The Signature Sinfonian Award
The Signature Sinfonian award is conferred by the National Executive Committee upon any Sinfonian and recognizes alumni members who have achieved a high standard of accomplishment in their field or profession, thereby bringing honor to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Alumni in any profession, occupation, or service work are eligible for nomination. This honor is not contingent upon Fraternity service or contribution, however, all nominees must be alumnus members in good standing.
Members who are awarded and recognized as Signature Sinfonians are given a beautifully engraved medallion with ribbon to wear at formal fraternity events, a lapel pin suitable for general fraternity events, and a handsomely engraved wall certificate.
National Honorary members and Man of Music recipients are recognized as Signature Sinfonians without nomination. All Signature Sinfonians are recognized in all national publications with the “” designation by their name.
Maynard Ferguson, Xi Chi (Tennessee Tech – Hon.) ’76
Brother Ferguson is a world-renowned Jazz trumpeter and big-band leader. He assembled the Birdland Dream Band and kept busy with a rigorous touring and recording schedule. He received a gold album (Conquistador) and a Grammy nomination for “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme from the motion picture “Rocky.” Big Bop Nouveau, Ferguson’s final ensemble, gave a band of young, talented and enthusiastic musicians the freedom to compose and arrange as they toured with “The Boss.”
Brother Ferguson passed away on August 23, 2006 at the age of 78.
Dr. Bobby Adams, Theta Pi (Morehead State) ’61
Brother Adams is the Director of Bands, Coordinator of Instrumental Music, and Professor of Music Education at the Stetson University. He is president of the National Band Association, and past-president of the Florida Music Educators Association, and the Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA). In addition, he is chairman of the FBA Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors. As a writer, his articles have appeared in the Journal of Band Research and the National Band Association Journal.
Brother Adams passed away on May 28, 2015.
Mark Eutsler, Gamma Omega (Indiana State) ’77
Brother Eutsler was appointed to a 20-year term on the U.S. Selective Service Board by President Bill Clinton in 1993. He organized the arrangement and distribution of the newly adopted Russian National Anthem. He has co-chaired the Indy 500 Festival Band Committee during which time more than 600 bands have marched its Parade of Bands Pageant. Recently, he was appointed to serve on the Indiana Occupational Safety Standards Commission.
James R. Bennett, Epsilon Nu (Jacksonville State) ’58
Brother Bennett has held office in the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama State Senate. In 1994 and 1998, he won back-to-back elections as Secretary of State and was named president of the National Assn. of Secretaries of State in 1999. He was appointed commissioner of the Alabama Dept. of Labor and has served in the cabinet level position since 2003. Named to the Jacksonville State University Board of Trustees in 1985, he currently serves as chairman of the board.
Fred R. Schiff, Lambda Psi (Mercer) ’79
Brother Shiff is the President of All County Music, Inc., a retail music store in Florida which has been honored for sponsoring world-class, interactive educational outreach programs, seminars and concerts. He is the Chairman of the All County Music Scholarship Foundation. He was recently honored by the Florida Music Educator’s Association (FMEA) with the Distinguished Service Award for Music Education in recognition of his outstanding contributions to music education.
Roland M. Carter, Beta Epsilon (New York Univ.) ’65
Brother Carter is a distinguished composer-arranger and conductor. His compositions and arrangements are performed by music organizations throughout the world. He is the current President of the National Association of Negro Musicians, and founder and CEO of MAR-VEL, a publisher specializing in music by African American composers and traditions. His list of presentations during the past thirty years includes concerts, lectures, workshops and master classes at venues throughout the country.
Don G. Campbell, Gamma Theta (North Texas) ’65
Brother Campbell is the author of 18 books, including The Harmony of Health, Music Physician for Times to Come, Rhythms of Learning, The Roar of Silence and the 1997 bestseller, The Mozart Effect. He is a leading lecturer and consultant to health-care organizations, corporations, parenting groups and more. His books have been translated into 17 languages, and he has lectured in more than 25 countries.
Brother Campbell passed away on June 2, 2012.
Andy Griffith, Alpha Rho (North Carolina-Chapel Hill) ’45
Andy Griffith is an award winning actor, producer, writer, director and musician best known for his starring roles on The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock. He debuted on Broadway in No Time for Sergeants in 1955 with which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Since 1958, he has released 15 albums and received a Grammy Award for his 1997 release, I Love To Tell The Story. In 1999, he was inducted into the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Brother Griffith passed away on July 3, 2012.
Michael J. Cesario, Xi Pi (Wisconsin-Whitewater) ’67
With Broadway, TV, and Las Vegas among his credits, Michael Cesario was honored as Professor Emeritus by New York’s Purchase College, where he was the Director of Design/Technology and Graduate Studies for Theatre and Film. Published in several texts, he has taught seminars at Dartmouth, NY School of Visual Arts/MFA, and the Julliard School. Recognized as a national leader in pageantry arts and a member of the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame, he is in demand as an adjudicator of high school bands and a consultant for drum and bugle corps.
Alvin Batiste, Mu Psi (Southern) ’73-Hon.
Alvin Batiste was a widely respected jazz clarinetist, composer and educator who played across the musical spectrum, from traditional to avant-garde styles. As an educator, he influenced several generations of performers, including Branford Marsalis, Mu Psi (Southern) ’79 and pianist Henry Butler. After his retirement, he continued to teach at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a conservatory for young adults.
Just days after his nomination, Brother Batiste passed away on May 6, 2007 at the age of 74.
Dr. Michael Braz, Beta Tau (Miami) ’67
A 20-year faculty member at Georgia Southern University, Michael Braz is a nationally-recognized educator, composer and arranger who combines a lifelong love of music and service. His almost 40 years’ work with treble choirs has led to a variety of published works and his service to the profession includes MENC and ACDA leadership at both the state and national levels. A tireless international traveler, Dr. Braz recently completed a 9-month teaching sabbatical in England, Nepal and China. Among his many compositions are two operas: “Memoirs from the Holocaust” and “A Scholar Under Siege.”
Dr. Timothy N. Lautzenheiser, Delta Lambda (Ball State) ’66
Tim Lautzenheiser is a well-known name in the music education world as a teacher, clinician, author, composer, conductor, consultant, and, above all, a trusted friend to anyone interested in working with young people in developing a desire for excellence. Following three years in the music industry, he created Attitude Concepts, Inc., an organization designed to manage the many requests for workshops, seminars, and convention speaking engagements focusing on the area of positive attitude and effective leadership training.
James K. McCully, Mu Omicron (Ouachita Baptist) ’77
For over a decade, James McCully has served as a National Endowment for the Arts On-Site Evaluator of Professional Opera and Music Theater Companies and their Young Artists Training Programs. A highly sought after opera adjudicator, he has judged numerous vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, as well as the National Opera Association’s Vocal Competition. He has served as general director of the Marjorie Lawrence International Vocal Competition and as chairman of the 43rd National Opera Association Convention in Washington DC.
Dr. William C. Moffit, Beta Phi (Baldwin-Wallace) ’47
William Moffit served as the third director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band and was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus of Band after his retirement. His “Patterns in Motion” impacted contemporary marching styles through constantly changing kaleidoscopic patterns. As a marching band arranger, his Sound Power series included 450 titles. Over a million people listened as he directed the Fanfare Trumpets at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and the 1986 Pan American Games.
Just days after his nomination, Brother Moffit passed away on March 5, 2008 at the age of 82.
Dr. William P. Alexander, Beta Mu (Central Methodist) ’48
William P. Alexander dedicated his life to making music accessible to students, faculty and the community. Through his permanent endowment, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania offers a series that includes performances by symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras and opera companies. He has spent his retirement writing new works for both orchestra and small ensembles. He has received 27 ASCAP awards and his compositions have been enjoyed by audiences internationally. The Dr. William P. Alexander Music Center honors his contributions to the university and his dedication to the advancement of the music.
Dr. Ray E. Cramer, Kappa Psi (Western Illinois) ’62
Ray Cramer is the former Director of Bands and chairman of the Band Department at Indiana University. He has served as president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association, and the American Bandmasters Association. He is currently the president of the board of The Midwest Clinic. He is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator internationally and has been a regular guest conductor of The Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo.
Dr. Kenneth D. Fuchs, Beta Tau (Miami) ’75
Kenneth Fuchs is an award-winning composer who was written for orchestra, band, chorus, jazz ensemble, and various chamber ensembles. With Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, Fuchs created three chamber musicals, The Great Nebula in Orion, A Betrothal, and Brontosaurus, which Circle Repertory Company presented in New York City. His music has performed in the United States, Europe, and Japan, and has been recorded by the American String Quartet, London Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic Ensembles.
Jason R. Palmer, Epsilon Rho (Northern Illinois) ’75
Jason Palmer created a symphony program in northern Illinois after a seven-year absence of any community philharmonic program. Starting from scratch, he created the Fox Valley Philharmonic, a semi-professional community orchestra, and serves as Music Director for the Fox Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he started a program called “Access to Music,” an afterschool music program run by volunteers and is run at no charge to families.
Capt. Winston E. Scott, Epsilon Iota (Florida State) ’70
Winston E. Scott is a distinguished navy pilot and NASA astronaut. He accumulated more than 5,000 hours of flight time in 20 different military and civilian aircraft and more than 200 shipboard landings. Captain Scott was selected to become an astronaut by NASA in 1992. Serving as a mission specialist, he logged over 24 days; including 3 spacewalks totaling over 19 hours. He is a published author, has advised elected officials on matters related to space and aeronautics and currently serves as the Dean of the College of Aeronautics at Florida Institute of Technology.
Frank Ticheli, Alpha Alpha (National Honorary) ’09
Frank Ticheli is an award-winning and well-regarded composer, known largely for his prolific repertoire for wind ensemble. He has also composed critically acclaimed works for both orchestra and chorus. In 2006, Ticheli received the National Band Association/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest for his Symphony No. 2. Ticheli is an active clinician nationally, and he teaches composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He was initiated as a National Honorary at the 2009 National Convention in Orlando.
Jamey Aebersold, Gamma Tau (Indiana) ’58
Jamey Aebersold is an internationally-known saxophonist and authority on jazz education and improvisation. He has developed over 120 volumes of Play-A-Longs in book and CD formats. He has led Summer Jazz Workshops for over 40 years to improve jazz musicianship for students of all abilities. The International Association of Jazz Educators inducted Aebersold into their Hall of Fame in 1989.
Lee D. Loughnane, Kappa Phi (DePaul) ’65
James C. Pankow, Kappa Phi (DePaul) ’66
Walter J. Parazaider, Kappa Phi (DePaul) ’64
As founding members of the rock band Chicago, Lee Loughnane (trumpet), James Pankow (trombone) and Walt Parazaider (woodwinds) have been a part of the horn section of the band since its inception. Each have been writing, arranging, recording, and touring for over 40 years. Their influence has led the band to sell over 120 million albums worldwide, with 22 Gold, 18 Platinum, and 8 Multi-Platinum albums. Over the course of their career, they have charted five No. 1 albums, and have had twenty-one top ten hits.
Leonard M. Thomas, Beta Lambda (Muskingum) ’51
Leonard Thomas is a multi-talented educator and performer. He is perhaps most well-known through his 31-year association with bandleader and radio-television personality, Fred Waring, Alpha Zeta (Penn State) ’56-Hon. He became choral director for the Pennsylvanians and continued working under the Waring name for many years. He worked with William Revelli, Alpha Lambda (Illinois Wesleyan) ’35-Hon., as a primary adjudicator of the Fesitval of Music at the University of Michigan and served as keyboard editor for the Shawnee Press until his retirement in 2002.
Dr. J. Roger Breland, Iota Nu (Troy) ’62
Dr. Roger Breland was involved with internationally known contemporary Christian ensemble TRUTH as the group’s founder and director. For over 30 years, the group performed over 10,000 concerts in 27 countries and recorded 60 albums. He is the Vice President of Project Development and Executive Director of The Center for Performing Arts at the University of Mobile. He continues to travel and record with the university group The Voices of Mobile which presents 150 concerts internationally each year. In 2000, he was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Vic Firth, Alpha (New England Conservatory) ’50
Vic Firth is the founder of Vic Firth, Inc., a percussion stick and mallet manufacturing company that manufactures over 12 million sticks per year. As an accomplished percussionist, he has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for over 50 years and has written two etude books, The Solo Timpanist and The Solo Snare Drummer. In 1995, he was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society’s Hall of Fame.
Brother Firth passed away on July 26, 2015.
Wayne Messmer, Alpha Lambda (Illinois Wesleyan) ’70
Known as the “Voice of Wrigley Field,” Messmer is perhaps best known for his spirited rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the field announcer at Wrigley Field. He has been the featured soloist at Chicago Cubs games since 1985. Before that time, he served as the celebrated soloist for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago White Sox. He has over 25 years of professional radio broadcasting experience, musical theater, voice-over, jingle singing, commercial work and public speaking to his credit.
Dr. James M. Simmons, Theta Rho (Memphis) ’63
Dr. James M. Simmons, a distinguished music educator, and administrator is the 10th president of Lamar University. Under his watch, the university has steadily increased its enrollment and maintained its commitment to education in the aftermath of two devastating hurricanes. He is an active solo artist, guest conductor and an advocate for the arts. At a recent award ceremony, he performed a jazz rendition of “Oklahoma” on saxophone after his keynote address. Additionally, he was the first university president to be a featured soloist at the Texas Music Educators Association conference.
Brian Stratton, Delta Omega (Southeastern Louisiana) ’79
For nearly 22 years, Brian Stratton was a member and featured soloist with the Moses Hogan Chorale and Singers. He has worked to promote the Spiritual arrangements of Mr. Hogan and other renowned composers and arrangers in workshops and seminars around the world. He has appeared at the White House on four occasions, performing for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and William Clinton. An enthusiastic promoter of music education, he devotes his time not only to music education, but enthusiastically encourages arts education for children around the nation. Brother Stratton was initiated as an honorary member at the 2010 Leadership Institute in Evansville, IN.
Thomas R. King, Xi (Kansas) ’65
Dr. Thomas King has been the faculty advisor for the Theta Tau chapter at Austin Peay State University for over 20 years, where he is Professor of Voice. He has been the Artistic Director of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria (2004-2010) and was on the faculty for 25 years. He also sang professionally as an opera singer in Germany for five years and performed over 400 times on the stages there. From 1994 to 2003 he was the Governor in Province #15 and is now the Deputy Province Governor. He was also the Chairman of the Sinfonia Foundation Grants committee for some years. King has also been active in colonizing chapters at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University and Northwest Mississippi Community College.
Carl Doubleday, Delta Iota (Western Michigan) ’65
Carl W. Doubleday has served Western Michigan University, its music program, and surrounding community for over 40 years. Among Carl’s many endeavors, he served as Director for WMU’s High School Music Camp for four decades, conceived of WMU’s School of Music newsletter and acted as its editor for 21 years, helped organize and run numerous festivals, camps, committees, cultural events, and music ensembles during his service, and in 1991 received Western Michigan’s Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the school and community. He has served the Fraternity in several capacities, including as National Vice President from 1991-1994.
Dr. Karl Paulnack, Alpha Alpha (National Honorary) ’11
Karl Paulnack is the Director of the Music Division at the Boston Conservatory, a position he has served in since 2002. He enjoys a prolific career as both a concert pianist and educator. Karl has partnered with vocal and instrumental soloists, chamber groups, orchestras, conductors and opera companies in nearly a thousand concerts throughout the world. Karl co-chaired the highly acclaimed accompanying and coaching department of the University of Minnesota, and has served on the faculties of the Tanglewood Music Center, University of Southern California, Ithaca College and Music Academy of the West. Karl was inducted as a National Honorary at this year’s Leadership Institute.
Dr. Herbert Owen Reed, Zeta (Missouri) ‘31
Dr. Herbert Owen Reed, a 1976 retiree from Michigan State’s music faculty, has enjoyed an accomplished career as composer and educator. His published works include a variety of compositions for orchestra, band, voice, chamber, and opera ensembles, in addition to eight published books on music theory and composition. He has served in a number of music and service positions, including Chairman of Theory and Composition for the Music Teacher’s National Association. He is also the recipient of the National Arts Award from Sigma Alpha Iota and the Orpheus Award (Gamma Epsilon ’76) from Phi Mu Alpha.
Brother Reed passed away on Jan. 6, 2014.
Charles Snyder, Beta Lambda (Muskingum) ‘05
Charles R. Snyder has taught instrumental and choral music for over 45 years in his musical career. He is the founder of the Coshocton Community Choir, an ensemble celebrating its 40th year, which has also spawned associated choirs for young children. He has been in active service for a number of groups, receiving awards for his contributions to organizations such as Capitol University, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Columbus Symphony. In 2000, he received the Ovation Award from the Vocal Arts Resource Network, an award to honor those who instill in others a love of vocal music.
Gene Watts, Zeta (Missouri) ‘54
Gene Watts is the creator and a founding member of the world famous Canadian Brass musical ensemble. Even before the group’s creation, Mr. Watts enjoyed a performing career with various professional orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Since founding the Canadian Brass, the group has come to be known as the gold standard for brass ensembles, and it is the vision and talent of Watts and his fellow musicians in the ensemble that has fueled their enormous success.
Anthony J. Maiello, Delta (Ithaca College) ’62
Anthony J. Maiello has enjoyed an extensive career as a celebrated conductor, educator, and musician. He has conducted, among numerous other international engagements, the music for the Gold Medal Ceremony at the 1980 Olympics. He is the author of several books on conducting, including Conducting: A Hands-On Approach and 21st Century Band Method. He was also a driving force behind the creation of the Rho Omicron Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha in 2009, and acts as their faculty advisor.
Carlisle Floyd, Epsilon Iota (Florida State) ’57
The recipient of the 2012 Man of Music award, Floyd helped to create an American idiom in opera with international operatic standards such as Susannah and Of Men and Men. He is one of the most respected operatic composers of our time, and among the most performed composers in American opera history.
Dr. Emanuel L. Lancaster, Gamma Delta (Murray State) ’67
A musician, teacher, and businessman, Lancaster’s experience has served him well in a variety of roles. As Vice President of Alfred Publishing, Lancaster uses his music and teaching experience to direct the Alfred keyboard catalog. Before that, he taught for nearly two decades at the University of Oklahoma, where he established masters and doctoral programs in piano pedagogy. Among other positions, he has served as National Chairman of Group Piano, and National Chairman of MTNA. He has presented teaching workshops both nationally and internationally, has published numerous books and articles, and is a regular columnist for Clavier Companion magazine.
David R. Holsinger, Beta Mu (Central Methodist) ’64
Brother Holsinger is a renowned composer, whose works have received international acclaim. With a unique rhythmic style to many of his compositions, he has carved out a lasting niche in American music. He has also been awarded the prestigious Ostwald Award from the American Bandmasters Association, and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi music fraternity. Along with Brother Floyd, he was a National Honorary initiate at the 2012 National Convention.
Dr. Larry R. Parsons, Kappa Zeta (West Virginia Wesleyan) ’03
Brother Parsons has been teaching at West Virginia Wesleyan College since 1968 as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities. In 2004 he was named Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College. Among his other endeavors, he is the founder of the Larry Parsons Chorale, which ahs for decades helped to cultivate professional level choral singers. He is also the co-founder of Camerata Appalachia, a touring group that brings American-style choral singing to Europe. He has also commissioned numerous new choral works and is active philanthropically on the community level.
Dr. A.G. “Mack” McGrannahan III, Gamma Delta (Murray State) ’70
Brother McGrannahan has served on the music faculty of the University of Nevada since 1975. He was director of the Lake Tahoe Music Camp, one of the most popular summer music camps on the west coast, for thirty years. He has played professionally in several show bands in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area, performing with Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Ben Vereen, Neil Sedaka, Henry Mancini, Jack Jones, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Debbie Reynolds, and others. In 2008, Dr. McGrannahan was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He is active as an adjudicator and guest conductor throughout the United States, and is a Past President of the Nevada Music Educators Association and the Western Division of the College Band Directors National Association.
John C. Whitney, Delta (Ithaca) ’61
In addition to an extensive teaching career at various universities, Brother Whitney has presented workshops as a faculty member for American Symphony Orchestra League, and has taught conducting in Europe. He was also selected as the sole American winner of the International Competition for Conductors in Czechoslovakia. His orchestral arrangements have also been performed at the Carnegie Hall “Link-UP!” youth concerts, and more than 40 of his compositions and arrangements have been published. His own discography includes jazz recordings by The John Whitney Trio. Whitney has led numerous orchestras throughout the United States, and has performed with and/or conducted for a host of platinum artists, including Luciano Pavarotti, Clark Terry, Frank Foster, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Dave Samuels, Buddy DeFranco, Henry Mancini, Cab Calloway, Liberace, Doc Severinson, Phil Woods and The Irish Tenors.
Brother Whitney passed away on November 17, 2014
J. Samuel “Sam” Pilafian, Beta Tau (Miami) ’69
Brother Pilafian is an accomplished tubist, who is perhaps most well-known as the co-founder of the internationally renowned Empire Brass Quintet. He has also performed and recorded with the Boston Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Pink Floyd, and numerous other world class groups. As a solo performing artist, he has also recorded 15 CDs. He continues to play and teach, has produced and written for several prominent orchestras, and is a best-selling author of instructional texts and videos on breathing and brass playing.
Alan Bergman, Alpha Rho (North Carolina) 1943
One of the world’s most distinguished lyricists, Bergman’s works include numerous TV and film credits, many in collaboration with his wife Marilyn. His TV credits include theme songs for Maude, Good Times, Alice, Brooklyn Bridge, and In the Heat of the Night. The duo were the first lyricists ever to be nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Song (out of five nominated). He and his wife are recipients of the Academy Award for Best Song, and have been nominated several times for their work. They are also recipients of four Emmy Awards. In addition to his frequent collaborations with his wife, Bergman has worked with several renowned film composers such as Dave Grusin, Beta Chi (Colorado) ’53, John Williams, and Henry Mancini. Among his many other awards, he was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 1980.