Gary Meggs, creator of the jazz program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has been named to the Four States Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.
An induction ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Sullivan Fine Arts Center at Texas High School during the Four States Bandmasters Association annual convention at Texarkana.
The retired director of bands, Meggs still directs UAM’s Jazz Band I, which won nationwide accolades at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival at Chicago and made a performance tour of China.
According to a news release, Meggs started the jazz program in 2002 and by 2007, UAM was the first college or university in Arkansas to offer an undergraduate degree in jazz studies. In 2013, UAM began offering the state’s first master of music degree in jazz studies.
Meggs has toured the world as a guest performer with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
“I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to start a jazz program from scratch and to have the support of our administration through the years,” said Meggs. “I also owe so much to Les Pack (professor of music and director of Jazz Band II), who was a driving force in the growth of our jazz program. I am honored to be recognized by my peers in the Four States Bandmasters Association.”
The association is based in Texarkana, Texas, and is comprised of band directors from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Meggs also revitalized the UAM marching and concert bands, the release said.
“This is a wonderful honor for Mr. Meggs and well deserved,” said Mark Spencer, dean of UAM’s School of Arts and Humanities. “He has had a tremendous impact on the band program at UAM and has earned a reputation nationwide as both an innovator and pioneer in jazz education.”