In this episode, Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Elva Kaye Lance, The Director of Bands at Mississippi State University in Starkville. We'll learn more about developing student leaders in the 400-member marching band, how the pandemic has affected procedures within the band program and more. The conversation was recorded on May 24, 2021. It's broken up into two episodes, and this is part two.
Elva Kaye Lance is Director of Bands at Mississippi State University. Her current responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble, providing leadership for the Famous Maroon Band, and administering all aspects of the band program. Ms. Lance also teaches methods classes within the Department of Music and assists with student teacher supervision. A veteran music educator of more than forty years, she previously taught instrumental music in the public schools of Mississippi.
Now in her 30th year at Mississippi State, Ms. Lance has guided the band program through the completion of a multimillion-dollar rehearsal facility and construction of a new synthetic turf practice field. Under her leadership, the band program has seen the expansion of the band staff and student enrollment that now includes four concert bands, a jazz band, two basketball pep bands, and a marching band with an enrollment of approximately 400 students.
As a conductor, she has led the Wind Ensemble in performances for international concert audiences during a 2008 tour of the British Isles, a 2011 tour in Austria and Germany, and an Italian tour in 2014 which included a performance at the International Music Meeting in Padova, Italy. In addition to an annual regional performance tour in the fall semester, in May of 2019, the Wind Ensemble performed in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, and in early 2020 for the American Bandmasters Association Convention.
Ms. Lance maintains an active schedule as a clinician and adjudicator for both concert and marching band events throughout the country. Additionally, she is a frequent contributor to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series.
In 2011, she received the “State Pride” award from the College of Education for excellence in teaching, research, and service and the Edythe M. McArthur Outstanding Woman Band Director Award for the state of Mississippi. She was named Outstanding Bandmaster for Mississippi in 2015, and in 2017 was named Outstanding Contributor to Bands in Mississippi by the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu. She was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2018.
Ms. Lance has served as the state chair for the College Band Directors National Association and is presently the state chair for the National Band Association. She has served on the Diversity Committee and as a member of the Athletic Band Committee for the College Band Directors National Association. She is President of the International Bandmasters Fraternity Phi Beta Mu. Additional professional memberships include the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, Sigma Alpha Iota, and the National Association for Music Education.
Bio and photo credits: msuband.msstate.edu
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