‘Music is what I was put on the face of this earth to do’
Goheen to be inducted into S.D. Bandmasters’ Hall of Fame
March 22. 2013 9:34AM
“You can take the baton out of a band director’s hand, but you can’t take the love of music out of the band director.”
This isn’t a familiar quote from anyone famous. But had it been, it would have fittingly described Bob Goheen.
“Music is what I was put on the face of this earth to do,” Goheen says.
And it’s that very passion that has earned the Brandon man yet another honor in his career industry – induction into the South Dakota Bandmasters’ Association Hall of Fame. The induction will take place this Saturday during the evening concert of the 63rd annual South Dakota All-State Band at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.
“I’ve been to lots and lots of All State Band programs over the years and watched many of my peers receive this honor, so it’s pretty amazing that now it’s going to be me,” said Goheen, who retired from a 28-year career at Brandon Valley in 2010. “I am honored and humbled to be recognized by my peers and to receive this honor because it was voted on by the band directors from around the state.”
Former colleague at Brandon Valley, band director Kevin Kessler, said Goheen was not only a great mentor to him during their 12 years of sharing an office at BVHS, but to young band directors throughout the state. And that is what inspired Kessler to nominate Goheen for the Hall of Fame award.
“Bob made a huge impact on a lot of kids for a lot of years,” said Kessler, citing his vast involvement in service to music education. “In addition to teaching, he gave a lot of himself to … help improve the climate of music education in South Dakota. His reach was beyond the Brandon Valley School District, and his legacy reaches beyond just one school district.”
Since his retirement, Goheen hasn’t strayed far from music. He’s remained active in judging a variety of music competitions, observing student music teachers and serving as a guest clinician. In the fall months, he’s kept busy judging marching bands in both parade and field competitions in South and North Dakota and Nebraska. From February to April, he’s a judge for solo and ensemble contests and concert bands.
“I’m really in the thick of things right now,” he said minutes before heading off to Flandreau to observe a South Dakota State University student teacher at work. “The judging thing is becoming pretty plentiful but I’m as busy I want to be.”
Goheen literally created his position as a student teacher supervisor at SDSU by pitching the idea on the advice of a friend who does similar work at Luther College.
“I basically created the position and then filled it,” he says. “And it’s been pretty gratifying.”
A third area in music in which Goheen continues to dabble in is working with high school bands. “I’m being asked by some of my peers to come to their schools to work with their bands,” he explains, “mostly in South Dakota and a couple of others in Minnesota.”
Goheen got his start in band in much the same way as most band students. He took up an instrument, percussion in his case, in the fifth grade. He played through high school but didn’t think of becoming a band director until his second day of college when he signed up for marching band.
“The college director was so enthusiastic and positive, and I was received so well by the other percussionists, that I went back to my dorm room and thought, ‘I want to be a band director,’ ” he recalls.
That college director, Dr. Clayton Tiede, has continued to be a mentor him throughout the years, Goheen said.
“I always enjoyed my job and the job of being a band director,’ Goheen said. “It wasn’t just a job for me, it was a lifestyle.”
Bob Goheen’s Accolades
Goheen earned significant recognition during his career as Brandon Valley band director. Among his accolades:
1993: Phi Beta Mu, International Bandmasters’ Fraternity Outstanding Band Director in South Dakota
1998: Brandon Valley Teacher of the Year
2000: One of 50 most influential directors in the United States by School Band and Orchestra magazine
2010: Phi Beta Mu, International Bandmasters’ Fraternity Distinguished Service Award
2013: Induction into South Dakota Bandmasters’ Association Hall of Fame
South Dakota Bandmasters Association board of directors four years and president two years
Member of Music Educators National Conference, Phi Beta Mu music fraternity and South Dakota Bandmasters Association.