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Dennis FIsher - Class of 2020

Dennis Fisher retired from the faculty at the University of North Texas in 2019 after 37 years. He began his teaching career in the public schools in Kansas in 1971, teaching there for 11 years before coming to UNT. While at UNT he conducted the Symphonic Band, was Associate Director of Wind, and Professor of Music in Conducting and Ensembles. Upon his retirement, he was awarded the designation of Professor Emeritus at the University of North Texas.

Fisher has a wide variety of experience and expertise as a conductor, arranger, clinician, and consultant. He has conducted extensively and lectured in 34 states along with international appearances in Singapore, Thailand, Japan, China, Great Britain, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Greece, Brazil, Cuba, and Russia. In 2006, Fisher was appointed principal guest conductor of the Volga Band, Professional Wind Band in Saratov, Russia, and continues to serve in that capacity. Other guest conducting has been with our premier military bands including the United States Navy Band, the United States Air Force Band, the Army Field Band.

Fisher has recorded extensively on the Mark, Klavier, GIA and Eurosound labels with the University of North Texas Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony. He is Co-Author of
Teaching Music Through Performance in Beginning Band, Volume 2 and has been a contributing author of teaching guides for the series. Fisher recently collaborated with composer David Gillingham to co-author Beyond the Chorale, a comprehensive warm-up series for band, published by C Alan Publications. He is also co-author of A Guide to Student Teaching in Band published by GIA Publications. Additionally, he served as recording and editing producer of the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series compact disc recordings and producer of Volumes 1, 2 and 3 of the Master Conductor DVD series. Fisher and the CD recordings of the UNT Symphonic Band received entry inclusions for Grammy Awards over twelve times.

His involvement in recordings for band includes producing and editing more than 150 compact disc recordings for college, university, military and professional bands across the United States. Among those ensembles are the United States Air Force Band, the Air Force Band of the Rockies, the Denver Brass, University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, University of Texas at El Paso, Drake University, Ouachita Baptist University, and numerous others.

Fisher was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with numerous influential composers and guest artists throughout his career. Among those composers and artists were Karel Husa, Julie Giroux, Bill Conte, Ira Hearshen, David Gillingham, David Holsinger, John Bourgeous, Martin Mailman, Christian Lindberg, James Walker, Ryan Anthony, Alan Baer, James Stephenson, James Barnes, Donald Grantham, Frank Ticheli, Jack Stamp, and many others.

Fisher holds professional memberships in the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He has been honored by being elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and with invited membership in Phi Beta Mu National Band Fraternity. He currently is co-chair of the Sousa/Ostwald Composition Committee of ABA. He is Past-President of the Southwest Division of the College Band Directors National Association.

In 2008, Fisher was awarded the Gagarin Medal of Honor from the Society of Cosmonauts of the Russian Federal Space Agency. In December 2017, he received the Outstanding International Contributor Award from Phi Beta Mu, International Band Fraternity. He has also been honored by being awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Texas Bandmasters Association for contributions to the field of music education and to bands. In 2018, he was honored to be inducted into the Frank A. Beach Hall of Other Distinction at his alma mater, Emporia State University. Other honors include twice being named “Top Prof” by the Mortarboard Society at UNT, a recipient of the University of North Texas Community Award, and named to Who’s Who in America.
He and his wife Janet celebrated their 50
th wedding anniversary in 2019. They are the parents of three children, all with very successful careers, and they have twelve grandchildren. They will continue to live in retirement in Denton.

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