Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
C. Victor Fung, Ph.D.
Terese Volk Tuohey, Ph.D.
John C. Carmichael, Ph.D.
David A. Williams, Ph.D.
History, Instrumental, Music Education, Stetson University
The purpose of this study was to identify and detail the contributions and methods, decisions and specific techniques that Dr. Bobby Adams used while President of the Florida Bandmasters Association and Director of Bands at Stetson University to build and maintain a nationally recognized collegiate wind band program and a strong music education division at a private liberal arts university. Through historical documentation from the archives at Stetson University, interviews, phone calls, and emails, a brief overview of the United States wind band and its development at the tertiary level was discussed. To identify why Adams was considered a successful band director and music educator, a brief biographical sketch from the beginning of his career to his decision to become the Professor of Music Education and Director of Bands at Stetson University was outlined. This background gave insight into the methods that Adams believed to be beneficial for his success at Stetson University.
I found that Adams built his career on three distinct principles: music, leadership, and education. Adams and his consistent desire for knowledge allowed him to grow at a rapid rate in becoming a band director. His drive for musical excellence was the foundation for every program of which he was in charge. His dedication to music was driven by passion and desire to share musical experiences. His passion for what he deemed serious art music was at the core of his philosophy of music education.
His dedication to the profession was evident in the many leadership positions he held throughout his career. The restructuring of the Florida Bandmasters Association and increase in membership with the National Band Association both were under Adams’s leadership. Adams believed that music educators needed to contribute to the organizations that supported their programs to not only insure their survival, but to continue their growth as a teacher and leader themselves.
When Adams arrived at Stetson University, with the aid of Dean James Woodward and choral director Dr. Duncan Couch, he developed a plan to overhaul the School of Music. His meticulous planning and recruiting helped Dean Woodward change the course of the School of Music to one with a more music education centric curriculum and focus. Within a few short years, Adams was able not only to raise the level of performance of the band, but also increase the enrollment significantly.
His contributions to the Florida Bandmasters Association and to the development of the Stetson University School of Music allowed Dr. Adams to secure a legacy in the State of Florida. His many contributions including the restructuring of the state band association and growth of the School of Music, defined who he was as an educator, leader, and musician. His efforts were awarded the highest honor of any band director in the United States with the “Oscar” of band awards, the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts (AWAPA) in 2013.
Scholar Commons Citation
Blair, Joshua David, "The Making of a Nationally Recognized Band in a Small, Private Liberal Arts University: The Historical Significance of the Bobby L. Adams Years, 1987-2012" (2018). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.