IWBC Awards  

    8th International Women’s Brass Conference: Cincinnati, Kentucky June 2014

    IWBC Pioneer Awardee

    Acknowledged as the first woman trumpeter in a major symphony orchestra, Marie Speziale retired from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in November of 1996 after having served as its Associate Principal Trumpet for thirty-two years (1964-1996). A graduate of the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ms. Speziale studied with Robert Price, Robert Braunagel, Eugene Blee and Arnold Jacobs. Her tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra included playing Associate Principal Trumpet with the Cincinnati Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati May Festival Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Ms. Speziale  performed under the batons of Igor Stravinsky, George Szell, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Eugene Ormandy, Eric Leinsdorf and Max Rudolf. Her very extensive performance experience also includes solo appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Duke Ellington, and with Dave Brubeck on the Johnny Carson NBC Tonight Show.  In addition she also performed solos on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra European tour, and at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

    Since retiring from the orchestra, she has remained active as a performer, teacher and clinician. She has served as Visiting Principal, Associate Principal and Second Trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, including their European tour, Carnegie Hall concerts and their recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. She has toured with DIVA (the women’s jazz band) and the Florida Symphony Orchestra. She performs with the Monarch Brass Quintet and Monarch Brass Ensemble, which she also conducted at the 1997 International Women’s Brass Conference. She has flown to California to do studio recordings for the television series Star Trek: Voyager, at Paramount and 20th Century Fox studios.  Ms. Speziale has been active as a clinician in numerous conferences in Europe, Japan and throughout the United States. She was a featured guest artist at the 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2003 International Women’s Brass Conferences as well as the 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2014 International Trumpet Guild Conferences. She has served as artist faculty at the 1998, 1999 and 2000 Summit Brass Mendez Institute, performing with Summit Brass, coaching ensembles, presenting master classes and conducting brass orchestral repertoire reading sessions. In 1999, she was one of six Americans (and the only woman) to be invited by the Tokyo International Music Festival to perform in its first Super World Orchestra. Ms. Speziale also served as adjudicator for the National Trumpet Competitions held at George Mason University in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004. From 1979 to 2002 she was Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and was Professor of Music at Indiana University from 1999 to 2002.

    In 2002 Ms. Speziale stepped down as President of the International Women’s Brass Conference and now serves on its Board of Directors. She has served on Board of Directors of the Northern Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and on the editorial committee of the American Music Teacher, the official journal of the Music Teachers National Association. A member of the American Federation of Musicians, Ms. Speziale has served as secretary and on the board of the directors of Local #1 in Cincinnati, OH. She is a member of the International Trumpet Guild, Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Lambda and Cincinnati MacDowell Society. She has won many awards and honors, including Leading Women in the Arts Award from the Greater Cincinnati Coalition of Women’s Organizations, the Outstanding Woman of the Year in Music Award from the Tampa Tribune and the Sigma Alpha Iota National Leadership award. Ms. Speziale has been a brass coach and has served on the audition adversity training panel with the New World Symphony. In 2005 she was invited to conduct their brass ensemble in their first concert of the season. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 she served on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Opera Theatre and Music Festival in Lucca, Italy. She conducted the brass choir, taught brass orchestral repertoire classes and served as brass chamber music coach. Ms. Speziale performs regularly with the Houston Grand Opera and frequently with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Houston Ballet Orchestra.


      IWBC Beacon Awardees

      Lois U. Wiggins, Band Director at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School in Lexington KY, has taught instrumental music for 29 years in Kentucky, Tennessee & Indiana. Ms. Wiggins received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree from Austin Peay State University, Clarksville TN., a Masters in Music Education degree from the University of Georgia, Athens GA. and a Rank I in Secondary Education, from Western Kentucky University. Past positions include Band Director- Daviess County High School, Owensboro KY, Band Director- North Middle School. Ms. Wiggins is currently serving KMEA as State Band Chair as well as Band Content Area Leader for Fayette County Public Schools. Lois is currently a member of the Lexington Brass Band and a former member of the Evansville Symphonic Band. Ms. Wiggins is Co-Conductor of the Central Kentucky Youth Repertory Orchestra. Ms. Wiggins has conducted honor bands in Tennessee and Kentucky and has served as an adjudicator at Concert Band, Marching Band and Solo & Ensemble Festivals throughout Tennessee & Kentucky. Wiggins has also served as a clinician at the KMEA In service Conference and the Tapestry Multicultural Conference. Professional affiliations include: Phi Beta Mu Band Masters Fraternity, National Band Masters Association, Women Band Directors National Association, Sigma Alpha Iota & Phi Delta Kappa. Lois U. Wiggins was recognized as “Outstanding Young Band Director in Kentucky” by Phi Beta Mu in 1992 and “Outstanding Bandmaster in 2010.  She was selected “Middle School Teacher of the Year” in the Second District KMEA 1996 & 1999. Ms. Wiggins was named KMEA Middle School Teacher of the year in 2000.


        Tanya M. Bromley received her Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Eastern Kentucky University, and her Master of Music Education (minor in Trumpet Performance) from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. Bromley taught instrumental and vocal music in Kentucky public schools for twenty-seven years. From 1997-2003 she was Assistant Band Director of the Tates Creek High School Bands, Lexington, Kentucky.  In addition, she has taught brass methods, instrumental methods, and student teaching supervision at the university level. She currently supervises student teachers at Morehead and teaches brass master classes and lessons in the Lexington area. Bromley has served in several leadership capacities in the Kentucky Music Educators Association, including band chair of District 6, President of CKMEA (District 7-11), and member of the KMEA State Board of Directors. She has severed as President of the Kentucky Chapter of Phi Beta Mu and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kincaid Regional Theater, Falmouth, Kentucky. She frequently serves as a guest clinician and adjudicator for band festivals, honor bands, and camps throughout the state.


          Mary Scaggs received a Bachelor of Music Education from University of Kentucky, a Master of Music from University of Cincinnati and a Rank I in Music and Drama from the Kentucky Department of Education’s Continuing Education Option.  She has been teaching elementary music in the Northern Kentucky area since 1986 and is currently teaching in Fort Thomas, KY at three elementary schools. She instructs students in grades K – 5 and is the Fort Thomas Children’s Choir Director. Scaggs is completing a three-year position as Kentucky’s chairperson for NAfME’s Music in the Schools Month, is KMEA District 6 President and is a student teacher supervisor for Northern Kentucky University. Scaggs received the Kentucky Music Educators Association “Elementary Music Teacher of the Year” award in 2005, along with numerous other awards throughout her career.


            Performer and conductor Jo-Ann Christen received her Bachelors of Arts in Music Education from Montclair State University, and her Masters in Bass Trombone Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Principal trombone teachers include James Hartmann (Baltimore Symphony), Ed Erwin (New York Philharmonic), Ward Moore (New Jersey Symphony), John Clark (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), and Arnold Fromme (American Brass Quintet).  On trombone, Christen has performed with the New Jersey Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera Orchestra, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Northwest Chamber Orchestra. As a conductor she has been a student of Erik Leidzen, Eric Ball, Vernon Post, Melvin Strauss, Emil Kahn and William Clark.  Christen was Founding Director and Conductor of the Mid-Summer Musical Retreat, and has conducted the Seattle Civic Band, Rainbow City Band, Rain City Symphony, Boeing Concert Band and Orchestra.  In addition to performing and conducting, Christen has remained active in music education, teaching vocal and instrumental music at all levels, and has had students placed at Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin College Conservatory, and many more.  Christen has been active as a Salvation Army Band musician, and is in her thirtieth year conducting the Rain City Women’s Chorus in Seattle, a group she founded in 1984.


              IWBC Circle of Excellence Awardees

              Sylvia Greenstein, of Hackekensack, NJ, served in the WAC band from 28 September 1943 to 6 February 1946. She was among those performing at New York ports when soldiers departed and returned and she was there to welcome home the soldiers, who were prisoners in German POW camps. She says she had fun in the band. Not all of it was a hardship, but a lot of it was, such as playing on the pier when the soldiers came off the ship on stretchers and wheels chairs. Fun at the pier was meeting somebody you knew going off to war and coming home.  Her most fond memories are from playing on the ship that brought back the POW’s from Germany. The band usually stood on the pier, but this time, they were invited on the ship by the Captain. She recalls one man who never came up on the ship all during the voyage home.  Apparently he was badly disfigured from being burned when his plane went down, so they assumed. When he heard that the WAC band was playing on the ship, he came up. Sylvia didn’t sleep for two weeks after that.

              Sylvia  was born in Bayonne, NJ and brought up in a small town of NJ — Carteret.  Carteret was a small industrial town between Perth Amboy and Rahway located in the center of the state of NJ.  Sylvia graduated from Carteret High School where she was a member of the high school band.  In her senior year, she played in the state solo contest and was given second rating.  One of the judges was Arthur Pryor, the composer of “The Whistler and his Dog.”  She graduated in the year 1940.  Hadn’t touched the baritone again until she was in the WAC band. Sylvia said the WAAC was formed in 1942, but she  was too young to join.  The age at that time was 21 and she was only was 20.  At that time, a neighbor brought over a newspaper article saying the army needed musicians.  All they had to do was play.  So she said she would join but she was too young.  Never having been away from home, she was scared to death to go.  She prayed the war would be over before she reached her 21st birthday.  In the meantime, Sylvia kept telling everyone she was going to join the Army!  The age limit was lowered to 20 the month before her 21st birthday.  Her neighbor came over to tell her she could now join.  Sylvia said she waited all this while, and will wait until she was 21  — still praying the war would be over (life was so different in her youth than it is today).

              The war was not over, and since she told everyone she was going to join, she did. There was a big ceremony when she went in.  They saved a great number of them up and they were sworn in at Rockefeller Center.  Sylvia was standing in front of the fountain and getting all wet during the swearing in.  She knew she was being sworn into the Army but I did not know she had to be baptized at the same time!!  From there she was put on a train and sent to the 2nd WAC training center in Daytona Beach, FL. and was assigned to a basic training company, and after she finished basic, she was assigned to Band #1 and she play baritone horn.  There were two bands at that training center.  The 401 band was formed. The band director of band #l was M/Sgt. Celia I. Merrill, who was authorized to compose a band from the 2 bands, and then they were sent to Ft. Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY as the 401st. And while she was with the band, it was always the 401st.  Sylvia said being in the Army during WW2 was awesome.  She was extremely proud to walk down the street in the uniform of the US Army, and being a veteran of WW2 is awesome, too.  Sylvia’s vanity license plate reads WW2 WAC.  She says she is just flaunting her pride.  Some of the additional jobs were for recruiting drives, entertaining the wounded soldiers at hospitals, and incidentals such at marching down 6th Ave. when the name of the street was changed to The Avenue of the Americas.  One day when they had off, they were recalled back to play a concert in the general’s back yard because his wife was entertaining some ladies. The general was very apologetic and to make up for that, he invited the band to take a cruise on his yacht!!!  Unfortunately Sylvia promised to give a pint of blood and she was called to do it the day the band went on the trip.

                Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeanne Pace, from Tacoma, Washington, planned to enlist in the Air Force, following in the path of her parents and her sister. When she found that the Air Force band sought college-educated musicians. she turned to the Army.  Enlisting in the WAC in July 1972, she began her career with the 14th Army Band (WAC), then the only band assignment open to women.  She has since served in many Army bands, being stationed in Panama, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps at Fort Myer, Va., and Fort Jackson, S.C. Pace was assigned to her current station, Fort Hood, in 2009 to join the III Corps G-1 as the USF-I, J1 executive officer on their recent deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn from 2010 to 2011.  Her awards include two Legion of Merit ribbons, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, six Army Meritorious Service medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, Joint Service Achievement Medal, four Army Achievement Medals, four Army Good Conduct Medals, three National Defense Service Medals, Iraqi Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal, and a Superior Unit Award. She has also been awarded the Infantry Order of Saint Maurice, has received the Adjutant General’s Corps Horatio Gates Gold Medal twice, and now the DAR Margaret Cochran Corbin Award. Forty-one years have passed since Pace joined the Army, and she is still serving the nation. In her words, “I believe I still have something to offer and I still enjoy my job.”

                  Born and raised on a farm outside of Griswold, Iowa, at the age of eighteen trombonist Dixie Jensen enlisted in the Army in 1960, completing basic training at Fort McClellan, in Anniston, Alabama. Since this was during the time the Army did not formally train female musicians (the males received six months of training), her musical training was limited to her school bands where she started on trombone in the fourth grade. Her high school band director recognized her talent and spent many a happy hour playing duets with her and challenging her musically. She remained stationed at Ft McClellan for the next sixteen years of her career, playing with the 14th Army Band (WAC), also known as the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) Band. She retired in 1983 after twenty-three years of service. Her various tours of duty included being the first female First Sergeant/Enlisted Band Leader of a band other than the WAC Band. After retiring Dixie completed a bachelor’s degree and went to work for The Boys and Girls Club, staying for over twelve years. In 2004 Dixie organized a reunion of women who served in the WAC Band, noting “It was amazing when we held the first reunion…such wonderful teamwork, no matter whether we had been in the band during the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s.” Still an active performer in her seventies, Dixie performs in the Calhoun County Community Band and is organizing the next WAC Band reunion for 2014. The reunions conclude with a concert by the WAC Band open to the public and attended by people from all over the United States –and Dixie still leads her trombone section.

                  The Women’s Army Corps (WAC) bands began in WWII with five all female bands, the 400th through the 404th Army Service Forces (ASF) Bands. The 404th ASF band was classified as “Colored,” and was the only non-white women’s military band formed during the war.  While all the women’s bands faced some ridicule and discrimination at times, the African American band faced special challenges.  Please visit the Pioneer Display this week at the conference for more information on this and all the bands.  After WWII ended, the bands were all deactivated. In 1948 the 400th ASF Band was reactivated and designated the 14th Army Band (WAC), stationed at Ft Lee, VA. When the Army moved the WAC Center and School from Ft Lee to Ft McClellan, AL in 1954 the WAC Band moved to its permanent and final station. The 14thArmy Band was integrated with men in 1976 and the designation WAC dropped from the title. The last person to sign in to the WAC Band was named Robert and he is considered a member of the WAC Band. The WAC Band was the longest lasting of all female military bands, and it’s members are a special sisterhood.


                    About IWBC Awards

                    PIONEER AWARD

                    At each conference, beginning with the first in 1993, the IWBC has recognized women who have been pioneers in the top levels of brass performance, breaking down barriers and living their lives effecting change for those who have followed. Each awardee’s career and spirit exemplify the goals and traditions of the IWBC.

                    BEACON AWARD

                    The Beacon Award was first introduced at the 2014 conference, and given to women who have been beacons of light for those around them, both in the fields of performance and education.  These women influence so many generations of musicians through their careers sharing the art of performance, and standing for the values of equity, perseverance, and excellence.

                    CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

                    At the 2014 conference a special group of women who made an important impact on the lives of many were honored. These women answered the call of our nation, and beginning in World War II served our country as musicians.  When it became clear that the war was going to involve the service of all available men, the United States government enlisted women to take over many jobs on the home front.  Playing music was one of those jobs.  Bands were formed in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.  Shortly after the war, the Air Force also formed a band of women.  While most of these women served only for the duration of the war years, some bands remained active.  The women’s band programs concluded in the 1970s. The Circle of Excellence Award is given to all women from all services who served as musicians during and after World War II.  The IWBC salutes their service. The biographies of three women who served, and attended the 2014 conference are included here.


                    The Lifetime Achievement Award was first introduced at the 2014 IWBC conference, and is given to honor those who have achieved a high level of success in the field of music, through a career dedicated to the highest level of performance, education and outreach. The life work of these women has touched so many generations of audiences, students, and fellow musicians through their careers sharing the art of music. Our Lifetime Achievement Awardees are outstanding examples of dedication, professionalism and integrity.

                    PRESIDENT’S AWARD

                    The IWBC President’s Award honors those who have been steadfast supporters of our activities and mission on this our twenty-fifth anniversary. We salute these award winners for showcasing true professionalism, and living their lives with a dedication to equality and service. 


                    The Susan Slaughter Award for Leadership is being presented for the first time at our 2017 conference, to a true legend in the field of music. Marin Alsop has been a champion of equality, and her career sets the highest example of professionalism and outreach. This award is given by IWBC Founder Susan Slaughter in grateful appreciation for a career spent making a difference for women in music through a lifetime of service.


                    The Penny Turner Young Artist Award launched in the spring of 2018. The award is a scholarship competition created by IWBC Board Member Ginger Turner in honor of her late mother, Penny Turner. The competition is open to all female brass players between the ages of 12-18; their music teachers or private instructors may nominate competitors.  


                    If you’d like to nominate someone for recognition, please submit your nomination to Joanna Hersey at [email protected]