Neill Humfeld Award

Previous recipients

The Neill Humfeld Award for Excellence in Trombone Teaching recognizes the trombone teaching contributions of the late Neill Humfeld and honors living teachers who have achieved the highest level of excellence in their work.

Selection Criteria
Candidates of the Neill Humfeld Award for Excellence in Trombone Teaching should demonstrate:

  • Long-standing dedication to trombone teaching
  • Effectiveness, innovation and uniqueness in teaching
  • Ability to inspire and motivate
  • Leadership in the teaching profession
  • Success of students
  • Shares his/her teaching. expertise with other trombone teachers

Selection Process

  • ITA members should send a one-page letter of Nomination to the Chair of the ITA Awards Committee indicating why they feel their nominee meets the selection criteria
  • The ITA Awards committee reviews all the nominations and draws up a shortlist of up to three (3) finalists
  • The ITA Awards committee will prepare a ballot paper and distributes it to the Officers and all members of the Board of Advisors and Council of Past Presidents. If one person serves in more than capacity, he/she may still only cast one vote.
  • The ballot paper should ask voters to place finalists in order (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd)
  • Officers and members of the Board of Advisors and Council of Past Presidents, who have been shortlisted may not vote in the balloting
  • The winner of the Award must receive more than fifty percent of all votes cast. Should one candidate not receive more than fifty percent (50%) on the first ballot, the candidate with the least vote on the first ballot will be eliminated and a new ballot of the remaining two candidates shall be prepared and distributed to the Officers and all members of the Board of Advisors and Council of Past Presidents
  • If the second and third places are tied on the first ballot, then the candidate with the most second place votes will succeed to the next round
  • Nominations shall be valid for a period of three (3) years

Neill Humfeld Winner

  • The ITA President shall be responsible for informing the winning candidate of his/her success
  • The winner shall receive a commemorative plaque normally presented during the International Trombone Festival
  • Should presentation not be possible at the Festival, the award should be presented at another suitable and mutually agreeable time and location
  • Winners shall receive an Honorary Life Membership of the Association
  • ITA shall budget $500 to assist in travel and accommodation expenses for attending the Festival


  • Nominations must be received no later than December 1st
  • The Awards Committee shall send out the ballot (by mail or email as preferred) by December 15th
  • The Winner shall be announced by January 15th

ITA Awards Committee
Purpose: The ITA Awards Committee shall be responsible for overseeing and facilitating the nomination and election of the ITA Award, Neill Humfeld Award, Legacy Circle Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Orchestra Recognition Award. The Committee shall also recommend persons, groups, companies or organizations that may be considered for an ITA President’s Award.

Membership: The committee shall consist of three (3) members, appointed by the ITA president, representing the diversity of the trombone community and the International Trombone Association. There shall be at least one member of the ITA Board, one past winner of the ITA Award and one past winner of the Neill Humfeld Award.

An individual may not be appointed to the ITA Awards committee if he/she is a current nominee for the ITA Award and/or Neill Humfeld Award. Should a nomination be received during his/her tenure, the committee member must resign or withdraw from consideration.

Approved by the ITA Board (March 2003)

About the Humfeld Award
The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding trombone teaching in our profession and at the same time honor the teaching excellence of the late Neill Humfeld in a perpetual manner. This award is intended to remind future generations of Humfeld’s contributions to the teaching profession. The Humfeld award will be presented annually at the International Trombone Festival.

Neill Humfeld was a distinguished trombone player and educator as well as an ardent promoter of the ITA. In addition to serving as president of the ITA from 1980 to 1982, his career included more than thrity-two years as trombone instructor, band director, music education specialist, and administrator at East Texas State University. Humfeld’s teaching style and reputation earned him the highest regard among his peers, both at East Texas State and in the International Trombone Association. After his term as president of the ITA, Humfeld served as the International Trombone Workshop director until his untimely death in 1991 following an extended illness. In 1992, the Neill Humfeld Award for Excellence in Teaching was proposed and approved by the ITA Board. The annual award is a plaque endorsed by the ITA and presented at the Festival to recognize the life of the late Neill Humfeld and his contributions to the trombone profession.

The first Neill Humfeld Award was presented to John Drew at the Neill Humfeld Memorial Trombone Workshop held in Humfeld’s honor at the University of Oklahoma, organized by OU trombone professor Irvin L. Wagner, May 25 – 31, 1992.