Dr. William A. Gora
Nominated by James Daugherty
William A. Gora (Born December 26, 1946) earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Miami and studied conducting with Frederick Fennell. Following two years of teaching public school in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, he completed a Master of Music Education Degree from the University of Florida. Soon after, he resumed his studies in conducting and wind literature with Fennell at the University of Miami and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in saxophone performance.
Dr. Gora was the Director of Bands and Professor of Saxophone at Appalachian State University from 1976-2006 where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and administered the total band
program. The Wind Ensemble performed for meetings of the College Band Directors National Association, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, and the American Bandmasters Association. Dr. Gora served as director of Cannon Music Camp, one of the nations’ most successful summer music programs, from 1982 through 1994 helping to shape the lives of many high school musicians and helping them into a pathway which would lead them into a career of band directing. In July of 1995, through the sponsorship of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, he and Edward Lisk designed and hosted the first Symposium on Public School Reform for School Band and Orchestra Directors and presented a session at the 1995 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. They received a second grant in 1997, presenting a similar symposium at the University of Kansas, and presented an updated session for both the 1997 and 1998 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.
Gora is a past President of the Southern Division of the College Band Directors National Association and holds membership in the National Band Association (NBA) where he served on the Board of Directors. He was elected into the American Bandmasters Association (ABA) in 1990 and served as chair of the Issues of School Reform Task Force for both the NBA and ABA. He also serves the ABA as a member of the Edwin Franko Goldman Citation Committee.
Dr. Gora is a 1995 recipient of the North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. In November, 2000, he was inducted into the University of Miami Band Alumni Hall
Some of the organizations Dr. Gora is affiliated with include: American Bandmasters Association College Band Directors Association, North Carolina Chair (1985-89); Music Educators National Conference; National Band Association, North Carolina Chair (1987-1991, 1994-1995, 1997-); North Carolina Music Educators Association; North Carolina Bandmaster’s Association, Board of Directors, Northwest District; Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia; Pi Kappa Lambda; Kappa Kappa Psi (Sponsor/Advisor); and Sigma Alpha Iota National Arts Affiliation. In June of 2006, Dr. Gora was granted emeritus status by the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees.
Dr. Gora has consistently been a visionary and committed teacher, leader, advocate,
and conductor. His respectable rapport and positive approach have reached all across the
country but specifically here in North Carolina and have earned him enthusiastic accolades from many members of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association and the North Carolina Music Educators Association. His dedication and heartfelt enthusiasm for the teaching, creation, and advocacy of band programs and music education have gone far beyond personal goals or means and have advanced the cause of music all across North Carolina.