KMEA Hall of Fame
Robert Foster
Inducted in 2010
Robert E. Foster is Professor of Music at the University of Kansas, where he served as Director of Bands for 31 years beginning in 1971. He is also the conductor and musical director of the award winning Lawrence City Band. His KU Symphonic Band performed at numerous national and regional conventions, including performances and clinics for Music Educators National Conference, the American Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, and others. The KU Symphonic Band under Foster performed at more MENC conventions than any other group under the same conductor. He continues an active career as a guest conductor, adjudicator, author, composer, arranger, and editor, and has conducted or adjudicated in 37 different states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, and throughout Europe.

Foster is Vice President of the John Philip Sousa Foundation, and is former President of the American Bandmasters Association, the National Band Association, the Southwest Division of the College Band Directors National Association, and the Big Twelve Conference Band Directors Association. He also served as Chairman of the North American Band Directors Coordinating Committee. Foster has been actively involved in the promotion and performances of music by John Philip Sousa, and he worked with The Instrumentalist magazine as guest editor to produce their Sousa Sesquicentennial issue in November, 2004.

In 1988 he was selected as the Kansas Bandmasters Association Bandmaster of the year. In 1989 his KU Marching Band was the 7th band to be awarded the Sudler Trophy for Intercollegiate Marching Bands. In 2001 he was awarded the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award. In 2006 he was inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame for Distinguished Conductors. In 2007 he was presented an Award of Distinction from the Women Band Directors International organization for exceptional support toward women in the band movement, and was selected as the recipient of the 2010 International Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Bandmaster Award.

He has written several books, including: Multiple-Option Marching Band Techniques, and Championship Auxiliary Units, published by Alfred Publishing Co.; Practical Hints For Playing the Cornet or Trumpet, published by Belwin Publishing Co.; and My First Arban , book I and book II (a method book for brass instruments), published by Carl Fischer, Inc. He has written numerous articles for The Instrumentalist magazine as well as for other band/music publications, and has several hundred publications of music for bands or for band instruments. He is editor of the "Authenticated Fillmore Editions" of band works by Henry Fillmore, published by Carl Fischer, and he serves as Educational Consultant to Wingert-Jones Music Publications.

Foster grew up in Texas where his father was a prominent high school band director, and where he was a product of the band movement in Texas. He played in All-District and All-Regional Bands, and he played in seven consecutive TMEA All-State Bands, 1951-1957, before there were restrictions on how early one could audition for those groups. Upon graduating from the University of Texas he taught at O. Henry Junior High School in Austin, and Lamar High School in Houston before joining the faculty of the University of Florida as trumpet teacher, and assistant band director. Foster and his wife Becky have three children, Becky Egan, Rob Foster, Jr., and Randy. He and Becky live in Lawrence, Kansas.