The NWS presented their first Hall of Fame award ceremony during the April 29, 2012 concert, Road Trip. The award recognizes individuals that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the community band. Each year, the NWS presents the Hall of Fame award to a select number of distinguished members. Candidates for the award exemplify the qualities, accomplishments for Hall of Fame recognition.
The NWS is pleased to present the following members who were recognized as recipients of the 2012 Hall of Fame Award:
Larry MacTaggart – Hall of Fame (2012)
Larry MacTaggart’s connection with the Nebraska Wind Symphony began soon after he joined the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command Band at Offutt Air Force in Bellevue in 1985. He was well-known in Nebraska from his work as director of instrumental music for the Fairbury, Neb., public school system from 1983 to 1985. He had earned a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska, following his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Arkansas. While stationed at Offutt, he was a guest conductor for the Wind Symphony and performed with the group in concert, and was chosen in 1995 to be our music director and conductor.
During his two years as director, the band advanced significantly, benefitting from MacTaggart’s patience and his cheerful style of teaching and conducting, as well as from the music that he arranged and composed. Although he left Omaha for a new assignment in Washington, D.C., he maintained his connections with us. Most significantly, in 2007 he was commissioned to compose and conduct a new work for the band’s 30th anniversary concert. The result was “The Friendship Suite,” a three-part composition that memorializes three band members who had died. In a World-Herald article about the concert, MacTaggart said “Suite” came together quickly. “It’s a challenge to capture the essence of a personality through music, but when it comes together, it’s a great feeling,” he said.
That composition turned out to be a landmark, not only musically but also for the band’s future. MacTaggart donated his commission fee on condition that the band use it as seed money for a scholarship program. The band followed through with that challenge, and the scholarship we present today, as well as scholarships we will award in future years, originated with Larry’s generosity.
MacTaggart, a native of Moline, Ill., was principal percussionist with the SAC Band’s concert band and jazz ensemble, as well as its chief music arranger. In 1997 he was reassigned to the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, serving as chief music arranger/composer and production manager. From 2007-2009 he served at the Pentagon as the senior program manager for all Air Force bands.
He has performed in numerous states and in Europe and Australia and was deployed to Southwest Asia as a member of the Air Forces Central Command Band. He also toured Iraq, Afghanistan and parts of Africa, entertaining troops as part of a seven-piece rock ensemble.
Today, MacTaggart is the chief enlisted manager of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific. This tri-located unit (Hawaii, Alaska and Japan) performs hundreds of events annually in support of community and international outreach objectives, plus military protocol and ceremonial functions. Chief Master Sergeant MacTaggart oversees manning, budgeting, deployment and training issues for all locations plus daily operations for the detachment in Hawaii, where he is currently stationed.
MacTaggart is due to retire later this year and move to Colorado Springs, Colo.
Genevieve Holtz – Hall of Fame (2012)
Genevieve “Jenny” Holtz was a charter member of the Nebraska Wind Symphony and over the group’s first 30 years served several terms on its board of directors and as an officer. When the board created the position of administrative assistant, she was hired, taking on the task of managing the band’s “nuts and bolts” activities to keep it running smoothly. She enjoyed creating programs and concert flyers, acting as music librarian, handling correspondence and overseeing concert and rehearsal set-ups. She also was a long-time member of the Association of Community Bands, attending about 15 conventions of the ACB.
Jenny was born in Chicago and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina-Morningside. Her parents gave her a flute for her tenth birthday. “Thus began my love affair with music,” Jenny said. She turned music into a hobby when she went to the University of Minnesota, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology and beginning a career in medical research. Two years after graduating, when the doctor she worked for moved to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Jenny followed her job to Omaha. She retired from the Medical Center in 1999 after 30 years.
Although a problem with her hands ended her flute-playing days in 2008, Jenny has remained a faithful member of the Wind Symphony audience and a supporter of its goals and mission. She also exercises her music ability as a member of two choirs at Christ the King Church. “I haven’t given up music entirely,” she said.