On August 26th, 2023, Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity presented the A. Frank Martin Award to Ms. Heidi I. Sarver, Professor of Music and Director of the Marching Band at the University of Delaware. Ms. Sarver was presented this award at the University of Delaware by Adam Cantley, a past National President of Kappa Kappa Psi, Dean of Students, and Assistant Vice President for Student Support and Advocacy at the University of Delaware. Ms. Sarver received this recognition in Delaware Stadium at the “Family and Friends” show at the end of the University of Delaware Marching Band’s band camp.
Kappa Kappa Psi presents the A. Frank Martin Award to honor individuals, whether band directors or laypeople, who have made significant contributions to the band field in their region. This award is named after A. Frank Martin, who was the first Grand National President of Kappa Kappa Psi (1919-1921), later served as the Fraternity’s National Executive Secretary and Earned the nickname of “Mr. Kappa Kappa Psi” through his dedication to the Fraternity and college bands. Through this award, Kappa Kappa Psi shows its gratitude to individuals like Ms. Sarver for their service to bands and music, as such service aligns with the Fraternity’s efforts to promote the success of college and university bands across the nation and, to honor outstanding band members and leaders through membership and recognition.
Quotes from Heidi Sarver’s Nominating Materials
From Mark Clodfelter, Interim Director of the School of Music, University of Delaware:
“Prof. Heidi Sarver consistently demonstrates excellent teaching in a variety of courses within our School of Music. Students are motivated and challenged by her curricular choices and feel empowered and inspired by her. Prof. Sarver demonstrates a sustained commitment to student-centered teaching and delivery of educational content at a high level.”
“Heidi Sarver is an exemplary part of our academic community by any measure. She inspires each of us through her unyielding standards of excellence and her warm collegiality. I believe that, because of the global reach of her position, she may well impact more students across the university than any other single faculty member at UD. I wish to extend my highest, most enthusiastic support on her behalf.”
From Dr. Lauren Reynolds, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Concert Bands at the University of Delaware:
“Professor Sarver has been at the top of her professional game for three decades . . . .”
“Her professional contributions to the band field are varied, consistent, and admirable. For over three decades, Professor Sarver has been a central figure in the success of the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy, through which she has come into contact with and had a profound positive effect on the lives of literally thousands of high school band leaders. In fact, I can think of countless students who chose to matriculate at the University of Delaware because they met and worked with Professor Sarver at DMA. She is most certainly regarded nationally as an expert in marching bands and marching band leadership, and she has authored numerous articles and co-authored a book on the subject.”
“In addition to her work with the Drum Major Academy, Professor Sarver is in her twenty-seventh year at the helm of the University of Delaware athletic band program. Her work with the marching band is nothing short of tremendous. In her first few years, she grew the program from fewer than 100 members to the approximately 300-member ensemble it is now, and each year she pushes the level of artistic achievement and creativity to new levels. The band has received countless honors, including featured performances at the Bands of America Grand National Championships and the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade, among many others. A huge percentage of students in her program came to the university for the band. This alone speaks volumes to her level of excellence. Further, she is widely sought-after as a show designer, creating dynamic productions for high school and college programs across the country.”
“In short, Heidi Sarver is a tireless leader in the field of American bands . . . .”
Heidi Sarver’s Biography
Heidi I. Sarver is a professor of music at the University of Delaware, where she has been a member of the faculty of the School of Music since 1995. Ms. Sarver is director of the 300-member Fightin’ Blue Hen Marching Band, co-conductor of the Symphonic Band, and instructor of two Marching Band Techniques courses. She also oversees the administrative operations of the Basketball Pep Bands and provides other smaller pep bands for a variety of athletic teams and events.
Ms. Sarver attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she received a bachelor of music education and a master of music in trumpet performance. Her teachers included George N. Parks, Walter M. Chesnut, Malcolm W. Rowell, and Seymour Rosenfeld.
Active throughout the Northeast as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor, Professor Sarver is best known across the country for her work with the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy (DMA). With more than forty years at the organization, she is now the educational director and lead clinician. She also serves as a guest clinician to educate as many students as possible.
Professor Sarver is an avid show designer and has written for many universities and high schools across the country. Her background lies in the world of drum corps and the marching arts. Staying on top of the evolution of the activity is one of her passions.
Before her appointment at UD, she was a high school band director in New York and the assistant director of bands at Temple University. Ms. Sarver is a member of the Delaware Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the College Band Directors National Association. She is an honorary member of both Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity and Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority. She is currently serving as the Delaware state chair for the National Band Association and College Band Directors National Association.