Ray Cramer

Ray Cramer

Emeritus Director of Bands
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music


Ray E. Cramer holds a BA in Education from Western Illinois University; an MFA from the University of Iowa; Honorary Doctorates from Western Illinois University, VanderCook College of Music; in 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Professorship at the Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo.  Prior to his appointment at Indiana University Mr. Cramer taught public school in Bardolph, Illinois (1961-62) West Liberty, Iowa (1963-65) Harlan, Iowa (1965-68) and Parma, Ohio 1968-69)

Ray E. Cramer was a member of the Indiana University School of Music faculty from the fall of 1969 through May 2005.  He was the director of the Marching hundred from 1972 to 1982.  In 1982, Mr. Cramer was appointed Director of Bands. Under his leadership the Indiana University Wind Ensemble earned an international reputation for outstanding musical performances including the 1982 American Bandmasters Association Convention, Indianapolis; the 1984 joint American Bandmasters Association/Japan Bandmasters Association Convention, Tokyo; the 1988 MENC National Convention, Indianapolis; the 1991 National CBDNA Convention in Kansas City, the 1994 National MENC Convention in Cincinnati, the 1995 American Bandmasters Association Convention in Lawrence, Kansas; the 1997 National CBDNA Convention in Athens, Georgia; a 2000 spring tour to Japan performing in six cities and the Japan Band Clinic; The 2003 CBDNA National Convention in Minneapolis, MN; a December 2003 performance at The Midwest Clinic; plus numerous other regional and state conventions. 

In addition to his administrative responsibilities as the Department of Bands/Wind Conducting Chair, Mr. Cramer taught graduate courses in wind conducting, history and literature. He also conducted the University Orchestra for seven years during the fall semester. (1994-2001) Mr. Cramer enjoyed a 36-year tenure at Indiana University with the final 24 years as Director of Bands.  

He is a member of ABA, CBDNA, NBA, WASBE, MENC, CMEA, CBA, CIDA, and is affiliated with Phi Mu Alpha and Phi Beta Mu. Mr. Cramer is a recipient of the Student Alumni Council Senior Faculty Award (1983), the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award (1988), the CIDA Director of the Year Award (1988), the Phi Beta Mu, International Assembly, Outstanding Bandmaster Award (1988) and the Kappa Kappa Psi Bohumil Makovsky Memorial Award (1991), The Edwin Franko Goldman award (2002), The MENC Lowell Mason Fellow medallion (2003) Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor (2005) Bands of America Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Award (2006). He has been awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Colorado Bandmasters Association (2007), Honorary Life Membership Iowa Bandmasters Association (2007) and has received the 17th Japan Academic Society of Winds, Percussion and Band Award (2007).   In December of 2008 he was named the  “The Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts” honoree by the National Band Association.  The AWAPA was established by the NBA for the purpose of recognizing those who have made truly significant and outstanding contributions to the furthering of the excellence of bands and band music.  In 2010 he was elected into the NBA “Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors.”  He was recently awarded Honorary Membership in the Japan Band Directors Association.  In 2017 he was awarded the College Band Directors National Association’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

He is a past National President of the College Band Directors National Association, The American Bandmasters Association and has served as president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association, the North Central Division of CBDNA and the Big Ten Band Directors Association. He was a member of the Midwest Clinic Board of Directors for 19 years and served as President for 13 of those years.  He currently serves as an advisory board member for the Japan Band Clinic, a position he has held since 2000. 

Mr. Cramer remains actively involved in clinics and guest conducting engagements nationally and internationally. He serves as a regular guest conductor for the Musashino Academia of Music in Tokyo, Japan that began in the fall of 1990 and continues to the present.  He has conducted the Musashino Wind Ensemble on tours throughout Japan and previous performances at the Midwest Clinic in 1995, 2006 and 2018. 

He and his wife Molly retired to Colorado Springs as they love the mountain climate and wanted to be closer to family.  

  Session Titles

Guest Conductor


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