WAMSB Judges Bureau Chair, Keith Beardon announced as 2019 Judge


We have an incredible line up of world class judges at our festival in 2019. We’re delighted to welcome the Chair of the Judges Bureau of the World Association of Marching Show Bands.

Mr. Keith Bearden, Professor Emeritus, retired from Texas Tech University in May 2003 after 23 years as, director of the Goin’ Band from Raiderland and Associate Director of Bands. In addition, he conducted the University Symphonic Band, the Court Jesters Basketball Band, played trumpet in the Faculty Brass Quintet, taught classes in conducting/music education, and co-directed the Texas Tech summer music camps. 

Professor Bearden started his career as band director in Jayton, TX. After only one year, he was drafted into the military. He auditioned for the USAF Academy Band and had the honor of serving as principal trumpet in the Academy concert band and brass quintet. He was also a member of the Falconaires Jazz Ensemble. Following his completion of military service, he enjoyed six more successful years of public school teaching in Albany, and at Lubbock Monterey. His bands were consistent winners in concert, marching, jazz on both state and national levels. In 1979 he was honored by Phi Beta Mu as Texas’ Outstanding Young Bandmaster. In 1980, he was appointed associate director of bands and director of the Goin’ Band from Raiderland” at Texas Tech University. 

During his distinguished tenure at Texas Tech University, Professor Bearden was honored as Outstanding Faculty Member by Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board, and in 1999 his Goin’ Band from Raiderland received nation’s highest award for collegiate marching bands, the Sudler Trophy, presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He was honored for 40 years of association as camper, college worker, instructor, and camp director of the Texas Tech summer band and orchestra camp. Other honors include the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Medal, Texas Tech’s Department of Residence Life’s Professing Excellence Award, the Lubbock Independent School District’s Meritorious Service Award, the Texas Tech Committed of Champions Meritorious Service Award, The Goin’ Band Alumni Ken Porter Service Award, the Texas Tech Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Texas Tech School of Music’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He has also received the Texas Bandmasters Lifetime Meritorious Achievement Award. In 2013, he was inducted into the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame.

Keith Beardon - WAMSB Judges Bureau Chair

Keith Beardon - WAMSB Judges Bureau Chair


With a heart for helping develop the skills of young musicians, Professor Bearden remains active as a guest clinician/conductor for numerous schools as well as honor groups across the United States. He is very active as an adjudicator in both concert and marching competitions across the country. He serves as concert band and jazz ensemble adjudicator for Festival Disney in Orlando each spring. At the international level, he is a member of the board and is chair of the judges bureau for the World Association of Marching Show Bands. International judging assignments were recently in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Germany, Thailand, Ireland, and the Philippines. He sponsored band director tours to Japan in 2014, 2016 and 2018 for school visitations and to observe teaching/rehearsal techniques. 

Professor Bearden is the immediate past president of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. He is past president of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association and the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu. Memberships include the Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha, and a lifetime membership in Kappa Kappa Psi. He has served as a board member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation, and has been a loyal member of the Sudler Trophy, Sudler Shield and the Sudler Legion of honor selection committees. 

Outside of music, Professor Bearden enjoys family, golf and restoring classic cars. His wife, June, is a retired middle school band director. They are members of the Lakeridge United Methodist Church in Lubbock. They have two sons and four grandchildren living in Lubbock and Houston.