Evanson band scholarship will benefit music majors

A new endowed scholarship has been created for students pursuing a bachelor of music education degree at Henderson State University.

The Wendell O. Evanson Band Scholarship was made possible by a generous $25,000 gift from Dr. Lydia Evanson in November 2021. The first scholarship will be awarded in fall 2022.

Lydia Evanson is the wife of the late Wendell Evanson who served as Henderson’s band director for 30 years.

“Nothing gave Wendell any more pleasure than teaching talented students who were pursuing a B.M.E. in instrumental music toward becoming a band director,” said Evanson. “I wanted to help some deserving students toward that end.”

The scholarship will be awarded annually to an outstanding band music major.

“The Henderson State University band program exists today because of the persistent efforts of Mr. Wendell Evanson,” said Dr. Shaun Popp, director of bands. “His legacy and spirit are a very integral part of our band program and I am so pleased that a scholarship has been established in his memory.”

Nevada Mills, associate director of bands, said, “The scholarship will help ensure that Henderson continues the tradition of graduating excellent band directors who go out into communities and spread that same love of music that Mr. Evanson did here for 30 years.

“What a wonderful tribute to a beloved member of the Henderson State community and band directors far and wide.”

Additional gifts to grow the endowment may be designated to the Wendell O. Evanson Band Scholarship at hsu.edu/give, or HSU Foundation, 1000 Henderson St., HSU Box 7550, Arkadelphia, AR, 71999-0001.

Wendell Evanson became Henderson’s band director in 1958. His bands grew from 30 players to well more than 100 when he retired in 1987. Evanson established the Henderson summer band camp in 1967, having served thousands of young musicians. The camp will soon celebrate its 55th anniversary.