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2016 Award Winners Announced

The Midwest Clinic is pleased to announce the 2016 Award Winners. To view our complete history of award recipients, please click here.

Medal of Honor Award 

The Medal of Honor was introduced in 1962 as a way to honor conductors, educators, composers, and others whose unique service to music education and continuing influence on the development and improvement of bands and orchestras deserve special recognition.

James F. Keene
Director of Bands Emeritus
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 5:30 pm
Skyline Ballroom 375AB

James F. Keene retired from the University of Illinois in 2008, where he held the titles of Director of Bands and Brownfield Distinguished Professorship in Music. Appointed in 1985, he was only the fourth to hold the Director of Bands position since 1905. In addition to chairing a band program which annually enrolled over 900 students, his responsibilities included conducting the Illinois Wind Symphony, as well as teaching graduate courses in conducting, rehearsal techniques and wind band literature . During his 23-year tenure at Illinois, the Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony, under his direction, were selected to present performances for multiple conventions of the Music Educators National Conference, College Band Directors National Association and The American Bandmasters Association .  His ensembles have toured throughout the U.S. and Great Britain, and performed in several of America's most prestigious concert halls including several appearances at historic Orchestra Hall in Chicago, as well as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York . Under his direction, the Illinois Wind Symphony and Symphonic Bands produced an extensive recording series on several U.S. Labels and was featured on the Masterpiece Series distributed by EMI -Toshiba of Japan. These recordings have been broadcast on National Public Radio in the U.S., as well as such diverse places as the United Kingdom, Tokyo, Sydney, Warsaw, Tel Aviv and recently on Vatican Radio.

Prof. Keene is Past-President of The American Bandmasters Association and a Past-President of The National Band Association. Additionally, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the historic Goldman Memorial Band of New York City as well as serving as a frequent guest conductor. For several years he was chairman of the ABA/Ostwald Composition Contest and was a member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Band Research. He was an inaugural Trustee of the Foundation for Music Education and served on the Board of Directors of the John Philip Sousa Foundation.

Prof. Keene is an Evans Scholar, Past-President of the Champaign Rotary Club, and a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation. In 1993, he was named honorary member of the Board of Directors of the International Percy Grainger Society and was presented with the coveted Grainger Medaillion in recognition of his noted performances of Grainger's music on four continents. In 2002, he was named Honorary Life Member of The Texas Bandmasters Association, only the fifth person so honored in their 65 year history.  In 2009, he was installed into the Bands of America Hall of Fame in Indianapolis, Indiana. He holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma and , Phi Mu Alpha and was inducted into the Alpha Chapter (Texas) of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters honorary fraternity in 1980 . In December, 2013, Professor Keene was presented with the International Outstanding Bandmaster of the Year by Phi Beta Mu at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago .

Professor Keene earned degrees from The University of Michigan, where his major professors included Dr. William D. Revelli, Elizabeth Green and Larry Teal. Previous to his appointment at The University of Illinois, Professor Keene taught at several levels, including building nationally recognized programs at East Texas State University (now Texas A and M- Commerce) and at The University of Arizona. He continues to be in constant demand as conductor, clinician,and adjudicator of bands and orchestras, appearing in those capacities in forty-four states and on four continents. Guest conducting engagements have included all four of the Washington D.C. based U.S. military bands, the Australian Royal Navy Band on multiple occasions, Tokyo Metropolitan Police Band, and La Banda dell'Esercito Italiano (Army Band of Italy). In 2006, he served a two-week residency with the Singapore Armed Forces Band, culminating in a gala concert at The Victorian Concert Hall . He was also featured clinician in the 2004 Band Conductors Convention of the Singapore Ministry of Education , and since 2005 has served as advisor and clinician to The Chengdu (China) International Youth Music Festical. He has conducted community bands as diverse as the Dublin (Ireland) Concert Band and Sacrofano (Italy)Community Band as well as community and municipal bands throughout the U.S.  His university engagements have included conducting appearances with wind ensembles and orchestras throughout the United States, as well as universities in Asia, Australia, Canada and Europe. Additionally, he has held university Visiting Artist chairs , sabbatical replacement and residencies . Professional ensemble appearances range in scope over the years from the Goldman Band of New York City  to groups such as The Australian Wind Orchestra in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth , to name a few . In addition to his longtime association with Australian Winds, he was a regular guest conductor of the Melbourne Youth Music Summer Wind Orchestra, culminating with concerts in Melbourne Town Hall . He was also engaged to serve as featured clinician for the Australian Band and Orchestra (ABODA) Conducting School in 2015 . He continues to enjoy a busy schedule as clinician, lecturer, adjudicator and guest conductor with engagements scheduled into 2019.

Candido Camero

Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 7:00 pm
Ballroom W196

So well known and respected, his first name alone -- Candido -- is all that is necessary for jazz aficionados to know who he is. Credited with being the first percussionist to bring conga drumming to jazz, Candido Camero is also known for his contributions to the development of mambo and Afro-Cuban jazz. Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1921, Camero first began making music as a young child, beating rhythms on empty condensed milk cans in place of bongos. He worked for six years with the CMQ Radio Orchestra, was recording with legendary Cuban bandleader Machito and working at the famed Cabaret Tropicana.

Candido came to the United States in 1946 with the dance team Carmen and Rolando, and very soon after was playing with Billy Taylor, who wrote in 1954, "I have not heard anyone who even approaches the wonderful balance between jazz and Cuban elements that Candido demonstrates.” By the early 1950s, Camero was a featured soloist with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, with whom he toured the U.S. playing three congas (at a time when other congueros were playing only one) in addition to a cowbell and guiro (a fluted gourd played with strokes from a stick). He created another unique playing style by tuning his congas to specific pitches so that he could play melodies like a pianist. He became one of the best known congueros in the country, appearing on such television shows as the Ed Sullivan Show and the Jackie Gleason Show.

He has recorded and performed with seemingly everybody in the jazz field, including such luminaries as Tony Bennett, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, Slide Hampton, Lena Horne, Charles Mingus, Wes Montgomery, Gerry Mulligan, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, and Dinah Washington to name just a few. Candido also enjoyed success during the disco era of the 1970s, most notably with the Babatunde Olatunji penned track "Jingo" from his Dancin' and Prancin' album, which he recorded for Salsoul Records in 1979. The album has also been acknowledged as an influence and precursor to house music, predating the emergence of the genre by over 5 years.

Among his many awards are the Latin Jazz USA Lifetime Achievement Award (2001) and a special achievement award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers as a "Legend of Jazz" (2005). The subject of the 2006 documentary, Candido: Hands of Fire, Camero (in his 90s) continues to perform throughout the world. Camero was honored with the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2008.

Music Industry Award 

The Music Industry Award was introduced in 1991 to honor individuals for their support of music education through their work in the music industry. 

Denny Senseney
Senseney Music
Board of Directors Emeritus
The Midwest Clinic

Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 8:15 am
Skyline Ballroom 375AB

Denny Senseney enjoyed a career in music education and the music products industry spanning 40 years.  He earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Music Education from Wichita State University, and began his career as a Band Director in Kansas public schools from 1969 – 78.  He subsequently founded Senseney Music, a full-line retail music operation in Wichita serving school music programs throughout Kansas and the Midwest, selling the business and retiring in 2008.  

Denny greatest satisfaction has been in working alongside dedicated teachers, associates, industry thinkers, and friends in service to music educators, their students and communities.  Much of his career has been spent in activities to ensure student access to a high quality music education programs in public schools. 

The National Association of Music Merchants presented Denny with the inaugural Music Education Advocacy Award in 2007.  Music Inc. bestowed National Retail Excellence Awards to Senseney Music in 1996, 2000, 2002, and 2005.  In 2008, the Retail Print Music Dealers Association presented him with the “Dorothy Award” for lifetime achievement, and he was elected an Emeritus Member of the Midwest Clinic Board in 2014. 

Over the past 4 decades Denny has been privileged to serve as President of the Retail Print Music Dealers Association and the National Association of School Music Dealers; for two terms on the Board of Directors of National Association of Music Merchants; and for 18 years as a Board Member and Treasurer of the Midwest Clinic.  He also enjoyed serving as a trustee of VanderCook College of Music and Wichita State University. 

Denny and his wife Erlene, reside in Wichita, Kansas and Estes Park, Colorado.  They have two grown children, Todd (wife Melinda) and Abby.  

It has been a highlight of his life to be associated with the Midwest Clinic and the men and women of its Board of Directors.  Many deep friendships were developed during those years.  The honor of this recognition is deeply appreciated.