Belongia Chosen for Bandmasters Fraternity

Dr. Daniel A. Belongia, associate professor of music and director of bands at Arkansas Tech University, has been selected for induction into the Phi Beta Mu Honorary Bandmasters Fraternity.

Belongia will be inducted into Phi Beta Mu as a member of the Omicron chapter, which is the statewide chapter for Arkansas. His nomination for membership was sponsored by Phi Beta Mu Omicron Hall of Fame member Hal Cooper, who served as director of bands at ATU from 1979-2011.

Belongia became the fifth director of bands in ATU history on June 1, 2015.

A product of Kenosha, Wis., Belongia earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education and a Master of Music degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Miami (Fla.). He graduated from Michigan State University with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting.

Before coming to Arkansas Tech, Belongia served as a member of the Illinois State University music faculty from 2005-15.

He summed up his philosophy on teaching and directing band during a 2015 interview.

“The big three are to be fundamentally sound, to be assignment correct and to be mentally tough,” said Belongia. “If we want to be a really good marching band, that’s all we have to do. That’s life too, isn’t it? Be nice, be polite, be kind…those are the fundamentals of human interaction. Assignment correct…where am I supposed to be and what am I supposed to be doing? You can apply that to today, to your 10-year plan and to your life. Mentally tough…obviously, in life, we’re all going to face our ups and downs. There are disappointments and challenges. We win together. You can’t win while making everyone else lose. You see the kind of people that band creates. A very small percentage of them become professional musicians or professional educators, but a huge percentage of them become great citizens and great contributors to the world.”

Founded in 1938, Phi Beta Mu was established by Col. Earl D. Irons. He served as bandmaster and chairman of fine arts at the institution now known as the University of Texas-Arlington.