A special award of
The John Philip Sousa
Kevin Willms is the Music Director and Learning Leader for Fine Arts at William Aberhart High School in Calgary, Alberta. He has been there for the last nine years, but he also does so much more. In 1993 he became the Music Director of the Westwinds Music Society. He added the title of Artistic Director of the same group in 1997.
Willms earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Calgary, which is also where he earned his Education Certificate.
Before coming to Aberhart, he taught in the same positions at Ernest Manning High School and several junior high schools as well.
He gives back to his profession by serving as the President of the Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education. He has also served as the Chairman of the Alberta International Band Festival in Calgary.
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.
He has received many prestigious awards including The Tommy Banks Award – from the government of Alberta, The Elkhorn Award – Band Director of the Year from the Alberta Band Assoc., and The David Peterkin Memorial Award from Phi Beta Mu.
Willms attributes much of his success to,”There have been numerous mentors that have been gracious in helping me to develop personal skills and formulate my philosophy and approach. Equally important, I have been fortunate to be able to work collaboratively with my colleagues from across the city, province and well beyond to work together to further music education.”
He states his philosophy this way,” As music educators, we have the capacity to impact the world in many ways through our students. This would be very significant if it was “music for music’s sake”. However, it reaches far beyond music. We help students discover how to be wonderful human beings, how to lead, how to cooperate and how to pursue excellence within a caring and tolerant community.”
As you would expect Willms’ groups have been awarded many prestigious awards in high ranking festivals. His groups have received the gold ratings at each festival they have been in for the last ten years.