The Wisconsin School Music Association Marching Band Hall of Fame is intended to recognize the contributions made by individuals to the marching activity in Wisconsin and is open to any person that has made a significant contribution. WSMA is proud to name Daniel J. Hopkins as the 3rd annual inductee to the Marching Band Hall of Fame!
Daniel J. Hopkins
Dedication, pride, integrity: Cumberland School District band director, Daniel J. Hopkins, lives this mantra to excel in his own career and motivate his students. Under his direction, the Cumberland High School Marching Band has appeared at the WSMA State Marching Band Championships for 20 consecutive years. As of 2016, his band has established itself as a perennial leader in performance excellence by winning a record 13 state championships, the most for a director in WSMA history. Hopkins built this record with one of the smallest student bodies in the state of Wisconsin; by his third year of teaching, the marching band increased in size by over 40 percent and earned its first state title. Since then, the marching band has maintained a membership of 25 to 35 percent of the student body.
Hopkins began his music career in New Richmond, Wisconsin as a percussionist in the championship marching band. After graduating from the Armed Forces School of Music, Hopkins served with the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps from 1986 to 1990. Following his tour of duty, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from UW-River Falls and a Master’s Degree in Education from Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois. Hopkins has studied under Charles Marvray, Truman Crawford and J. Michael Roy while performing in 44 states, internationally in Scotland, England and Canada, and for three U.S. Presidents.
Hopkins began his teaching career in 1995; his teaching responsibilities have included general music, humanities and instrumental music. Involvement with WSMA activities is one of many ways Hopkins exposes students to a variety of performance venues and experiences. Cumberland High School Marching Band has travelled over 40,000 miles across the United States, performing in numerous concerts, parades and clinics. Hopkins also established and continues to host the Northern Lights Marching Classic each year. Hopkins emphasizes humility and respect for one another, community and competing bands. His military background lays the groundwork for developing moral character, as well as musical ability. During his tenure, all but two valedictorians have been marching band members, while several of his students successfully audition for the WSMA State Honors Music Project each year.
In addition to teaching, Hopkins has been a valued contributor to WSMA, dedicating time and effort to developing student programs. As well as being an active clinician and adjudicator, he has served on Marching Band and State Honors Music Project Committees and as WMEA Northwest District Vice President. His contributions to WSMA marching activities include: implementing fair class specification, rotating performance times, creating a festival class, solidifying week 15 of the WIAA high school calendar as the championship date, establishing travel stipends for long distance schools, and expanding the adjudication pool to include out-of-state judges.
Hopkins’ mantra, “Dedication, pride, integrity,” has built a legacy of inspiration and guidance while sharing a core belief with WSMA, that music develops creativity, self-expression, discipline and teamwork.
Pictured left to right: WSMA Executive Director Tim Schaid, Hall of Fame Inductee Dan Hopkins, Spouse Kimberly Hopkins, Former Student and WSMA Program Associate Anne Proescholdt,
and WSMA President John Gilliland.