Grand National Championships presented by YAMAHA
Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award

The Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award acknowledges the support, involvement and contributions to the advancement and success of a scholastic music education program. The creation of the award was announced at the November 2007 Bands of America Grand National Championships. It is named in honor of Mr. Patrick John Hughes, a music parent who has inspired millions.

All current, active parents, boosters or supporters of any scholastic music education program are eligible for nomination (do not have to be affiliated with BOA or MFA). Former or inactive parents, boosters and supporters of Bands of America and/or Music for All participating programs may also be nominated.

  1. Complete the Nomination Form and Essay (PDF)
  2. Nomination support letters from one music educator at school where nominee is/was a parent, booster or supporter.
  3. Two additional support letters (from other boosters, parents, teachers, administrators or students, but only one can be a student letter).
  4. Video Nomination encouraged but not required. Finalist video nominations will be streamed online at (WAV, MP3, MP4, Quicktime no longer than three minutes)

Learn about Past Recipients
Jim and Ginny Klopfenstein - 2009
Dan Adams - 2008
Patrick John Hughes - 2007

Make a donation to the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award Fund

2009 Recipients - Jim and Ginny Klopfenstein, Morton H.S., Illinois
Jim and Ginny Klopfenstein

Like many parents, Jim and Ginny Klopfenstein became involved in their local high school's marching band when their child became involved. It was 2002, and Morton High School's marching band had fewer than 60 members. "Prior to Jim and Ginny's involvement, the booster program was little more than an organization that would provide snacks to the students after their performances," writes Morton High School Band Booster President Timm Geiger.

Jim became band booster president in 2004, continuing in that role until his daughter graduated in 2006. "Band Director Jeff Neavor presented a vision to create a marching band program that would compete at a regional level with schools that were far larger than Morton High School," Geiger remembers. "Working hand in hand with the band director and his staff, Jim and Ginny developed a strategy that would develop a booster organization supportive of the vision for the overall band program."

Today, the booster organization has become a hub of travel organization, contest administration, fundraising and more. "The Klopfensteins have been an important part of the growth of Morton High School's band program over the last eight years," says Morton's Director of Bands Jeff Neavor. "With their support and hard work, the band has grown from 60 to nearly 140 members and has won four consecutive state marching band championships. The band was also a Bands of America Super Regional finalist and performed for the Presidential Inauguration in January 2009."

When their daughter Samantha graduated, Jim and Ginny continued to serve the band. "They organized and chaired the first Morton Marching Invitational in September 2006, and they organized an off-campus band camp, BOA trips, and chaperones and food for all band activities," Neavor says. "They continue to run these aspects of the program every year. Jim has driven the band trailer to nearly every event for eight years, and Ginny has driven her own vehicle to every event, loaded with medical supplies and food. The band organization would not be where it is today without the support and efforts of Jim and Ginny Klopfenstein."

In addition to helping the band run well, the Klopfensteins have seen to the organization's financial health as well. "The competition they founded has now become our sole fundraiser," Neavor says. "When we received word that we were selected to march in the Presidential Inaugural Parade, funds were very tight, and the trip to Washington D.C. was a surprise. The Klopfensteins found housing and transportation and helped the band boosters raise $65,000 in just a few weeks. Every student was able to experience this historic event for free."

The impact of this couple, Neavor says, goes far beyond the band program itself. "Over the last few years, we have had more than 20 Morton High School graduates purse a college degree in music education. All of these students were cheered on, fed, bandaged, counseled and guided by the Klopfensteins. These future music educators who have been influenced by them will continue to influence generations of young musicians." The Klopfensteins' tireless dedication and unbridled love and support for all the band students, the nominators agree, has positively influenced the lives of hundreds of young people in the Morton High School music program.

2008 Recipient - Dan Adams, American Fork H.S., Utah
Dan Adams and Gayl Doster

When we at Music for All considered how to best share Dan's story, we felt that we could not tell it better than this letter from American Fork H.S. Director of Bands, John Miller.

The father of six children, Dan Adams has served as an American Fork H.S. Band Booster for the past 23 years. When I first came to American Fork H.S. Dan Adams had a percussion student in my band, and after watching me and one other staff member load equipment on top of a bus he asked if he could help us. This was the start of a 23-year relationship that has involved three more of his children. Though he hasn't had children in the program for twelve years he has continued to serve our students.

Dan and his wife Karen have played an indispensable part in the building of the American Fork Band programs. Words can never fully express my appreciation for what Dan has done, and continues to do, for my students and myself. Dan has served as our head Band Dad and has developed a small group of dedicated men into a sizable force that has established its own autonomy within our booster organization. It has developed into a type of "service fraternity" under his leadership and dedication. Under Dan's leadership these men have obtained and maintained two semi trailers, manufactured hundreds of pieces of equipment, props, storage racks, and built a complete brick storage building. Dan has not stopped helping our band but has developed a presentation that he has presented to many band parent groups in schools around Utah helping to organize their band boosters. He has helped present this session at two of our Utah Music Educators Conferences with rave reviews from directors in attendance. Dan and his crew of Band Dad's also take an active role in transporting and setting up the floor and equipment for our winter guard program. At competitions around the state, Dan and his crew can be found helping many bands and winter guards onto the field. Many area directors call on Dan for advice and ask for his assistance in designing some piece of equipment or for ideas to make their band programs move to a higher level.

As a retired elementary school principal, Dan has always served as my mentor and confidant when I am dealing with delicate issues that spring up now and then. He is a trusted sounding board and advisor that continues to provide me with solid information. Dan's long term involvement and dedication to our program plays an indispensable and integral part of our program. I cannot even imagine doing what I do, as director of the American Fork Band, without Dan being by my side. I only wish all directors could be as blessed with a man like Dan working alongside them. Thank you, Dan you have touched many lives especially mine.
- John Miller
Director of Bands, American Fork H.S., American Fork, Utah

Wendy Jones is the current Band Booster President at American Fork and has two children in the band. She tells of how when first asked to serve as booster president, she stopped by Dan and Karen Adams' house unannounced and was welcomed into their home.

"The first words out of my mouth were, 'Why do you do what you do to help this band,'" says Wendy. "Karen told me how many years ago the band at American Fork High School had opened their arms and hearts to their daughter who needed a place to belong. Karen and Dan said, 'This band saved her; we will always be grateful for the values this program builds in our youth. We give back to this band because we know how important it is for our kids to have a place to belong, to be accepted; a place to learn values, team work, dedication and hard work; a place not only to learn music, but a place to learn how to be leaders, how to serve and how to be good responsible people.' Dan and Karen Adams changed my life that day. I gained an understanding of true service."

Dan is equally beloved by the band members. "In the American Fork High School Marching band, our parent/ booster program is something we as students take great pride in," says Drum Major Richard Flores. "Dan Adams may be just one of these amazing parents, but his efforts and dedication stand out more than any other. I've never met a more humble, selfless, thoughtful, amazing man. It's been 20 years since he's had children in the band and yet he still gives so much of himself to service. I have often wondered why he is still a Band Dad. The other day it finally hit me. He sees the positive influence band has in our lives. If he can do something to change our lives for the better, he'll be right there to do it."

"Above all, the band members know that Dan Adams is their greatest booster," says Glen Clark, former Principal and currently on faculty at Utah Valley University. "In addition to all of his service and leadership, he always had a smile, a word of encouragement, or a 'high five' for each band member. For Dan, it's always been about selfless, humble service to provide a life-changing experience for students."

2007 Recipient - Patrick John Hughes
Patrick John Hughes

The Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award will annually recognize the extraordinary support, involvement and contributions of music parents and boosters by shining a spotlight on a recipient who exemplifies these qualities. The award was announced Friday evening, November 16 at the Grand National preliminary awards ceremony.

Patrick John Hughes is the father of Patrick Henry Hughes, a remarkable young man who was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk. Additionally, two steel rods were surgically attached to Patrick's spine to correct scoliosis. Despite circumstances that seem overwhelming to many, Patrick has overcome these physical issues to excel as a musician and student. Patrick started playing the piano at the age of only nine months, and also plays the trumpet and sings. He even participates in the University of Louisville School of Music Marching and Pep Bands with help from his father, who tirelessly maneuvers his wheel chair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band.

Mr. Hughes attends every practice and game with Patrick and learns all the drill. Patrick focuses on his playing while his father is focused on being his son's eyes and legs. Mr. Hughes works an overnight shift at UPS, getting four or five hours of sleep so he can attend Patrick's classes and rehearsals with him all day. Patrick's mother, Patricia Hughes, works full time, while taking care of the household, Patrick's medical needs and two brothers, Jess and Cameron. Patrick John Hughes, his wife Patricia Hughes and sons Patrick Henry, Jesse and Cameron were all on hand for the award presentation. Members of the University of Louisville marching band, under the direction of Dr. Gregory Byrne, and including Patrick Henry Hughes, performed "My Old Kentucky Home" prior to the presentation and introduction of Hughes by Music for All President and CEO Scott McCormick.

Watch a video of the award presentation which took place at the 2007 Grand National Championships.

"I'm just a parent of a young man that wanted to be in band," said Hughes. "I'm truly humbled beyond words that Music for All is choosing to honor me in this way."

"The commitment and support of music parents are vital to the success of students achieving their goals," said Scott McCormick, President and CEO of Music for All. "Music for All's Parent/Booster Award shines a spotlight on that dedication. We are honored to name this award to honor Patrick John Hughes."

Just two days before the award presentation, the Hughes family moved into their new house in Louisville, as part of ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover." The University of Louisville marching band's practice field was also renovated for the show, which aired February 17, 2008.