MONTICELLO, AR — Gary Meggs, the man who revitalized the marching and concert bands and created the jazz program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has been named to the Four States Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.
The Four States Bandmasters Association is based in Texarkana, Tex., and is comprised of college, high school and junior high band directors from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. An induction ceremony for this year's hall of fame class will be held on January 14 at 2 p.m. at the Sullivan Fine Arts Center at Texas High School during the Four States Bandmasters Association annual convention in Texarkana.
"This is a wonderful honor for Mr. Meggs and well deserved," said Mark Spencer, dean of UAM's School of Arts and Humanities. "He has had a tremendous impact on the band program at UAM and has earned a reputation nationwide as both an innovator and pioneer in jazz education."
Meggs came to UAM in 1989, stayed a year, then returned to a high school position in New Boston, Tex., before returning to UAM in 2002 to begin a 14-year association with the university. Now retired from his position as director of bands, Meggs still directs the university's elite Jazz Band I, which won nationwide accolades at the prestigious Elmhurst Jazz Festival in suburban Chicago and made a performance tour of China.
Meggs started the jazz program in 2002 and by 2007, UAM was the first college or university in Arkansas to offer an undergraduate degree in jazz studies. In 2013, the university began offering the state's first master of music degree in jazz studies. UAM currently has three jazz bands and six jazz ensembles.
An accomplished musician, Meggs has toured the world as a guest performer with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
"I've been blessed to have the opportunity to start a jazz program from scratch and to have the support of our administration through the years," said Meggs. "I also owe so much to Les Pack (professor of music and director of Jazz Band II), who was a driving force in the growth of our jazz program. I am honored to be recognized by my peers in the Four States Bandmasters Association."
For more information, contact the UAM Division of Music at (870) 460-1060.
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