Bands Director David Rox Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The last concerts of the semester tend to have an air of celebration and accomplishment. This spring’s Pops Concert carried that tone, but with greater intensity as Dr. David W. Rox (pictured above, left), director of bands at Gordon College, was honored with the Christman Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England College Band Association (NECBA) in recognition of his significant contributions to the work of wind bands in New England.

The award was presented to Dr. Rox by two distinguished conductors from other New England institutions, Max Culpepper of Dartmouth College and Douglas Nelson (pictured above, right) of Keene State College, during the Pops Concert at Gordon on May 3. Culpepper and Nelson are fellow members of the NECBA, of which Dr. Rox is past president.

Dr. Rox has been lending his considerable talents to educating musicians at Gordon College since 1982—while also conducting bands and orchestras in communities and festivals across New England, and beyond. In 2005, he assumed leadership of NECBA’s selective honors festival, the New England Intercollegiate Band. Hosted at Gordon, the 34-year-old annual festival provides an extraordinary opportunity for students to perform in a college ensemble of the highest caliber.

Provost Janel Curry read a short reflection from one of Dr. Rox’s former students, who describes him as “both mentor and friend to his students. He is quick and witty, and always ready with helpful words of advice. His teaching is concrete, and yet also rather parabolic. You don’t feel as though you’re being lectured, given a list to memorize, or told how to think with David. He has a way of leading, or gently pushing you toward solid reasoning. Sometimes David is so subtle that his student will feel as though the answer simply presents itself. That sort of teaching is evidence of true wisdom.”

From the stage to the classroom, Dr. Rox has taught, coached and mentored thousands of students over the years. His recognition by NECBA was the concert’s perfect grand finale.