Frederick Fennell

(July2, 1914-December 7, 2004)

Induction: February 3, 1990

Founder and Conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.  Former Conductor of the University of Miami (Florida) Wind Ensemble.  Recorded 22 commercial albums for Mercury Records.  Known throughout the world as a guest conductor, speaker, and clinician and for his work with the Japanese band movement.  Associate Conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.  Known for his transcriptions of the Sousa marches.  Member of the American Bandmasters Association.

Quick Facts:

Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio

Internationally recognized conductor

Primary figure in promoting the wind ensemble as a performing group

Primary instrument is percussion.  He was a drummer in the fife-and-drum corps at the family’s encampment called Camp Zeke

In the John Adams High School Orchestra, he performed on the kettledrum and served as the drum major

Chosen by famed bandmaster Albert Austin Harding as the bass drummer in the National High School Band in 1931.  Now known as Interlochen Arts Camp

Has played under the baton of John Philip Sousa

First person ever to be awarded a degree in percussion at Eastman School of Music

Studied conducting with Sergei Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in 1942 along with Leonard Bernstein, Lukas Foss, and Walter Hendl

During World War II, Served as the National Musical Advisor in the United Service Organizations

Has made appearances guest conducting ensembles as the Boston Pops Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, United States Marine Band.


The first civilian to conduct an entire concert with the United States Marine Band

Married Elizabeth Ludwig

Has written several books including: “Time and the Winds, a Short History of the Use of Wind Instrument in the Orchestra, Band, and the Wind Ensemble” (1954); “The Drummer’s Heritage, a Collection of Popular Airs and Official U.S Army Music for Fifes and Drums” (1956); “The Wind Ensemble” (1988)