A special award of
The John Philip Sousa
Robert Freeman has been the Director of Bands at West Monroe High School since 2003. Prior to that, he was the Assistant director of Bands at West Monroe High School and Director of Bands at North Forest High School.
Mr. Freeman has earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA. and a Master of Music in Euphonium Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS.
The Bandworld Legion of Honor was established in 1989 to honor, over the course of a year, eight of the finest band directors in our business.
Recipients have taught for at least fifteen years, have maintained a very high-quality concert band program, and have contributed significantly to the profession through dedication to bands and band music.
Each is honored at the annual Sousa Foundation awards ceremony during the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.
Chairman of the Legion of Honor Committee is Terry Austin, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Freeman says that he is extremely fortunate to have been taught by master music educators throughout my life. “Dr. Michael Spears, my high school band director and colleague, helped to shape me as a musician first, then an educator, and perhaps most importantly, a man. I will forever be appreciative of his knowledge, wisdom, stern guidance when needed, and friendship. Mr. William Brent, Northwestern State University, taught me a love of the profession, and how to impart that love of music to my students. His kindness and caring for each of us was also a profound lesson for me. Dr. Thomas Fraschillo imparted a passion for music that was palpable, and an energy, zeal for music, and a level preparedness I never knew existed. Of course, I’ve had the great blessing to make music with some of the finest musicians in the world through these experiences.”
Students are drawn to his programs by his musicality, personality, leadership, and teaching skills. He gets to know his students personally and he is tireless in meeting and recruiting prospective students. He is a teacher/conductor/mentor who is equally comfortable, confident, and successful with both marching band and concert bands.
When asked about his teaching philosophy, he says “I love music. Music saved me as a young man from an uncertain future and gave purpose to me. My goal is, through excellence, to impart that same passion for music in my students. But perhaps more important is for them to know how much they are loved and valued beyond the classroom.”