North Carolina
Bandmasters
Association


2018 Hall of Fame Nominees

Michael R. Fussell 
Nominated by Mark Lorek

Jim Hill
Nominated by Steve Stevens

William C. "W. C." Lanning
Nominated by Sean Smith

Joe F. Phelps
Nominated by John Enloe


Michael R. Fussell
Nominated by Mark Lorek
Mike Fussell graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelors in Music Education in 1979 and began his teaching career in Havelock, NC.  He taught grades 6-12 at Havelock High and Junior High Schools.  During his tenure there the program grew in both quantity and quality.  The concert band went from an excellent rating in Grade IV his first year to a Superior rating in Grade VI by the fifth year.  The marching band received numerous awards at marching band contest throughout North Carolina. 
In 1985 Mike was awarded a Graduate Assistantship at East Carolina University in the Music Education Department serving under Dr. George Knight.  He also worked as an Assistant Director of the Marching Pirates with Dr. Tom Goolsby.  After earning his Master’s Degree he served as Director of Bands at Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, Va., and at JH Rose High School in Greenville.  Both programs continued to have outstanding marching and concert programs under his leadership. 
In 1989 Mike returned to Craven County to direct the bands at West Craven Middle School.  While there, the band became one of the finest middle school bands in the state of North Carolina, receiving Superior ratings at festival every year except two.  From 1993 to 2002 the Advanced Band received nine consecutive superior ratings in Grade IV music.  In 1998 the band was honored to be selected to perform at the NCMEA State Conference.  West Craven Middle Bands also won numerous awards at Dixie Classic and Music In The Parks Festivals.  Each year the band placed many students in both All-District and All-State Bands. 
Mike has twice been honored by being selected to conduct All-District Bands by the Eastern District Band Directors.  In 1990 he conducted the High School Concert Band, and in 2001 he conducted the Middle School Concert Band.  In 1996 Fussell was awarded the “Award of Excellence” by the Eastern District Band Directors Association.  He served one term as the President of the Eastern District and as treasurer for many years.   He has been, and continues to be very active as a clinician and adjudicator for both concert and marching festivals. 
Mike Fussell graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelors in Music Education in 1979 and began his teaching career in Havelock, NC.  He taught grades 6-12 at Havelock High and Junior High Schools.  During his tenure there the program grew in both quantity and quality.  The concert band went from an excellent rating in Grade IV his first year to a Superior rating in Grade VI by the fifth year.  The marching band received numerous awards at marching band contest throughout North Carolina. 
In 1985 Mike was awarded a Graduate Assistantship at East Carolina University in the Music Education Department serving under Dr. George Knight.  He also worked as an Assistant Director of the Marching Pirates with Dr. Tom Goolsby.  After earning his Master’s Degree he served as Director of Bands at Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, Va., and at JH Rose High School in Greenville.  Both programs continued to have outstanding marching and concert programs under his leadership. 
In 1989 Mike returned to Craven County to direct the bands at West Craven Middle School.  While there, the band became one of the finest middle school bands in the state of North Carolina, receiving Superior ratings at festival every year except two.  From 1993 to 2002 the Advanced Band received nine consecutive superior ratings in Grade IV music.  In 1998 the band was honored to be selected to perform at the NCMEA State Conference.  West Craven Middle Bands also won numerous awards at Dixie Classic and Music In The Parks Festivals.  Each year the band placed many students in both All-District and All-State Bands. 
Mike has twice been honored by being selected to conduct All-District Bands by the Eastern District Band Directors.  In 1990 he conducted the High School Concert Band, and in 2001 he conducted the Middle School Concert Band.  In 1996 Fussell was awarded the “Award of Excellence” by the Eastern District Band Directors Association.  He served one term as the President of the Eastern District and as treasurer for many years.   He has been, and continues to be very active as a clinician and adjudicator for both concert and marching festivals. 
Mike Fussell graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelors in Music Education in 1979 and began his teaching career in Havelock, NC.  He taught grades 6-12 at Havelock High and Junior High Schools.  During his tenure there the program grew in both quantity and quality. The concert band went from an excellent rating in Grade IV his first year to a Superior rating in Grade VI by the fifth year.  The marching band received numerous awards at marching band contest throughout North Carolina.

In 1985, Mike was awarded a Graduate Assistantship at East Carolina University in the Music Education Department serving under Dr. George Knight.  He also worked as an Assistant Director of the Marching Pirates with Dr. Tom Goolsby.  After earning his Master’s Degree he served as Director of Bands at Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, Va., and at JH Rose High School in Greenville.  Both programs continued to have outstanding marching and concert programs under his leadership.

In 1989, Mike returned to Craven County to direct the bands at West Craven Middle School.  While there, the band became one of the finest middle school bands in the state of North Carolina, receiving Superior ratings at festival every year except two.  From 1993 to 2002 the Advanced Band received nine consecutive superior ratings in Grade IV music.  In 1998 the band was honored to be selected to perform at the NCMEA State Conference.  West Craven Middle Bands also won numerous awards at Dixie Classic and Music In The Parks Festivals.  Each year the band placed many students in both All-District and All-State Bands.

Mike has twice been honored by being selected to conduct All-District Bands by the Eastern District Band Directors.  In 1990 he conducted the High School Concert Band, and in 2001 he conducted the Middle School Concert Band.  In 1996 Fussell was awarded the “Award of Excellence” by the Eastern District Band Directors Association.  He served one term as the President of the Eastern District and as treasurer for many years.   He has been, and continues to be very active as a clinician and adjudicator for both concert and marching festivals.

Jim Hill
Nominated by Steve Stevens
Jim Hill retired from teaching after 45 years as a band director.   A native of Greensboro, he received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Guilford College and the Master of Music Degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  After graduation from Guilford, he became a Graduate Assistant and   adjunct professor teaching band and instrumental techniques classes at that school.  Upon graduation from UNC-G, he took a position in Union County where he founded the Piedmont High School Band program and taught there for 20 years.  During that time he was also band director and instructor at Wingate College.  After leaving Piedmont High, he became director of bands at Monroe High School.  He completed his teaching tenure at Central Academy for Technology and Arts in Monroe.  He still remains active in working with area bands.

His bands were exemplary and were consistently rated Superior at District Festival and at marching contests.  Many of his students were selected for membership in All-District Band, All-Region Jazz Band, All-State Band, All-Region Orchestra and All-State Orchestra.  Several former students continued study in music and chose it as their major and became professional musicians.  He was the regional winner of the “Terry Sanford Award for creativity in Education”, and twice received the Time Warner “Star Teacher Award”. That award is selected by the valedictorian of the presenting school.

For 25 years he hosted the South Central District Middle School Band Contest/Festival. He produced performance recordings for each band and continues recording the event to this day.  District High School Contest/Festivals recordings were, also, produced for 37 years. He served for many years on   the District Board of Directors. Mr. Hill was recognized by the South Central District Bandmasters Association with their “Award of Excellence” He is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator throughout North Carolina and South Carolina.  He has published several compositions and arrangements for concert band and marching band.

Several Union County bands have named awards in his name.  The Porter Ridge Pirate’s Cove Classic awards the “H. James Hill, Jr. Award for Musical Excellence” recognizing the top scoring Union County band.  Marvin Ridge High School presents all county bands who participate in the Marching Band Preview yet another “H. James Hill, Jr. Award for Musical Excellence”.  Union Academy has established “The Jim Hill ‘IF’ Award” to the student who serves the band with excellence and effort and the belief that if everyone was like that student the band and the world would be better.  The Union County Bandmasters Association named him “Director Emeritus” for the county.

Professionally, he has performed with the Greensboro Symphony (Receiving that Orchestra’s Scholarship), the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Triad Symphony, the Florence Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony and was with the Charlotte Symphony for 15 years.  He was on the staff of the Eastern Music Festival where he performed with the Eastern Philharmonic. He has led orchestras for many stage shows, and has performed with many touring shows and musical spectaculars, and was music director for the Union County Little Theater.

Mr. Hill holds membership in the South Central District Bandmasters Association, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the Music Educators National Conference and the American School Band Directors Association where he is Eastern District Treasurer. He is a former member of the American Federation of Musicians.


William C. "W. C." Lanning
Nominated by Sean Smith

William C. Lanning, Jr. (WC) is a native of Winston-Salem, NC.  He is a graduate of West Forsyth Senior High School.  Mr. Lanning holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Mars Hill College and the Master of Music Education Degree from Appalachian State University.

Mr. Lanning retired from teaching in 2010 after serving as a public school band director for 28 years.  He has held band director positions at Flat Rock Junior High School and East Henderson High School (Henderson County, NC), Rockbridge Middle School (Rockbridge County, Va.), South Iredell High School (Iredell County, NC), Freedom High School (Burke County, NC), and at West Davidson and East Davidson High Schools (Davidson County, NC), and Meadowlark Middle School (Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, NC).  He is currently working as the Educational Coordinator for Separk Music Company in Winston-Salem, NC.

Bands under Mr. Lannings direction and co-direction have earned 32 Superior Ratings at the North Carolina State Concert Band Festival and 2 Superior Ratings at the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association State Concert Band Festival. The East Henderson High School Band was selected to perform for President George H. Bush on his 1992 visit to Hendersonville.  Bands under his direction have also won numerous Superior Ratings at Marching Band Contests and Festivals through the years.   

During his five year tenure at Meadowlark Middle School the band program was a consistent leader in placing students into the Forsyth All-County Band, the Northwest All-District Band., and the North Carolina All-State Band.  Along with fellow directors Matt Liner and Forrest Munden, Mr. Lanning developed the MMS 8th Grade Band into one of only a handful of Superior Grade IV middle school bands in the state.

During his eight year tenure at East Henderson High School he developed the East High Symphonic Band into a Grade VI band program that consistently earned Superior ratings at the North Carolina State Concert Band Festival and was recognized as one of the top band programs in the Western District of North Carolina.

Mr. Lanning has served in many District and State Band offices throughout his career.  He has served as District Chairman in both the Western District of the NC Bandmasters Association and the Northwest District of the NC Bandmasters Association.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association on two different occasions.  Other professional affiliations include Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Beta Mu Professional Band Fraternity, NAFME, and NCMEA.  He was elected into membership of the prestigious American School Band Directors Association in 1992.  Mr. Lanning has presented several Clarinet Clinics throughout the years, including clinics with Dr. David Kirby at the 2007 and 2008 NCMEA Conferences.  Mr. Lanning is very active as an adjudicator and clinician, having judged bands and directed honors ensembles in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.  He is also very active as a clarinet clinician and band consultant.

Mr. Lanning is the only band director in North Carolina to have ever won the prestigious Award of Excellence in two different districts (Western District in 1987 and Northwest District in 2010) and to have served as a District Chairman in two different districts during his career.  He was selected as the Mars Hill College Band Alumni of the year in 1997.  His peers also voted him as the 2010 Band Director of the Year for Forsyth County.

Mr. Lanning resides in Advance, NC with his lovely wife Cindy and two beautiful children, Caleb (18) a Freshmen Music Major at UNC-G, and Kaylee (15) a Sophomore flute player at Davie High School.

Joe F. Phelps
Nominated by John Enloe
Joe F. Phelps earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond. He has also studied at the University of North Texas, Denton; the University of Miami, Miami, Florida; and the University of Oklahoma, Norman.

Phelps studied with William Adam at Indiana University for his undergraduate work and on a continuing basis for more than thirty years. His other influential teachers were David Ritter (University of Central Arkansas), John Haynie (University of North Texas), Fred Peterson (Eastern Kentucky), and Gil Johnson (University of Miami).

While teaching band in the public schools of Arkansas and Indiana, Phelps played with the Fort Smith Symphony, the South Bend Symphony, and the Elkhart Symphony and soloed with the University of Notre Dame Concert Band. He also played with the South Bend Symphony Brass Quintet and was an orchestra member of the Domaine School for Orchestral Conductors and Players, of the Western Piedmont Symphony, and of the North Carolina Symphony during their summer residences in Boone.

After coming to Appalachian State University in 1971, Phelps taught trumpet for 30 years and continues to teach part-time. For the first 16 years that he was at Appalachian State, he directed the Symphonic Band and the Marching Mountaineers. During that time the marching band grew from 80 to more than 220 members and became known as North Carolina’s Band of Distinction. Phelps also started and directed the Trumpet Choir. In addition, he played in faculty brass ensembles and has been a soloist with the University Orchestra, with the University Wind Ensemble, and with many high school bands throughout the state. Phelps is a member of the
International Trumpet Guild.

Phelps has had articles and reviews published in the North Carolina Music Educator, the Band Directors Guide, and the International Trumpet Guild Journal. His book, So You Want to be a Trumpet Player, was published in 2002.

Among the awards and honors Phelps has received from Appalachian State are the Chancellor’s Award of Merit, the Distinguished Service Award from the Appalachian Alumni Association, and the Outstanding Teacher Award in the School of Music for 2001.

Phelps is married to Anne Dodd, an Appalachian State graduate and a retired teacher. The Phelpses (July 2004) moved outside
of Boone in July 2004 to Zionville, NC. After 30 years in town, they are enjoying a mountain view.