestern for 29 years. In that time, he has built one of the best marching band programs in the nation, increasing the number of members from 48 to more than 300.
The band was a finalist for the 2011 Sudler Trophy, an award to identify and recognize collegiate marching bands of particular excellence that have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life. NSU’s band started 2011 by participating in the New Year’s Day Parade and Festival in London.
Northwestern’s band was named one of the top eight in the country by the Web site www.collegeotr.com in 2008. That year, Brent received the Outstanding Bandmaster Award for the state of Louisiana from the Epsilon Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, International Bandmasters Fraternity.
In 2007, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. Brent received the President’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his work at Northwestern in 2002.
“The Louisiana Musicians Hall of Fame and the American Bandmasters Association are highly selective associations that have recognized in Bill those outstanding musical talents that have produced the beloved Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band and enhanced all facets of the University’s music program,” said Webb. “The Northwestern State family and his many friends congratulate Bill on these two most recent honors bestowed on him.”
The American Bandmasters Association, founded in 1929, with John Philip Sousa as honorary life president, recognizes outstanding achievement on the part of concert band conductors and composers. The current membership comprises approximately 300 band conductors and composers in the U.S. and Canada.
“We are delighted to welcome Bill Brent into the most prestigious of our nation’s band organizations, the American Bandmasters Association,” said Frank B. Wickes, director of bands emeritus at Louisiana State University and a past president of the American Bandmasters Association. “The American Bandmasters Association recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of Concert Band by inviting to membership those individuals who have made significant contributions to an increasingly higher standard of artistic excellence in teaching, conducting and repertoire development. As an honorary organization, it promotes helpfulness and fellowship among its members, and strives through the Concert Band to enrich the musical lives and cultures of all peoples. Bill’s reputation as a conductor, teacher and administrator at Northwestern State University has been exemplary for many years.”
Membership in the American Bandmasters Association is highly selective. New members must be nominated by three current members to be considered and they must all present materials supporting their nomination including concert programs and recordings of concerts.
“The American Band Association dates back to John Philip Sousa, and recognizes only those who have truly distinguished themselves in the band world,” said Paula A. Crider, professor emeritus at the University of Texas and a past president of the American Bandmasters Association. “With fewer than 300 members worldwide, invitation to membership is a highly coveted honor. It is with special pleasure that I welcome friend and colleague Bill Brent to membership in the ABA. This is a well-deserved recognition of his many years of distinguished service.”
Information on the organization is available at americanbandmasters.org.
Brent was nominated for the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame by Natchitoches attorney Rodney Harrington, who leads the popular group Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs. Brent will receive his plaque Saturday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. at the Natchitoches Jazz and R and B Festival.
The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame includes members Bill Conti, Fats Domino, Armstrong, Fountain, Mickey Gilley, Mahalia Jackson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aaron Neville, the Neville Brothers and many other artists that have shaped the state’s unique musical heritage. The Hall of Fame’s mission is to educate and enlighten Louisiana's citizens, and the world, to the incredible musical heritage of our music, artists, writers, musicians and music industry people who made Louisiana's music the world's best for decades, and to celebrate our artists and musicians while creating a keystone to help build a viable modern music industry in Louisiana.
Information on the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame is available at