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.
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 Marching Band Hall of Fame. Additional information and nomination form can be found here.
2021 Hall of Fame Inductee: Linda Petersen (1955 – 2007)
Linda Petersen, WSMA Director of Programs from 1994 to 2007, was instrumental in the execution and development of WSMA programs, including the State Marching Band Championships. Her many contributions held the students’ experiences and education at the center and still impact WSMA programming today.
Petersen graduated from Racine Washington Park High School in 1973 and went on to receive a Bachelor of Music Education degree from UW-Eau Claire. She worked as an instrumental music editor for Kjos Music Company before taking a position as an auditor, editor and clinician for Hal Leonard from 1988 to 1994. She was the driving force behind Essential Elements, the most successful instrumental teaching series in Hal Leonard’s history. She also presented workshops to music teachers in 45 states, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia during her time at Hal Leonard.
Following her work with Hal Leonard, Petersen returned to Wisconsin to serve as the WSMA Director of Programs. Under her leadership and guidance, the State Honors Music Project, District and State Festivals, Student Composition Project and State Marching Band Championships saw a period of remarkable growth and advancement. Petersen was responsible for securing a consistent University of Wisconsin system host location for the state championships. She also worked with the committee to implement the first WSMA Marching Band Handbook which brought consistency to the independent show and the state championships, as well as developing the competition schedule format that is still in use today. In 2005, she commissioned an arrangement of “America the Beautiful” by fellow Hall of Fame inductee, Rick Kirby, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the State Championships.
Contributions to other WSMA programs include: initiating the High School State Honors Project Treble Choir, implementing the composer scholarship program for the Student Composition Program, creating the online Festival Music List, and serving as a founding member of the Middle Level State Honors Project committee. Petersen was also active in Music Educators National Conference, the National Federation of Interscholastic Music Associations and served on the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Board of Directors. Other honors include her 1996 induction into the Racine Washington Park High School Hall of Fame and the 2004 Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators. In 2007, the music library at the Wisconsin Center for Music Education was officially named the Linda A. Petersen Festival Music Library.
Petersen passed away in 2007 after a courageous 19-year battle with cancer. Her steadfast belief in the importance of music education allowed her to touch thousands of lives with her positive attitude, remarkable character and extraordinary grace.