Northwestern band director to speak at national conference

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Northwestern band director to speak at national conference

 Oscar Stover

Oscar Stover
Dr. Ken Drobnak, assistant professor of fine arts and director of bands at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, will be giving a speech about former Northwestern Band Director Oscar Stover at the upcoming College Band Directors National Association’s National Conference (CBDNA).

The CBDNA will host its annual National Conference March 25-28 in Nashville, Tenn., at Vanderbilt University.  Drobnak has prepared a speech about Stover and his many accomplishments, including his 16 years of service to Northwestern.

Drobnak said he found a 1956 Michigan State University Marching Band Rose Bowl Program and a 1974 Michigan State University Alumni Band program on the third floor of the Fine Arts Building during an instrumental area general cleanup in 2013-14. As he looked closer at the items, he saw the name Oscar Stover, which he knew looked familiar. He did a search online to discover that Stover served at both Northwestern and Michigan State.

He learned that in addition to serving Northwestern for 16 years as director of bands, Stover taught at Coffeyville (Kan.) Public Schools, Coffeyville Junior College, Kansas State Teachers College and Michigan State University.

“Sometime after Mr. Stover retired in 1976, he put together a series of scrapbooks that included pictures, newspaper clippings, programs and other memorabilia from his career,” Drobnak said. “These items were forgotten, if not lost, in the various corners of the Fine Arts Building until last year when the instrumental area began a general cleanup.

“My objective in this session at the conference is to display Stover’s journey as a band director at a small junior college of 500, to national prominence in the Big Ten Conference at the Rose Bowl, and his return to rural surroundings,” Drobnak said. “After retiring in 1976, he remained active at the national level as a clinician and guest artist. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in 1989.”

To see photos from the collection, or for any questions on the presentation, contact Drobnak at (580) 327-8191 or