Forrest Kent Campbell
(1931-2011) Inducted 2000
Dr. Kent Campbell served as Director of Bands at Western Kentucky University from 1971 to 1992. His teaching duties here also included tuba, euphonium, and trombone studio and music education classes. He held similar positions at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois (1959-70) and University of Maine at Gorham (1970-71). His education included a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Kentucky (1952), and M.S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois (1953), and an Ed. D. in Music Education from the University of Illinois (1968). Prior to his collegiate teaching career he served with the U.S. Army Third Army Band in Atlanta, Georgia (1953-55) and was band director for Henderson, Kentucky City Schools (1955-56) and for Eastern High School, Jefferson County Kentucky (1956-59).
Dr. Campbell brought the WKU bands to a heightened level of musicianship and activity. Under his leadership the “Big Red” Marching Band grew to its largest membership ever. His Wind Ensemble performed on tour at numerous high schools and for the KMEA State Conference. During his tenure as Director of Bands at Western, the staffing of the band program grew to include an Associate Director of Bands and two positions for graduate assistants. He brought the KMEA State Marching Band Contest to Western’s campus for the first time in 1988 and was instrumental in establishing the Kentucky All-Collegiate Band which performs each year at the KMEA State Conference. His work in recruiting, retaining, teaching, and inspiring both undergraduate and graduate music students has had a profound influence on music and music education at Western and throughout the state of Kentucky.
Dr. Campbell’s professional affiliations include Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, College Band Directors’ Association, Phi Beta Mu, and the Kentucky Music Educators Association in which he served as President, from 1990 to 1992. He has received numerous professional honors including JMEA College/University Teacher of the Year (1991), KMEA Distinguished Service Award (1993), Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia Orpheus Award (1993), and Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmaster Fraternity honors for Outstanding Contributions to Bands in Kentucky (1996).