On September 6, 2012 Kappa Kappa Psi and the college band world lost teacher, friend, and advocate, Dr. James Croft. Dr. Croft was an honorary member of the Gamma Nu Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi at Florida State University.
Dr. Croft finished his Ph D. from the University of Oklahoma in 1970 and was hired as the director of band at the University of South Florida in 1972. After eigth years at USF he became the Director of Bands at Florida State University and remained there until his retirement in 2003. Dr. Croft’s high school program was selected as one of the groundbreaking Contemporary Music Project ensembles supported by the Music Educator’s National Conference and the Ford Foundation in the 1950’s. He also served as the president of the National Band Association and the College Band Directors National Association. He was also active in the forming of World Association of Symphonic Band Ensembles (WASBE) as a member of their board for 6 years. He was revered as a musician, composer, and clinician working with countless ensembles and composers. He truly was a legend in the college band arena.
For Kappa Kappa Psi, Dr. Croft conducted the National Intercollegiate Band in 1995 and received the Bohumil Makovsky Memorial Award that same year. Dr. Croft received the Distinguished Service to Music Medal during the 1997-1999 biennium, the highest honor Kappa Kappa Psi gives to an individual.
Dr. Croft served as an example, leader, and mentor for countless brothers and band directors across this country. He truly lived up to the high ideals of our fraternity. Our most sincere condolences are with his family and the Florida State University Community.