Retiring band director honored

A moving-up ceremony for Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School eighth-graders yielded an unexpected surprise for the school’s retiring band director, Andrew Scott, who recently received a prestigious honor from a national band fraternity.

Scott was recognized and presented with a plaque for earning the Band Master of the Year award. The award is given by Phi Beta Mu, a national band fraternity that honors only one person annually in West Virginia.

Phi Beta Mu member Neil Randolph of Hancock County said Scott earned the award by a wide margin. Randolph said nominations for the award are cast by secret ballot.

“It’s the most prestigious and covetous honor that you can receive in the state of West Virginia if you’re a band director,” Randolph said.

Scott also is a member of the national fraternity. He will be retiring from B-UMS after 37 years.

“This was a total surprise,” Scott said. “The real award goes to the students. The past 37 years have just been exceptional. It’s been a wonderful career.”

Scott said he still will be involved in music even after he retires. He said he will continue to perform with the West Virginia Brass Quartet and possibly seek adjunct positions at a college.

Reflecting on his career, Scott said, “I’ve been able to touch a number of students with the love of music. I’ve been able to teach and mentor some perfect kids with wonderful talent. It’s just been an exemplary band program through the years.”