TROY, Ala.—It was the first time in anyone’s memory when a sitting president of the National Band Association attended a Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductor’s induction ceremony.
“Ralph, our president Culverhouse wants to talk to the group a minute. I think it’s the first time a president has even been to this ceremony,” Dr. John M. Long interrupted master of ceremonies and Troy University’s director of bands.
“What’s he want,” Ford queried.
A shrug of the shoulders and a “I have no idea” from Long brought Dr. John Culverhouse, president of the world’s largest band organization to the podium in the Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor, home to the NBA’s Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors, the state’s only national hall of fame. Executive Secretary and associate director of bands at Louisiana State University, Dr. Linda Moorhouse, attending the induction ceremonies as a presenter, followed in close tow.
It soon became evident that the NBA had an honor to bestow besides the three Hall of Fame inductions: the installation of an honorary president of the organization.
“This is just a huge honor,” Dr. Long said. “I’m completely surprised by it and it’s the greatest honor of my life. I had no idea they were going to do that.”
“To be made the honorary president of the largest band director organization in the United States is a very high honor and I appreciate that,” he added, saying the association represents “everybody from junior high band directors to military bands.”
Long, who began his career at TROY in 1965, is a distinguished professor emeritus and director of bands emeritus at the University and serves as chairman of the board of directors of the National Band Association. He is a past president of the American Bandmasters Association, and, in 1994, was inducted in the NBA’s Hall of Fame. He is a Guntersville native.
During his 31-year career at TROY, the University’s “Sound of the South” marching band represented the state in four presidential inaugural parades and a served as the official band for two presidential visits to Alabama.
He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha, Delta Chi fraternity and Phi Eta Sigma. He is an active guest conductor, speaker, clinician and adjudicator through the United States, Europe, Canada and Mexico. In 2005, he was honored by the Alabama Music Educators Association with its Barbara Odom Award for lifetime achievements in music education, and holds the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the National Eagle Scout Association.
Before coming to TROY, Dr. Long directed several high school bands in the state, including a stint as band director at Marshall County High School before even receiving his high school diploma.