Wendell Evanson

Wendell Evanson was the founding music director of the Little Rock Wind Symphony and served in that capacity until his retirement in July 2005.

Maestro Evanson is Professor of Music Emeritus at Henderson State University where he served as Chairman of the Music Department and Director of Bands until his retirement from that position. Prior to his 30-year tenure at Henderson, Evanson spent eight years in the public schools of Arkansas teaching instrumental music. After retirement, he remained active as an adjudicator and clinician for wind instrumental organizations throughout the United States. His bands have performed for regional CBDNA and MENC conventions and have toured Japan, Korea, and the Philippines as well as the Panamanian and Caribbean military bases.

In 1991, he was awarded the "H" Award for meritorious service to Henderson State University and in 1998 the HSU Board of Trustees voted to name the band rehearsal hall in his honor. He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, and the Arkansas Bandmasters Hall of Fame. He holds life memberships in Phi Beta Mu National Bandmasters Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the college Band Directors National Association.

Mastro Avanson holds Music Degrees from Hendrix College and the University of Michigan. He studied conducting with Dr. William D. Revelli and Dr. James Neilson while at Michigan, and Angelo Brusilov at North Texas University. He has performed under the baton of Joseph Blatt, Maynard Kline, and Robert Shaw.

Lawrence Hamilton, a student of Wendell Evanson, who credits much of his success to his former band director, mentor, and friend, asked that he conduct "Wheels of a Dream" for the 2008 festival stating "I would like to be singing with him at the baton rather than playing my tuba."

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