The Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) recently named Minuteman Band legend Thom Hannum to their Lowell Mason Award for 2018. The award will be presented at the MMEA All-State Conference March 1-3 in Boston.
The Lowell Mason Award is presented annually to recognize members of MMEA who have been leaders in music education in Massachusetts. Thom Hannum is the seventh UMass Amherst faculty member to be so honored.
Hannum has been at UMass Amherst since 1980 where he currently serves as coordinator of the marimba ensemble program and as associate director of the Minuteman Marching Band. In 2009, he received the UMass Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award.
One of the nation’s foremost percussion arrangers, instructors, and clinicians, Hannum has presented throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia. His many honors include induction into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Hannum is also a charter member of the design team for the Tony Award-winning show Blast! He currently serves as percussion director for the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps.
In 2016, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and Music for All honored Hannum with the George N. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.
Lowell Mason (January 8, 1792 – August 11, 1872) was a leading figure in American church music, the composer of over 1600 hymn tunes, many of which are often sung today. He was largely responsible for introducing music into American public schools, and is considered to be the first important music educator in the United States. Mason was born and grew up in Medfield, MA, where he became the Music Director of First Parish (now First Parish Unitarian Universalist) Church at age 17.
Past Winners (UMMB alumni & UMass faculty)
- 2018 • Thomas P. Hannum ’84 MM
- 2015 • Laurie Fabiszewski-Colitti ’95
- 2010 • Michael LaCava ’92
- 2004 • Malcolm W. Rowell, Jr.
- 2001 • Elisabeth A. Bryant
- 1992 • George N. Parks
- 1991 • T. Dennis Brown
- 1986 • Brian H. Norcross ’81
- 1981 • Walter M. Chesnut
- 1977 • William D. Gaver