Frank Wickes

Director of bands emeritus Frank Wickes will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree at the University’s spring 2019 commencement ceremony.

LSU Director of Bands Emeritus Frank B. Wickes died this morning; he was 82-years-old. The LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts and Department of Bands confirmed the news on Monday afternoon.

Wickes served as the University's Director of Bands from 1980 to 2010, where he also conducted the LSU Wind Ensemble, taught graduate courses in wind conducting and literature and served as director of the LSU Marching Band. 

The Tiger Band was recognized for its excellence on national and international levels under his direction. In 2002, the band received the Sudler Trophy for a distinguished history of marching and performance excellence. In 2008, the Tiger Band won the “Battle of the Bands,” a college marching band contest sponsored by ESPN, Lucasfilm and Paramount Pictures. In 2009, the marching band was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

“Dr. Wickes was a legendary, larger-than-life figure as Director of Bands,” Todd Queen, dean of the College of Music & Dramatic Arts, said. “He was extraordinarily committed to LSU, the School of Music, and his discipline. Without his unparalleled vision, the Department of Bands and the Tiger Marching Band would not be where they are today. Over his many decades of teaching, hundreds of thousands in the LSU community were witness to his incredible contributions to the musical arts in the classroom, the concert hall, and the pantheon of Tiger Stadium. We deeply mourn his passing.”

Wickes also received numerous personal honors while at the University, including an endowed Alumni Professorship in 1999, the National Band Association Presidency (1988-1990), the Southern Division CBDNA Presidency (1988-1990) and the American Bandmasters Association Presidency (1997-1998).

He earned the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts Award in 2008, the National Band Association's highest honor, in recognition of his excellence and exceptional service. In 2009, he was elected to the Louisiana Music Educators Hall of Fame. In 2010 he was inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors and received the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic Medal of Honor.

In 2019, Wickes received an honorary Doctor of Arts from the University in recognition of his enormous contributions to the University and the Department of Bands.

Before he began his work at the University, Wickes served as director of bands at the University of Florida (1973-1980) and was named Teacher of the Year in the university's College of Fine Arts in 1976.

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