Music Educators Honor Hannum with Lowell Mason Award

Thomas P. Hannum
Thomas P. Hannum

Thomas P. Hannum, associate director of the Minuteman Marching Band, has been named a recipient of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) Lowell Mason Award in recognition of his leadership in music education in Massachusetts.

The award will be presented March 2 at the MMEA All-State Conference in Boston.

The award is named for Lowell Mason, who co-founded the Boston Academy of Music in 1833, which eventually led to the inclusion of music in the regular curriculum of Boston public schools in 1838. Mason was largely responsible for introducing music into American public schools and is considered to be the first important music educator in the United States.

A Lowell Mason Award recipient must have demonstrated outstanding leadership in music education; have made important contributions to music, music education and MMEA; have been a music educator for 15 years; and be a member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

One of the nation’s foremost percussion arrangers, Hannum is renowned for directing the Minuteman Marching Band percussion section, most recently at the 129th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, on Jan. 1. It was the band’s first trip to the West Coast, but Hannum had earlier supervised percussionists and wrote the music for the 300-member Music for All Honor Band performing at the Rose Parade.

He has presented seminars and workshops throughout North America, Europe and Southeast Asia, and in 2017 he brought his percussion performance expertise to Singapore for a six-day residency and concert at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

In 2016, he was honored by NAfME and Music for All with the George N. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education, a national award named for the late director of the Minuteman band with whom Hannum worked closely for 30 years.

He received the UMass Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009 and is director of the UMass Amherst Marimba Band and Marimba Ensemble program.

His many honors include induction into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.