Lance honored with inaugural award

Mississippi State University Director of Bands Elva Kaye Lance is being honored with the first Edythe McArthur Outstanding Director Award.

Given by the Mississippi Bandmasters Association during its recent state clinic in Natchez, the honor is a memorial to the longtime state band director who died in 2009. It recognizes outstanding women in the field.

"Edythe McArthur was my teacher, my mentor and my friend," Lance said. "Her knowledge of the instruments and her demanding style has challenged and supported me throughout my career."

Appointed 2002, Lance is the first woman among eight Famous Maroon Band directors in the program's more than 100-year-long history. She also is the only female serving currently as director of bands at a Southeastern Conference university.

A music educator for the past 35 years, she also conducts the wind ensemble, teaches methods classes and assists with student-teacher supervision in the MSU music department. Additionally, she serves regularly as a clinician and adjudicator for concert and marching band events throughout the country.

A 1976 MSU graduate and former Famous Maroon Band member, Lance was a selection for Who's Who and Hall of Fame as an undergraduate. She also is a Southern Oregon University graduate.

McArthur is considered among state pioneers in the field of instrumental music education. Entering the profession at a time when very few women were teaching band, she became recognized for her vast fundamental knowledge of the instruments and literature.

She and her husband, John, developed bands in several Mississippi communities, including a long and successful tenure in the Starkville schools.

Margaret Kovar | University Relations

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