Also see the FBA Legacy Project for interviews and historical videos.

During the summer of 1936, Major Ed Chenette was employed by the University of Florida to conduct a short course in band work high school band directors and their students. As far as is known, this attempt was the first of its kind by an institution of higher learning to further the cause of band music in the high schools of the state.

Several bandmasters from over the state were asked to assist in the course, and both they and the other participants were stimulated by thoughts of what could be done to improve the instrumental music programs in Florida. From this course came the idea of an organization.

Subsequently, there was a meeting held for interested band directors which focused on the lack of a unified group within the state. From the discussion at this meeting the Florida Bandmasters Association was formed. Major Chenette was named chairperson pro-tem with the authority to act for the group to contact all Florida bandmasters and attempt to form a statewide organization. Major Chenette was then elected President and John J. Heney was elected as Secretary.

Charter members of the Florida Bandmasters Association were:

Ed Chenette Browné Greaton Cole James Crowley P.J. Gustat Ed Heney
John J. Heney William Heney J.B. O'Neal E.L. "Bud" Roberts V.D. Sturgis

The FBA sponsored a single State Festival for several years. In the late 1940's, the Festival became so large that the state was divided into six geographical Districts, and District Contests were divised to serve as qualifiers for bands attending the State Contest nds receiving a Superior rating at the District were eligible to go to the State Contest.

Later, the State Festival was divided into two regions comprised of the North section (Districts 4, 5, and 6) and the South section (Districts 1, 2, and 3). The state grew large in following years that it was divided into 10 Districts, then to 14, then to 15 in 1982, to 17 in 1987, and to 19 in 1995 (now called Evaluation/Festival to more accurately reflect the nature of the event) eventually had to be divided into three sections - North, Central, and South.

In 1960, the FBA instituted the Annual Marching Clinic and All-Star Marching Band on the University of Florida campus. This band gave a performance each year at the North-South High School All-Star Football game. In 1979 the All-Star Band began performing at Tampa Bay Buccaneers pre-season games each year. Many outstanding nationally known marching band directors have conducted the Clinics and Bands throughout the years. In 1993, this group was discontinued.

Robert O. Lampi served as Executive Secretary ably and competently with superb loyalty and dedication for 36 years. The influence that Mr. Lampi exerted through the years contributed in large measure to the considerable success of the F.B.A. After his retirement in 1983, he continued to serve as a Consultant to the Association until his death in 1985. In 1983, F. Lewis Jones assumed the position as Executive Director, and served in that capacity for 17 years. Great strides in organization and scope were made under Mr. Jones' capable leadership. In 2000, Duane L. Hendon became the Executive Director of the Florida Bandmasters Association until his retirement in September 2011. Mr. Hendon helped bring the F.B.A. into the computer age with the development of the Festival Computer Program, computers for District Chairmen, and the MPA On-Line program. In September 2011, Neil E. Jenkins assumed the duties as the Executive Director of the Florida Bandmasters Association.

The FBA, through its membership, has provided exceptional musical experiences for thousands of band students, while upgrading the musical standards and making music an integral part of the school curriculum, making our slogan, "A Band In Every School" a reality.

Presidents of the F.B.A.

Major Ed Chenette 1936 - 1938 Robert C. Price 1970 - 1971
John J. Heney 1938 - 1941 Louis W. Lindsay 1971 - 1972
Fred McCall 1941 - 1943 F. Lewis Jones 1972 - 1973
* P.J. Gustat 1943 - 1944 Ervin J. Hamme 1973 - 1974
Major J.B. O'Neal 1944 - 1945 James W. Wilson 1974 - 1975
V.D. Sturgis 1945 - 1946 Frederick M. Humphreys 1975 - 1976
Al G. Wright 1946 - 1947 Melvin E. Baker 1976 - 1977
Romulus Thompson 1947 - 1948 R.G. (Jeff) Bradford 1977 - 1978
Harry F. McComb 1948 - 1950 Jack H. Herron 1978 - 1979
R. Orion Whitley 1950 - 1951 Joseph W. Courson 1979 - 1980
Roy V. Wood 1951 - 1952 John R. DeYoung 1980 - 1981
H.B. Swyers 1952 - 1953 William E. Cannon 1981 - 1982
H. Carlton Mason 1953 - 1954 Andrew J. (Jack) Crew 1982 - 1983
E.L. Roberts 1954 - 1955 Michael P. Leclerc 1983 - 1984
O.J. Kraushaar 1955 - 1956 Bobby Adams 1984 - 1986
Oliver Hobbs 1956 - 1957 Duane L. Hendon 1986 - 1988
Charles W. Quarmby 1957 - 1958 M. Jerome Edwards 1988 - 1990
Robert T. Scott 1958 - 1959 Frank R. Howes 1990 - 1992
Joe A Lusk 1959 - 1960 Cynthia E. Berry 1992 - 1994
William Ledue 1960 - 1961 Phillip D. Wharton 1994 - 1996
Melvin Dean 1961 - 1962 James M. Sammons 1996 - 1998
Logan Turrentine 1962 - 1963 Bert F. Creswell 1998 - 2000
James H. Leonard 1963 - 1964 Neil Jenkins 2000 - 2002
T. Edison James 1964 - 1965 D.R. Roadman 2002 - 2004
Thomas Bishop 1965 - 1966 Paula Thornton 2004 - 2006
Charles F. Ulrey 1966 - 1967 Chuck Fulton 2006 - 2008
E.W. (Jack) Williams 1967 - 1968 Mark Spreen 2008 - 2010
Richard H. Elliot 1968 - 1969 Randy Folsom 2010 - 2012
William Higgins 1969 - 1970 Richard Davenport 2012 - 2014
Robert O. Lampi (Hon.) 1969 - 1970 Linda Mann 2014 - 2016
    Jason Ducket 2016 - 2018

* P.J. Gustat = Named "Father of Bands" in the State of Florida

A Brief History of the Florida Association of Band Directors

Prior to 1940 and two years thereafter, there were no programs in the public schools of Florida offering instrumental music to the African American children in those schools. As a result, the schools of higher education (such as Florida A & M College, Edward Waters College, Bethune-Cookman College, and Florida Memorial College) had no feeder programs for the development of bands.

In 1941, Leander A. Kirksey (band and orchestra director) and J. Harold Brown (director of the music department at Florida A & M College) called a meeting of four or five young graduates from the music department of Florida A & M College. George Hill (employed at Crooms Academy in Sanford), Alvin Downing (employed at Gibbs High in St. Petersburg), Raymond Sheppard (employed at Booker T. Washington High in Pensacola), Michael Rodriguez (employed at Booker T. Washington Jr. High in Tampa), and Guy Glover (employed at Dorsey High in Miami) met April 10-12, 1941 to organize an association whose chief purpose would be to provide feeders for the instrumental program at Florida A & M and other predominately black colleges in Florida. The association was named the Florida Association of Band Directors.

Prior to its merger with the FBA in 1966, its membership had grown to more than thirty band directors, who were teaching several thousand students.

Past-Presidents of the F.A.B.D.

Leander Kirksey George H. Hill James W. Wilson
1941 - 1955 1955 - 1960 1960 - 1966