Keene, James F. | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Keene, James F.

Historical Note: James Keene (1948- ) retired in 2008 after a distinguished 23 year career (1985-2008) as the Director of Bands at the University of Illinois School of Music, just the fourth person to hold the title since 1905.  During his tenure at the University of Illinois he was awarded the title of Brownfield Distinguished Professor of Music, performed at Carnegie Hall, and conducted the University Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony at major national and international music conferences. Commercial recordings of band concerts that he conducted  have been broadcast on U.S. National Public Radio and internationally on radio programs in Asia, Australia, and Europe. Keene is a Past-President of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA), Big Ten Band Directors Association, and National Band Association. He is one of just six people to be awarded the Honorary Life Membership for the Texas Bandmaster Association. Besides membership in professional and honorary societies, Keene was a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation, serving as president of the Champaign Rotary Club in 1995-1996. He served on the ABA's "The Journal of Band Research" Editorial Board and chairman for the ABA Ostwald Composition Contest. Keene also chaired the University Bands Division Bachelors and Masters of Music programs at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. Keene came to the University of Illinois from directing the band program at University of Arizona (1983-1985) and East Texas State University (1975-1980), after serving as Assistant Director of Bands with the University of Michigan (1973-1975).
Sources: Southwestern Musician, Oct. 2008; 55th Texas Bandmasters Association Convention/Clinic program, 2002;
Note Author: Erica Stiner

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