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Student Achievements Rise Above Awards and Accolades for Retired Music Educator Richard Victor

Richard Victor’s impact on the State College music community is well known. This retired music educator’s career in State College began in 1975 and have taken him around the globe.

Of his nomination to the Maroon & Gray Society, Victor is grateful. “I am honored to be recognized, especially along with these other great educators!” he said.


An Award-Winning Career

Richard’s 36-year career includes so many highlights, it’s tough to name them all.

“In 1975, I began the High School Jazz Band, before expanding it to two bands at the high school, then into the middle school,” he recalled. “Taking the band on five tours of Europe, with performances at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Disneyland Paris, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, the Jazz a Vienne and Jazz a Juan in France, and the Montreux Jazz Festival, students gained valuable international experiences that compare to none other. We were also selected as finalists four times for the prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition, run by Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center,” he proudly adds.

Richard’s dedication to music education led him to roles of President for both the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) and the Pennsylvania Unit of the National Association of Jazz Educators (PA IAJE), as well as serving as Coordinator of Music for SCASD and guest director for the 2013 PMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble.

He also earned numerous awards, including: the James R. Stewart Distinguished Service Award by PMEA in 2007; the Walter J. DeLacy Excellence in Instruction Award given for Outstanding Service to Public Education in 2008; the Penn State Outstanding Music Educator Award in 2009, of which he was the first ever recipient; and Bandmaster of the Year by the Nu Chapter of Phi Beta Mu in 2011.


Giving Back in Retirement

Today, Richard continues to share his passion, serving as an Adjunct Instructor for the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education Online, teaching courses in Music Program Leadership and Jazz Instruction. He is an instrumental music adjudicator for Music in the Parks, and a clinician for the Conn-Selmber Division of Education. He is also serving as the national chair for the National Association for Music Education Council for Jazz Education.

He also enjoys giving back to his community through music.

“I’m active as a member of the Board of Directors for the State College Choral Society and I frequently serve as a consultant and guest lecturer for the music education programs at State College and Penn State,” he told us.

Even with these awards and accolades, Richard’s most treasured accomplishment is the achievements of his students.

“I enjoy celebrating the successes of my former students – many of whom have told me that the skills they learned in band, particularly in the pursuit of excellence, helped to shape their careers,” he shared.