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Monday May 4th, 2015 3:02AM

Northwinds founder, conductor dies

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - The founder and conductor of Gainesville's Northwinds Symphonic Band, Ron Evans, died Saturday at Northeast Georgia Medical Center following an illness.

Evans was born and raised in Ben Hill and Irwin counties in Georgia, according to the band's website.

Upon graduation from Irwin County High School in 1958 he attended the University of Georgia on a music scholarship where he received the Bachelor of Music degree. He held a Master of Music degree from Vandercook College in Chicago, Illinois and a Six-Year Specialist degree from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama.

Evans' teaching experience included 23 years with the Hall County School System, where he developed band and choral programs. His South Hall and Johnson High School bands traveled extensively playing concerts and parades in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York City, Pittsburgh, and Mexico City, Mexico.

Evans held membership in the Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association and Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters fraternity. He was awarded the "Citation of Excellence" twice, once in Pittsburgh, Pa. and again at Troy State University. He also received a special citation from the John Philip Sousa Foundation in recognition of his efforts promoting concert bands in America. In 1998, the Georgia Music Educators Association awarded him its coveted "Distinguished Career Award."

In addition to his career in Hall County, he served as band director of Gainesville High School and Shiloh High School in Gwinnett County. In 2002 - 2004 he served on the Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church, and is currently on the Boards of Directors for the Gainesville Arts Council, and the Gainesville ProMusica Society.

Upon his retirement in 1997, Evans responded to the encouragement of many to reorganize the Wind Symphony, and he formed The Northwinds Symphonic Adult Band. Today's Band has a membership of musicians who volunteer their time and energy to bring the performance of live symphonic band music to the Gainesville, Georgia community.

He was also a longtime member of The Arts Council Board of Directors.
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