Dr. James Croft

Induction: February 7, 2004

James Croft received the BME degree from Cornell College, an MA from Northern Iowa
University, and his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He taught for twenty-one years
in the public schools in Iowa and Wisconsin, the last eighteen of which were spent in Oshkosh,
Wisconsin, where his groups were invited to appear at numerous state, regional, and national
conventions, clinics, and festivals. In 1972, he joined the faculty of the University of South
Florida as Director of Bands, remaining there until assuming a position as Professor of Music at
Florida State University in 1980. He became Director of Bands at FSU in 1981. He retired from
the faculty in the summer of 2003, after taking the FSU Wind Orchestra to perform for the World
Association of Symphonic Band Ensembles convention in Sweden. Widely sought as a guest
conductor, lecturer, adjudicator, and clinician, he has appeared in forty-six states, Europe, Great
Britain, Mexico, Canada, Israel, and Australia. These appearances include the National Music
Camp (Interlochen), the Royal Academy of Music (London), the Royal Marine School of Music
(Portsmouth), the Central Army Orchestra (Budapest), the Ensemble Barrundeum (Prague), the
Royal Central Air Force Band (London), the Matan Music Camp (Israel), conducting symposia
at the University of Calgary and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the Band Conductors Art
(University of Michigan), The Art of Wind Band Teaching (University of Minnesota), the British
Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles, the World Association of Symphonic
Band Ensembles, and the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago). He
annually serves on the conducting faculty of Canford (England) School of Music. A past
president of both the National Band Association and the College Band Directors National
Association, he also serves as a Contributing Editor for The Instrumentalist, and as a Consulting
Editor for Research Perspectives in Music Education. He is an elected member of the American
Bandmasters Association and Phi Beta Mu. In 1966-67, The School Musician selected him as
one of the nation's ten outstanding music educators. Both Cornell College and the University of
Oklahoma have recognized him as a distinguished alumnus. In 1997, he received a Florida State
University Teaching Award, and was recognized as the University Educator of the Year. He is the
recipient of the Makovsky Memorial Award and the Distinguished Service Medal, from Kappa
Kappa Psi; the Florida Collegiate Educator of the Year award from the Florida Music Educators
Association; the Mid-West Clinic's Medal of Honor; and was inducted into the Florida
Bandmasters Association Roll of Distinction in 2002. Dr. Croft has shared his life, his career, and
his abundant successes with his beautiful wife, Diana.