Northwestern State University has named its band rehearsal room in honor of Bill Brent, director of the Mrs. H.D. Dear and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts and director of bands.


Northwestern State University has named its band rehearsal room in honor of Bill Brent, director of the Mrs. H.D. Dear and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts and director of bands.

       The announcement was made at a concert celebrating the “Spirit of Northwestern’s” 100th anniversary.

           This is a tribute to the faculty, staff, students, and alumni who have graced these hallowed grounds over the years and have brought the band to successive levels of its development and fulfillment,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Randall J. Webb. “They would tell you, however, that it is the band director whose overall impact on the program and its success is the most prominent.

           “Of all the fine people who have led the band at Normal or Northwestern, the one with the longest tenure, of over a quarter of a century, is Bill Brent.  He has served faithfully and well and has brought the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band peak levels of participation and performance. As a result, our band has received acclaim throughout Louisiana, our region, and the nation.”

Brent has been at Northwestern for 28 years. In that time, he has built one of the best marching band programs in the South, increasing the number of members from 48 to more than 300. He has also served as conductor of the NSU Wind Symphony which has been chosen to perform at the College Band Directors National Association Southern Regional Conference.

"This was a total surprise and I am truly humbled by this honor,” said Brent.  “I've been so fortunate to work with wonderful students and an outstanding CAPA faculty during my 28 years at NSU.  To know that this request came from the students through three administrations of the SGA and then to have been approved by Dr. Webb is even more of an honor.  I am truly blessed.”

The band was a finalist for the 2011 Sudler Trophy, an award to identify and recognize collegiate marching bands of particular excellence that have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life. NSU’s band started 2011 by participating in the New Year’s Day Parade and Festival in London.


Northwestern’s band was named one of the top eight in the country this summer by the Web site www.collegeotr.com in 2008. That year, Brent received the 2008 Outstanding Bandmaster Award for the state of Louisiana from the Epsilon Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, International Bandmasters Fraternity.

In 2007, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. Brent received the President’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his work at Northwestern in 2002.