Ray E. Cramer, professor emeritus and past chair of the Jacobs School of Music Department of Bands, has been elected to the National Band Association’s Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors.
As one of the highest honors given to an American Bandmaster, the induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, February 2 at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. In attendance at the ceremony will be chair of the Jacobs School Band Department, Professor Stephen Pratt.
While at IU, Cramer conducted the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds and taught graduate conducting, band history, and wind literature classes. He is past president of the Midwest Clinic, past president of the College Band Directors National Association and the Indiana Bandmasters Association. Mr. Cramer is in demand internationally as guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. He is a regular guest conductor of the Musashino Academy of Music Wind Ensemble in Tokyo.
History of the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors
The National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors is located on the campus of Troy University in the Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor. Troy University was selected in 1978 after a search was made by Dr. William Revelli, then president, and members of the National Band Association. Dr. Revelli asked Dr. Al Wright of Purdue University to secure the very best place available. Dr. Wright then contacted Dr. John M. Long, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Director of Bands, and a member of the Alabama Historical Commission, to consider possibility at Troy University. Dr. Long contacted Dr. Ralph Adams, President of Troy State University, who said “We would be pleased and highly honored to house the Hall of Fame.”
The National Band Association, which is the largest band organization in the world accepted Dr. Adam’s offer and it was placed on the Troy campus. The Hall of Fame opened in 1980 in Smith Hall and at this time, it was the only national hall of fame in Alabama.
Membership in the Hall of Fame is open to any American bandmaster in the United States. To qualify for nomination, a director has to be at least sixty-five years old, retired, and to have made a national reputation as a band conductor. He or she must also have made national impact on the American band movement. Anyone may nominate a director by submitting an application to the Chairman of the Board of Electors of the National Band Association. The Board of Electors, which represents five national band organizations, then votes on the recommendation.
In 1995 Dr. Ralph Adams generously donated more than one million dollars to Troy University for a permanent home for the Hall of Fame where it is now housed. Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of the Troy University System, has continued the great support to make the Hall of Fame a valuable asset to the university.
There are currently only fifty members that have been elected to the Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors.
Members of historical significance include Patrick Conway, Patrick Gilmore, Edwin Franko Goldman, Arthur Pryor, Ernest S. Williams, Herbert L. Clarke, Frederick Fellen, Alber Austin Harding, William D. Revelli and John Philip Sousa. Members with ties to the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music include Mark H. Hindsley, Director of the Marching Hundred from 1926-29, Frederick C. Ebbs, former Director of Bands 1967-1982 and Ray E. Cramer, former Director of Bands 1982-2005.