top of page
WrightGladys Concert2.jpg

Gladys S. Wright

1995 WBDI Hall of Fame Inductee

Founding President of the Women Band Directors International (WBDI), Gladys Wright was born in Wasco, Oregon where she attended public school until she moved to Lebanon, Oregon. She attended one year at Willamette University in Salem, later transferring to the University of Oregon where she received both her Bachelor and Master's degrees in Music Education with a minor in Psychology. Her main instrument is the clarinet.

Teaching experience:

  • 1948-1953 Elmira Union High School Elmira, Oregon

  • 1954-1961 Otterbein High School Otterbein, Indiana

  • 1963-1970 Klondike High School West Lafayette, Indiana

  • 1970-1984 Wm Henry Harrison High School West Lafayette, Indiana

Contest Ratings:

  • Large ensemble: 60 superior ratings, includes State and District Contests.

  • Solo and Small Ensembles over 1500 superiors.

Awards and Honors:

  • 1959 Elected to American School Band Directors Assn. (3rd woman)

  • 1969 Founding President, Women Band Directors National Association

  • 1970 National Band Association Citation of Excellence

  • 1970 International Peace Gardener, North Dakota Peace Gardens

  • 1971 Tau Beta Sigma National Service in Music Award

  • 1973 National Honorary Membership to Phi Beta Mu (1st woman)

  • 1974 Silver Baton, Women Band Directors National Association

  • 1974 Honorary Arizona Bandsman, Tucson, Arizona

  • 1975 Key to the City of Taxco, Mexico

  • 1975 Creative Arts Award, Lafayette, Indiana

  • 1977 School Musicians Top Ten, They Are Making America Musical

  • 1984 Elected to American Bandmasters Association (first woman)

  • 1988 Sudler Order of Merit John Philip Sousa Foundation

  • 1988 Kentucky Colonel Award, Louisville, Kentucky

  • 1990 International Golden Rose, Women Band Directors National Association

  • 1991 Gold Medal Sudler Order, John Philip Sousa Foundation

  • 1991 Editor of the Woman Conductor, Women Band Directors National Assn. Chairman, Sudler Flag and Cup Committee, Sousa Foundation Conductor and Assistant Tour Director: United States Collegiate Wind Bands Adjudicator for International Music Festivals, Kalamazoo, Michigan U.S. Contributing Editor: Spanish music magazine, INFORMUSICA, Valencia Vice President of International Music Tours

  • 1995 Elected into the International Women Band Conductors Hall of Fame

  • 1997 Inducted to National Band Association Hall of Fame (first woman)

  • 1997 Honorary Citizen, Chamonix, France

  • 2000 Selected Great People of Greater Lafayette

  • 2001 Selected as one of 25 University of Oregon's Most Influential Alumni in the past 125 years.

  • 2001 Phi Beta Mus, Distinguished Service to Music Award, Al and Gladys Wright

  • 2002 Harrison High School, Gladys Wright Hall of Honor

  • 2003 Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana Governors award for excellence and contributions

  • 2004 Unpublished biographies of Al and Gladys Wright, THE MUSIC MAKERS

  • 2005 A second Kentucky Colonel Award.

    • Publications: Marches: Big Bowl and Trumpets and Tabards, publisher Carl Fischer.

    • Articles in School Musician, Woman Conductor.

    • Listed in 2,000 Notable American Women, Personalities of the West and Mid-West ,Worlds Who of Women, Who's Who of Women, The International Who's Who in Music, and Who in Education.

  • 2007 at 82 years, Gladys Wright is involved in the Women Band Directors International, the Wolf Park, the Sousa Foundation, (the Sousa Executive Board) and the Band Museum which is in the Italian Villa in downtown Lafayette, Indiana.

bottom of page