Friday, May 10th at 6:00pm

The Board of Trustees, Faculty, and Administration of VanderCook College of Music are proud to announce the 2013 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies.

We invite alumni, friends and family to celebrate with us as 29 candidates (listed to the right) are awarded the Bachelor of Music Education degree.  In addition to awarding degrees to these students, is also our distinct pleasure to bestow the Doctor of Music Honoris Causa upon the following distinguished music educators:



Following a distinguished 33-year teaching career, Paula Crider continues to share her passion for making music as guest conductor, lecturer, clinician and adjudicator in the U.S. and abroad. She is Professor Emerita at The University of Texas, where she was twice awarded for distinguished teaching.

Crider has taught in the public schools at all levels, and holds the unique distinction of having been the first female in Texas to serve as director of bands at a class 5-A high school. She presents seminars throughout the U.S. She serves as coordinator for the National Band Association Young Conductor/Mentor Program, is Educational Consultant for Conn-Selmer, and was recently appointed to the Midwest Clinic Board. She is a Past President of the National Band Association and American Bandmasters Association.

Crider has written numerous articles for The Instrumentalist, The Band Director’s Guide, and National Band Association Journal, and manuals for brass techniques, marching band methods and instrumental conducting. She is co-author for the Masterwork Studies series (Hal Leonard) and author of The Conductor’s Legacy (GIA).

Awards and honors include the Tau Beta Sigma/Kappa Kappa Psi “Outstanding Service to Music Award,” Sudler “Legion of Merit,” Women Band Director’s International Rose, Grainger Society Medal, Kappa Kappa Psi Bo Makvosky Memorial Award, National Band Association AWAPA Award, 2004 Texas Bandmaster of the Year, Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame, and Midwest Medal of Honor. She considers her greatest honor to be the privilege of working with all who share a passion for excellence in making music.


WhitwellProfessor John Whitwell, who retired as professor of music and director of Michigan State University Bands, has distinguished himself in the field of music as an educator, clinician, conductor, adjudicator, and author. He earned an associate degree from Rochester College (formerly known as Michigan Christian College), a bachelor’s degree in music education from Abilene Christian University, and a master of music degree from the University of Michigan.

Professor Whitwell began his teaching career in 1965 and held positions as a music teacher, director of bands, and music department chairperson at public schools in Jackson and Ann Arbor. Before joining MSU in 1993, he taught at Stephen F. Austin State University and Abilene Christian University. During his time as director of bands at Michigan State, Professor Whitwell served as chairperson of the conducting area.

As a lecturer, guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, he participated in hundreds of music conferences, state and national music association meetings, workshops, festivals, and music competitions throughout the United States and elsewhere, including England, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and Mexico. Whitwell joined the board of the Midwest Clinic, one of the world’s largest instrumental music conferences, in 1997. His writings have appeared in several music journals and other publications. He is a tireless supporter of the MSU Alumni Band Association and has worked with that organization to commission new works for band. He received MSU’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2003 and the Paul Varg Alumni Award for Faculty from the College of Arts and Letters in 2004.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288