Happy 92nd Birthday (belated) to Mr. Emery L. "Chief" Fears, one of the towering forces in the history of the American Band Movement and the second African American member elected to the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He was sponsored by ABA Past President, Dr. William P. Foster, of FAMU. Mr. Fears is one of only seven African Americans ever inducted into the ABA (founded in 1929), He is from Tuskegee, AL, attended Howard University and the University of Michigan, where he was a student of the late Dr. William D. Revelli. Mr. Fears was Director of Bands (Emeritus) at Norfolk State University (VA) for nearly four decades. His "Spartan Legion" Marching Band was known for its outstanding sound and great precision. His concert bands were exemplary and well respected by directors all over the country. He retired from Norfolk State in 1991 and has remained active as a judge, woodwind specialist and consultant. The Emery L. Fears Boys Academy, named in his honor, is a christian preparatory school in Washington, D.C. and is a lasting testimony to Mr. Fears character and legacy. In addition to being a well-recognized bandmaster, Mr. Fears is highly regarded in civil rights, human rights and is an education advocate who is deeply rooted in all things beautiful. Bravo, "Chief." MBDNA salutes you on your birthday.
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