When Don Wilcox retired as Director of Bands Emeritus from West Virginia University in the summer of 2005, he had guided the growth and development of the University’s band program for 34 years. During this time the WVU Wind Symphony performed numerous special concerts for regional and national conventions of the ABA, CBDNA, MENC, and WASBE, and toured nationally. The Mountaineer Marching Band was the 1997 recipient of the Sudler Trophy, and during the summer of 2001, the Centennial year of the WVU band program, the WVU Alumni Band toured Europe, performing concerts in England, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2005 they made their second European Tour with performances in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Slovak Republic, and concluding in Vienna, Austria. In 2007 the ensemble made its third European Tour with concerts in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and in July of 2010 the group toured Italy and Greece on their fourth European Tour. In the summer of 2012 the Alumni Band’s 5th European Tour will add concerts in each of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as Poland and Finland.
Professor Wilcox is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including: West Virginia University’s Outstanding Teacher Award, the 1993 Golden Apple Outstanding Faculty Award, and the Heebink Award for Outstanding Service to the university and the state. He has received special citations from four Governors for his contributions to the state of West Virginia and at WVU’s 2008 commencement he was awarded the University’s highest honor when he was inducted into the Order of Vandalia.
Professor Wilcox is a Past President of the American Bandmasters Association and has served on the Board of Directors of both the ABA and the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He was chosen for the Great Teachers Seminar and was the first teacher to be named Distinguished Fine Arts Alumnus of California State University at Long Beach. Wilcox is the recipient of the Sudler Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation as well as a National Arts Associate of Sigma Alpha Iota. In 1997 he was awarded the Distinguished Service To Music Medal from the National Council of Kappa kappa psi, and in 2006 was named National Outstanding Bandmaster of the Year by Phi Beta Mu. In December of 2011 he will received the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic’s Medal of Honor.
Throughout a teaching and conducting career spanning over half a century, since his graduation from the University of Michigan, Mr. Wilcox has worked with musicians of all ages and abilities, conducting bands from one-room schools in rural Appalachia to several of the major concert halls in the world, and in all 50 states and 23 foreign countries. In the fall of 2008 he returned to Tokyo, Japan for his fifth time as guest conductor of the renowned Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Ensemble, each three-month visit culminating in tours of Japan and CD recordings for Sony. Mr. Wilcox has served as guest conductor or visiting lecturer at more than 80 universities in the United States, Europe, Japan, Thailand, Australia and China, and in “retirement” conducts the Northport Community Band and maintains an active international schedule as a teacher, clinician and conductor.