On April 28, the Tacoma Concert Band is honoring the retirement of conductor, music director, and founder Robert Musser with a concert called “Celebration!” For 38 years, Musser and the band entertained Pacific Northwest audiences with great music.
Musser is professor emeritus at the University of Puget Sound, where he was director of bands, professor of oboe and saxophone and chairman of winds and percussion for 34 years. He is the founder, music director and conductor of the Tacoma Concert Band, an organization that has gained a national and international reputation for excellence. He is also the former music director and conductor of the Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble. For many years, he performed as principal oboe with the Tacoma Symphony and as a woodwind specialist (playing oboe, English horn, flute, clarinet and saxophone) throughout the Puget Sound area. Among his many awards are the National Band Association Citation of Excellence, election into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association (an honorary organization for distinguished band conductors), the Diploma of the Sudler Order of Merit of the John Philip Sousa Foundation, and election into the Washington Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. He has conducted numerous regional and state festivals and honor bands and appeared as a guest conductor of both bands and orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, China, Russia, and Ukraine. Upon his retirement from the University of Puget Sound, the mayor of Tacoma, on behalf of the City Council, proclaimed April 22, 2005 as Robert Musser Day the City of Tacoma “in celebrating the contributions of this outstanding educator, musician and mentor.”
According to John Falskow, director of instrumental music at Tacoma Community College, “Bob Musser is an icon in local music education and performance. As the music director of Tacoma Concert Band and also the director of bands at UPS, he has had a profound influence on music and music education in our community. The Tacoma Concert Band has provided our community with excellent musicianship and exciting performances for over 35 years! Bob’s leadership has been at the center of the band’s success.” Falskow also noted that, this being Musser’s retirement concert, the band is certain to pull out all the stops and deliver a bang of a performance.