Damon Talley Elected to American Bandmasters Association

By Cullen Sadler

March 05, 2024

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU's Paula G. Manship Professor and Director of Bands Damon Talley was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association (ABA), considered one of the highest honors in the nation for a wind band conductor, the LSU School of Music announced Tuesday.

damon talley

Damon Talley

Selection to the Association's membership is by invitation only, following a rigorous nomination and selection process. Talley's election will be recognized at the 2024 ABA National Convention, held in Washington D.C. from March 6 - 10, 2024, where he will conduct the United States Air Force Band in a performance of Floyd Werle's Glider Pilots Reunion March.

"Recognition by the American Bandmasters Association is indeed an honor of the highest order," said James Byo, Director of the LSU School of Music. "Top-notch musicianship, visionary leadership, and generous spirit are all traits Damon Talley has demonstrated during his 10 years at LSU. As the award shows, these traits resonate among his peers in the concert band/wind ensemble culture. He is a difference-maker both at LSU and nationally."

The American Bandmasters Association, founded in 1929 with John Philip Sousa serving as Honorary Life President, recognizes outstanding achievement on the part of concert band conductors and composers. The current membership comprises approximately 300 band conductors and composers across the United States and Canada. The Association recognizes an additional 80 associate members, primarily consisting of music businesses and corporations that provide significant services to bands and to the publication of band music.

Talley serves as Director of Bands and Paula G. Manship Professor of Conducting at the LSU School of Music, where he oversees all aspects of the LSU Department of Bands, conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches graduate conducting. An avid supporter of new music for the wind medium, Talley has conducted numerous world premiere performances, and has commissioned composers to write for the wind band. Under his leadership, the Department of Bands has established an annual conducting symposium, high school and middle school camps which serve hundreds of students annually, and numerous outreach events for public school educators.

The mission of the LSU Department of Bands is to provide students the opportunity to engage in meaningful and inclusive music making through a wide array of performing ensembles. The Department strives to present performances that exhibit quality of the highest level, while also fostering a strong sense of camaraderie and diversity through music. In preparing students for successful careers through dedication to the highest standards, the Department—in close cooperation with the broader School of Music—seeks to support the growth of students, the experience of audience members, the community, and the overall support of the university.