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Patricia L.

2008 WBDI Hall of Fame Inductee

PATRICIA L. GARREN is a graduate of East Carolina University with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Instrumental Music Education. Her teaching career began

in Asheville, North Carolina where she directed the Junior High Concert and Symphonic Bands.  Her Symphonic Bands premiered three commissioned works for band by Robert Jager,  John O’Reilly and Anne McGinty. They performed for numerous band associations and conventions including the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and were one of the first recipients of the “Sudler Cup”, a national award presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, recognizing Junior High Band programs of special merit in the United States and Canada.


During her 30 year career, Pat served the music profession in many state and regional

offices and was recognized nationally for her accomplishments.  She was the first woman elected President of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, was Chairman of the North American Band Directors Coordinating Council and served as President of Women Band Directors International. Pat received the “Citation of Merit”, “Scroll of Excellence” and “Silver Baton” awards from Women Band Directors International, Tau Beta Sigma’s “Outstanding Service to Music” award, was a two time recipient of the “Citation of Excellence” from the National Band Association and the “Award of Excellence” from the North Carolina Bandmasters Association.  She also received the “Legion of Honor” from Bandworld Magazine and the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Pat has conducted District and All State Bands in North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, and Oregon.  She has also served as an adjudicator, clinician and lecturer throughout the United States and Canada.


In 1979, Pat became the Founding Director and Conductor of the Asheville Community Band.  Upon her retirement from this organization in 1996, the band

members appointed her Director Emeritus and created the Patricia L. Garren Music Education Scholarship to be given annually to a student pursuing a degree in Instrumental Music.


In appreciation for her achievements and contributions to music education, Pat was given an Honorary Life Membership in the North Carolina Music Educators

Association, was presented the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from the School of Music at East Carolina University, inducted into the North Carolina Bandmasters Hall of Fame, received Women Band Directors International highest award, The Golden Rose, and is the sixth woman conductor to be inducted into their Hall of Fame.   


She is married to William (Bill) R. Garren, a retired nurseryman.  In their leisure time, they enjoy traveling and have visited all seven continents. Pat is an avid golf and tennis player as well as a certified USTA umpire. She received the SC Tennis Association’s “Tennis Umpire of the Year” award for 2005 and 2019.

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