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Dr. Earl Benson

Under the direction of Dr. Earl Benson, performances of the Thomas Jefferson Football Marching Band set the standard for marching bands across the country, including those in our own Lake Conference.  Benson’s bands were known for their sharp turns, Big-Ten sound, innovative routines and crisp look.  Benson and his students produced twenty-six years of excellence on and off the football fields and performed throughout the world.  Invitations to march were issued to three Tournament of Roses Parades, the Fiesta Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, Disneyland, and Disney World.  His bands were invited to play for three United States Presidents.
 
Dr. Benson served as guest conductor/adjudicator throughout Canada and the United States.  His teaching methods were documented in a 1976 international film entitled Bands in American Education.  His research for his doctoral dissertation became a model for assessment procedures in public and private school music programs throughout the nation.
 
Earl began his Bloomington Public Schools teaching career in 1965, and was appointed the Jefferson Director of Bands in 1970.  Earl founded the Bloomington Medalist Band, a community ensemble that maintains a busy concert schedule.  He received the Lake Conference Distinguished Service to Students and Programs Award in 2004.