Director of Bands Emeritus Frank Wickes to Receive Honorary Doctorate

Frank Wickes02/21/2019
BATON ROUGE – The LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts and LSU Department of Bands are pleased to announce that Frank B. Wickes, director of bands emeritus, will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree at the university’s spring 2019 commencement exercises, taking place Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11.

The announcement was made at the 2019 College Band Directors National Association conference in Tempe, Ariz., where the LSU Wind Ensemble paid tribute to Wickes by performing “Wondrous Love” from Donald Grantham’s “Southern Harmony,” a work Wickes and the LSU Wind Ensemble premiered at the same conference 20 years ago.

“I am thrilled for Frank to receive this recognition,” said Damon Talley, director of bands in the LSU School of Music. “His leadership and wisdom helped shape the LSU Department of Bands into the world-class program it is today, and we are eternally grateful for his continued involvement with our program.”

Wickes served as director of bands at LSU from 1980 to 2010. During his tenure, Wickes conducted the LSU Wind Ensemble, taught courses in graduate wind conducting and wind literature, and served as director of the LSU Tiger Marching Band. He was honored by LSU in 1999 with an endowed Alumni Professorship and again in 2000 with a special recognition from the chancellor. Under Wickes’ direction, the Tiger Band received the Sudler Trophy in 2002 for a distinguished history of marching and performance excellence. Wickes was inducted into the Louisiana Music Educators Hall of Fame in 2009.

Beyond LSU, Wickes served as president of the Southern Division presidency of the College Band Directors National Association (1988 – 1990) and president of the American Bandmasters Association (1997 – 1998), among other roles. To this day, Wickes continues act as clinician and mentor to band programs across the nation, having conducted over 40 All-State honor bands and actively participated in numerous national workshops, such as the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Mich.

“Frank Wickes has been a vital member of the LSU Bands family for decades,” said Todd Queen, dean of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts. “His vast contributions to both our institution and to band programs nationally cannot be understated, and we are pleased to confer this honorary degree in recognition of his service.”

For more information on the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts, visit For more on the LSU Department of Bands, visit




Contact Cullen Sadler
LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations