Paul V. Yoder
Paul Yoder was born on October 8, 1908 in Tacoma, Washington. He obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota, which later conferred an honorary Doctorate upon him and, in 1941, a master's degree from Northwestern University in Illinois. He co-founded the Japanese Band Director's Association, served as President of the American Bandmasters Association,and served on the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Following years of heart trouble, Paul Yoder died April 4, 1990 in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Involvement with Japan
While investigating where in Japan his music was being played, and generating royalty checks, Yoder met many band directors interested in and performing western music. Thus began an involvement with music education and concert bands in Japan that would include coordinating performance at the MidWest Clinic by many Japanese bands and being dubbed by contemporary Alfred Reed "an unofficial ambassador of band music between the US and Japan".
Composer and arranger
Yoder's first band composition, Our Family Band, was published in 1933. He wrote over 1,500 original compositions and arrangements during the course of his career. He composed and arranged with a focus on works for young bands and also produced several instrumental methods. Biographer Steven Kelly stated "his emphasis on ensemble class instruction changed the manner in which bands were taught" and also that a band student between the 30s and 70s in America would be unlikely to be able to go without experiencing a Yoder piece. Yoder published primarily through Niel Kjos publishing, but also nearly 100 other firms worldwide.
Paul Yoder also composed Texas State's Fight song "Go Bobcats!" in 1961.
Awards and recognition
Though recognized for his "warm, humorous personality" and "humble lifestyle", Dr. Yoder was an honorary life member of the National Band Association and was awarded, amongst other awards, the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts, the Distinguished Service to Music Medal, and was inducted into the prestigious National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors. The program notes for the 1969 awarding of the AWAPA award by the National Band Association listed Yoder as "one of the most influential band personalities of the mid 20th century, he was at one time the most popular composer/arranger of band music in America"
- Smith, Norman E., and Stoutamire, Albert, Paul Yoder, Band Music Notes, Kjos West, 1979, p.257
- Paul V. Yoder papers, Vandercook University, http://www.vandercook.edu/archives/collections/n_z.htm
- Jordan, Douglas M., Alfred Reed, a Biography, Google Books result, 1999, p.50
- Kelly, Steven N., Paul Yoder, A Pioneer in Public School Band Education, Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education, Volume 17, Number 2, Ithaca College Press, 1996, P.117
- Chance, Michael R., The Original Band Music of Robert Ward, University of Memphis Press, 2007, p.4
- AWAPA Recipient Biographies: Yoder
- National Band Association, list of AWAPA recipients, http://www.nationalbandassociation.org/awapa/biographies.asp retrieved 7/24/2011