top of page
Judith Grimes.jpeg


2018 WBDI Hall of Fame Inductee

Professor Judith E. Grimes is presently an Emeritus Professor of Music at Elmhurst University in the Chicagoland area, where she still enjoys working with the summer band and attending events. The Wind Ensemble, under her direction, performed several times in Orchestra Hall and at the Illinois Music Educators State Conference.    


Professor Grimes is an active clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator, conducting honor and clinic bands recently in Illinois, Indiana, California, Georgia, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina. Professor Grimes continues to conduct the Western Jamaica International Music Festival, and she headlines conducting and performance clinics in Jamaica each year.


Professor Grimes officially retired in 2016 after teaching full time for 47 years, publishing over 200 articles, and guest conducting in France, England, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Wales, Jamaica, Japan, Australia, Canada and 28 states. She is the past President of the Women Band Directors International and the Women Band Directors National Association, and the founder of several band programs in schools in Jamaica.


Judy is the recipient of the ”Chicagoland Music Educator of the Year Award,” presented by Quinlan and Fabish Music; “President’s Excellence in Teaching Award,” presented by Elmhurst University; “Distinguished Music Educator of the Year,” presented by the Illinois Music Educators Association; “The Golden Rose Award,” presented by Women Band Director’s International. Prior to Elmhurst College, Judy was a Professor of Music at Indiana State University, where she was awarded the prestigious “Caleb Mills Outstanding Teacher Award,” and the Rose Hulman University “Excellence in Teaching Award.”  Most recently, Professor Grimes was inducted into her hometown Hall of Fame at Danville High School, Danville, Indiana. In 2018, she was inducted into the Women Band Directors International HALL OF FAME.


A couple of Judy’s favorite honors are: the Keys to Montego Bay Jamaica, May 9th is the official “Judy Grimes Day” in Elmhurst, Illinois, and concert band commissioned work titled “To Indomitable Spirit,” written by John Robert Matz. She is also proud of receiving the Herbert Morrison Technical High School’s Legends Award.


Professor Grimes has two children: Gina (Director of Theater Overton High School) and Brandon (US Government). She also has five grandchildren:  Sidney (guitar, vocals, song writer), Devin (trombone and business), Gill (tuba, electric bass, history major), Gracie (jazz and classical piano, pre-med), and Cash (percussion). Judy has two dogs, Rozie and Teddy (vocals).

bottom of page