Former LSU band director Frank Wickes dies in Florida

LSU band director Frank Wickes (Source: WAFB)
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WAFB) - Former LSU band director Frank Wickes has died, LSU officials announced Monday, April 27.

Wickes, 82, led the “Golden Band from Tigerland” from 1980-2010.

“Dr. Wickes was a legendary, larger-than-life figure as Director of Bands,” said Todd Queen, Dean of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts. “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.”

During his tenure, he conducted the LSU Wind Ensemble, taught courses in graduate wind conducting and wind literature, and served as director of the LSU Tiger Marching Band.

He was honored by LSU in 1999 with an endowed Alumni Professorship and again in 2000 with a special recognition from the chancellor.

Under Wickes’ direction, the Tiger Band received the Sudler Trophy in 2002 for a distinguished history of marching and performance excellence. The Tiger band won the “Battle of the Bands” college marching contest sponsored by ESPN, Lucasfilm and Paramount Pictures in 2008. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Educators Hall of Fame in 2009.

Prior to his college teaching career, Wickes taught for fourteen years in the public schools of Delaware and Virginia. His Fort Hunt High School Band of Fairfax County, Virginia, (1967-1973) was honored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation with the Sudler Order of Merit as one of the nation’s most outstanding high school programs for the decades 1960-1980. From 1973-1980 he served as Director of Bands at the University of Florida and in 1976 was named Teacher of the Year in the University of Florida’s College of Fine Arts.

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