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Alumni Angle: Beloved Band Director Retires after 49 years

Gene Inglis

The College of Arts and Humanities wishes alumnus Gene Inglis a happy retirement after an impressive career as a music educator. Inglis, a beloved band director for 49 years, announced his retirement last month.

Inglis worked in schools in Scottsboro, Alabama, and Rome, Georgia, before becoming Director of Bands for Saks High School in Anniston, Alabama. Under his leadership, the marching, concert, and jazz ensembles in Rome City Schools received superior ratings at Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) festivals and approved events, as well as performances at GMEA, Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA), and International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) Conferences. The Wildcat Sound Marching Band at Saks has consistently received superior ratings, best in class awards, and division championships at marching band contests in Georgia and Alabama. The Saks High School Concert Band has received superior ratings at District and State Concert Band Assessments each year from 2004 through 2022 and had the distinct honor of performing as part of the AMEA In-Service Conference in both 2007 and 2012.

Inglis also served as adjudicator, conductor, and clinician throughout the southeast for marching, concert, and jazz performances. He is an active member of Music Educators National Conference, Alabama Music Educators Association, National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu Honorary Professional Music Fraternity, and Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity. He has served in various leadership positions in these organizations over the past forty-nine years, including serving as the State Band Chair for GMEA from 2001-2003. Mr. Inglis is past president of the Calhoun County Band Directors Association and current president of the Gray Echelon, JSU’s Marching Southerners Alumni Association.

Inglis’ professional honors include Teacher of the Year at West Rome Junior High, 1976; Outstanding Band Director Award for the State of Georgia, presented by the American School Band Director Association, 1983; Teacher of the Year at West Rome High School, 1990; recipient of the “Legion of Honor” presented by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation and the National Band Association at the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago, IL, 2002; nominee to the Jacksonville State University Teacher Hall of Fame, 2004 & 2010; “Citation of Excellence” presented by the National Band Association, 2007 & 2012; Alabama recipient for the “50 Directors Making a Difference” in Band and Orchestra Magazine, 2007; AMEA’s “Outstanding Music Educator Award,” 2013; Calhoun County Schools nominee to the Jacksonville State University Teacher Hall of Fame, 2015; and Saks High Teacher of the Year 2022.  

Inglis is married to the former Shenley Back of Gadsden, Alabama. They have one son, Tony, two daughters, Gena Nix and Allison Brown, and they are the proud grandparents to five grandchildren: Taylor and Emma Nix, TJ Brown, and Claire and Kinley Inglis. 

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