George Cavender


From George Cavender’s biography, 1982:


George Cavender was the Director of Development and School Relations for the School of Music at the University of Michigan. For 26 years he was associated with the Michigan Marching, Symphony, Concert, Varsity, Basketball and Hockey Bands and in this capacity added much to the fame and prestige of these internationally famous bands both on the gridiron and concert stage. He was the recipient of his Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Michigan University and his Masters Degree from the University of Michigan.

Cavender’s versatility of experience and ability are unusual among band conductors, for he has forged a nationally acknowledged foremost reputation both as a conductor on the concert stage and as a master showman, drillmaster and marching band technician on the gridiron. These unusual skills and abilities have been recognized throughout the nation by his fellow colleagues and high school conductors, for he is called to travel extensively from coast to coast each year as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, teacher and drillmaster. In these capacities he works untiringly for the improvement of concert and marching bands and their music.

In 1972, his abilities received international acknowledgement as he traveled throughout Japan at the invitation of the Japanese Marching Band Association, working with students, teachers and clinicians on marching band techniques. Tours in Europe included engagements in London, Paris, Innsbruck [Austria], Lucerne [Switzerland], Brussels, Amsterdam, Salzburg [Austria], Vienna, Venice, Rome, Bolzano [Italy], as well as engagements in Bermuda, Mexico and Hawaii.

Cavender is one of the co-authors of the “BAND-O-RAMA” series, “The Daily Dozen”, the “Sound 70 Series” of marching band shows and author of the texts: Marching Fundamentalists and Techniques for the School Bandsman and Instrument Placement and Projection for the Modern Marching Band. Active in his profession, Mr. Cavender wrote extensively for professional magazines and trade journals and was a popular speaker and lecturer in the field of instrumental music.

Cavender was a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association, was founder and president of the Big 10 Band Directors Association, a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu, the Music Educators National Conference, the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association and a host of other musical societies. In 1969 he was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel for his services to the high school bands of Northern Kentucky and in 1972 he was made an honorary member of the University of Michigan “M” Club.

Cavender served his nation as a member of the United States Marine Corps for four years. He rose from the rank of enlisted man to Major in the Tank Corps. In the Marines Corps his service included 29 months overseas with major campaigns in Bougainville [Papua New Guinea], Guam and Iwo Jima where he was decorated several times.

Cavender brought with him not only broad musical experiences at the collegiate level, but the practical day by day mechanics so necessary for success in music education at the grade, junior high and secondary level. He spoke not only from the aspect of “theory”, but also experience. He began his career in public schools of Michigan where his bands, orchestras and marching organizations won numerous honors and attracted national attention and recognition. His marching shows have been spectated from coast to coast in places such as the Boston Gardens, the Virginia Beach Concert and Marching Festival, the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida and Superbowl VII in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Cavender passed away March 2, 2004 at the age of 84.