A celebrated concert artist and actor, William Warfield was named “Man of Music” in 1976. Warfield was considered to be one of the world’s experts on Negro spirituals and German Lieder, and held the title of “America’s Musical Ambassador.” Long recognized as a master performer, most people remember him for his roles as Joe in the 51’ movie Showboat, Porgy in the 52’ production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, as well as De Lawd in the TV show Green Pastures. This popularity led to his honorary initiation into the Delta Lambda Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha at Ball State University in 1961.
William D. Revelli, an alumnus of the Alpha Lambda Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha at Illinois Wesleyan University, was awarded the Charles E. Lutton “Man of Music” Award in 1994. “Bill” Revelli served as the director of the University of Michigan Marching Band from 1935 to 1971. During his term he reinvented the way the university band played and performed, elevating the standard for collegiate marching bands. He was a dedicated, albeit strict director who believed the best way to coach a band was like coaching a football team. He moved college marching bands away from rigid military formations and was the first to make college marching bands synchronize music and movement. Revelli’s method gained him international acclaim for this new style of precision.
Awarded the “Man of Music” Award in 1967, Price Doyle was an initiate of the Gamma Delta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha at Murray State University and former Executive Secretary of Phi Mu Alpha. Awarded posthumously, he was notified when he was decided on the award and accepted after serving Phi Mu Alpha for eighteen years. Doyle has had a lasting impression on his Alma Mater’s school of music. In addition to be an alumnus, his name has been attached to the fine arts building at the university. In addition to this, Doyle was also the dean of the Music School for some time. Doyle also served as the president of the National Association of Schools of Music. Formed in 1924, it established national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees at music schools.
Sinfonia’s Man of Music for the 1988 Convention was William Francis McBeth, resident composer and professor and chairman of the theory-composition department at Ouachita University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He has been awarded the Presley Award from Hardin-Simmons University, the ASCAP Special Award, the American School Ban Directors Association’s Edwin Ranko Goldman Award, and the Howard Hanson Prize from the Eastman School of Music. An initiate of the Alpha Iota Chapter at the University of Texas, McBeth remains one of the most performed American symphonic wind composers. His works, including such pieces as “Kaddish”, “Joyant Narrative”, and “Masque” , are considered to be standard repertoire for most wind ensembles.
The 1958 “Man of Music” Award was given to Dr. Sigmund Spaeth, whose name was interwoven with American music for several decades. Dr. Spaeth was initiated into the Iota Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha at Northwestern University in 1910. He was a music critic on several newspapers such as the “New York Times”, composer, arranger, conductor, performer, educator and editor of the “Music Journal.”Dr. Spaeth was also the author of several novels such as “A History of Popular Music in America” and “The Common Sense of Music.” These novels helped show the ties between popular songs of the time with old American folk songs. Spaeth’s knowledge of music lead to the premier of his NBC programs “Keys to Happiness” and “The Tune Detective.”
A Canadian band leader and jazz musician, Maynard Ferguson was awarded the “Man of Music” Award in Cleveland, Ohio at the 2006 National Convention. An initiate of the Xi Chi Chapter at Tennessee Tech University, Ferguson rose to fame while a member of Stan Kenton’s orchestra. After his time with Kenton, he formed his own jazz band in 1957. Ferguson was known for his accuracy with the trumpet’s higher register and helped many up and coming musicians step up into the spot light through his numerous ensembles. Ferguson had the misfortune of dealing with the big time shift when most big bands fell the way side. Unlike most, he was able to survive the change and has survived the changing times by evolving with them, changing his musical style from big band swing, to cool jazz, to Latin, to jazz/rock and fusion and more.