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New Horizons Band Director Dr. Joseph Labuta Receives Lifetime Achievement Award​


Our founding director, Dr. Joseph Labuta, is one of the premier music educators in the United States and we are fortunate to have had him as our teacher and leader.

New Horizons Band Director Dr.Joseph Labuta was honored by the Saline Chamber of Commerce for "Lifetime Achievement" at the annual "Saline Salutes event on April 13, 2012. 


Dr.Labuta was being especially honored for "the creation and growth of the Saline New Horizons Band and his many efforts to bring music into the lives of Salinians."


The honorees were selected by a blue-ribbon panel of community leaders assembled by the Chamber.


An extensive oral history of Dr. Labuta's career was published in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, vol. 29, issue 2, April 2008.

You can access that history at Joseph A. Labuta and His Life in Music Education: An Oral History by Stephen E. Zdzinski.

The conclusion reads in part:

"From humble beginnings, Joseph A Labuta was encouraged by his immigrant parents to study music, and he excelled. Later, as a young band director, he became interested in teaching musicianship to his students, and spent his professional life presenting and writing articles and books that put comprehensive musicianship into concrete terms. His book on accountability was a benchmark of its era. His dissertation work with Charles Leonhard and years of college conducting teaching led to the creation of his conducting text, which is now in its fifth edition and still widely used. Labuta's contributions to music education have extended well beyond his teaching at Wayne State University, and his influence upon the profession has been both significant and enduring."


Joe and Mary Labuta and the Labuta family.


Dinner catered by the High School culinary arts program preceded the awards.


The high school jazz band played while attendees viewed the table of memorabilia honoring Joe's achievements.


Dr. Labuta was introduced by Judge Donald Shelton.


Joe graciously accepts the award and then thanks everyone "the best way I know how.” Dr. Labuta and son Joe amazed the crowd with a jazzy rendition of "Route 66"


(Photos courtesy of Marjorie Shelton and The Saline Patch)

Watch the video of Dr. Labuta's introduction and his own musical "Thank You."

Watch a video montage of Dr. Labuta's many achievements.

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