Alumnus Anthony Robinson and the Magale Foundation will be the 2021 inductees into the Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts Hall of Fame at Northwestern State University. Formal inductions will be held at a later date.
The Magale Foundation supports higher education, social services and the performing arts. It was created by John F. and Joanna Magale and has supported the School of Creative and Performing Arts for more than three decades. Joanna Magale was a 1926 graduate of Louisiana State Normal College and was a teacher in Arkansas. Gifts from Joanna Magale and the Magale Foundation established the Joanna Magale Endowed Professorship in Creative and Performing Arts and the Joanna G. Magale Scholarship Fund. The Magale Recital Hall is named in honor of Joanna Magale.
“Throughout the last three decades, the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts has been able to recruit and reward some of the nation’s most talented and gifted students through the monetary support of the Magale Foundation,” said Scott Burrell, director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts. “When these select students are looking at other possible schools, it sure helps to have the additional incentive of the Magale scholarship to offer. As well, we have many students who may need just that extra little monetary assistance to get them their degree and become successful graduates of our school and university.”
The Magale Endowed Professorship was among the first established at Northwestern State and led to the creation of additional endowed professorships in the School of Creative and Performing Arts by other donors. Interest from the endowed professorship supports faculty research and development and enhances the reputation of the School of Creative and Performing Arts and Northwestern State.
“The Magale Foundation is deeply honored to be included in the Northwestern State University School of Performing Arts Hall of Fame,” said Michael Epley, the chair of the board of the Magale Foundation. “It has been our pleasure to further the intent of our founders, John and Joanna Magale, by providing financial support to aspiring students of music. We are proud to have contributed to Northwestern’s excellent program in music and the arts.”
Up to 50 NSU students benefit from the Magale Scholarship Fund annually. The fund has assisted more than 1,000 music and performance students since its creation.
Robinson, a 1975 graduate in music education, has had a successful career as an educator and musician along with military service. He spent 30 years with the Marshall (Texas) Independent School District where he was director of bands, junior high band director and assistant band director/percussion specialist. Since 1993, he has also worked as a percussion instructor at East Texas Baptist University.
“Mr. Robinson is a true hero,” said Burrell. “He is to be commended for his distinguished military service to our nation. A superb musician and gifted educator, Anthony has touched the lives of many in his lengthy career. CAPA is very honored to name him as one of our most notable alumni.”
Robinson attended Crepe Myrtle Junior/Senior High in Pineville where he was the Louisiana Interscholastic Athletic and Literary Organization (LIALO) State Champion snare drummer. LIALO was an organization which brought together African-American schools to promote athletic and academic achievement through competition and collaboration. He attended Pineville High School as a senior.
“To borrow a phrase from my Basic Military Training Squadron: ‘I entered NSU unknown and exited identified,”’ said Robinson. “In 1971 I entered an institution not knowing what was in store for a kid from the Smithville community of Pineville.”
At Northwestern State, he found a caring faculty that wanted to see him succeed.
“I did not know the instructors, I did not know much about the music department and I did not know a lot about music in general,” said Robinson. “I was an 11-year product of Louisiana’s dual school system. However, I switched to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) system in 1970 by attending Pineville High School and becoming a PHS band member. None of this was a major factor at NSU. The teachers were genuinely interested in helping me learn to master my craft (teaching and performing) and prepared me to provide a positive, long-term service to humanity. Being recognized and inducted into the CAPA Hall of Fame is a reflection of my appreciation to those wonderful instructors who prepared me for the many services I have provided and continue to provide.”
An active professional, Robinson has served as guest conductor for Louisiana’s District VIII Junior High and ninth grade bands and is widely known in Texas for his service to the Texas Music Educators Associations’ All State Bands and Orchestras. This service began in 1990 and has only been interrupted three times: twice for military service (Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom) and the COVID-19 pandemic.
After retiring from Marshall in 2007, Robinson has continued teaching as a percussion specialist for bands at Pittsburg, White Oak, Henderson and Spring Hill along with Wiley College.
He has maintained a 28-year music ministry to nursing homes and hospitals in the east Texas area. In 1995, he established the first ever Colonial Fife and Drum Corps in Marshall, the East Texas Ancients Fife and Drum Corps. The Corps led Shreveport’s Holiday In Dixie parade for four consecutive years.
“I worked with Anthony Robinson in both the civilian and military aspects of his career,” said Director of Bands Dr. Jeffrey C. Mathews, a colonel who is chief of Air National Guard Bands for the National Guard Bureau. “He is a consummate professional and a man of integrity. His accomplishments and high standards epitomize the characteristics of a CAPA Hall of Fame member.”
Robinson’s military service began in 1978 with Detachment 1, 307 RED HORSE Squadron of Barksdale Air Force Base where he served for 17 years in Air Force Reserve. His service includes two years with the 98 Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron of Barksdale Air Force Base., one year at headquarters, 307 RED HORSE Squadron of Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio and 14 years with the 531st Air Force Band located at the NAS/JRB of Fort Worth where he was principal percussionist/first sergeant.