MSU’s Lance named vice president of National Band Association

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Headshot of Elva Kaye Lance

Contact: Bethany Shipp

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Elva Kaye Lance, Mississippi State’s director of bands, is the new vice president of the largest professional band organization worldwide.

A veteran music educator for more than 40 years, Lance was elected to the leadership role for the National Band Association this spring and will serve a two-year term before moving into the roles of president-elect and president. Craig Aarhus, one of the Famous Maroon Band’s associate directors, was re-elected as an at-large representative on the board of directors.

Founded in 1960, the NBA promotes band activities across the globe and includes representatives from universities and elementary, middle and high school bands, as well as conductors of professional ensembles and community and military bands.

“It is humbling to be elected to this leadership position in our National Band Association,” Lance said. “I am very much looking forward to joining the leadership team and working with the many outstanding musicians in our field who enrich the profession through their involvement in this prestigious association.”

As vice president, Lance will guide the duties of the division and state chairs and work with other members of the executive council to assist the president with various projects and needs determined by the organization. She will assume her duties this week during the executive council’s meeting in Washington, D.C.

“The excellence of our band faculty from Starkville, Mississippi, and throughout the world has a resounding impact on the strength of a great MSU university music program,” said Daniel Stevens, head of MSU’s Department of Music. “They humbly lead through action to provide opportunities for students to excel in the classroom and on the concert stage. For 40 years, Ms. Lance has continued to break barriers among societal norms and proven that inclusivity and innovation provide pathways for future students to excel as educators and professional musicians.”

With more than 30 years of university service, Lance has led MSU’s band program through the completion of a multimillion-dollar rehearsal facility, construction of a new synthetic turf practice field and student enrollment growth. She maintains an active schedule as a clinician and adjudicator for concert and marching band events throughout the country and has served as state chair for both the NBA and the College Band Directors National Association. Lance also is an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.

“Lance is a constant advocate for the profession of music and inspires colleagues across several R1 institutions to garner respect and influence through decisive action,” Stevens said. “She has been lifted to the highest levels of leadership by her genuine character, an impressive list of accolades and a strong vision for the future of music.”  

In his second term as an elected at-large representative, Aarhus will continue to work closely with the NBA executive council in administering the organization. He previously served as an appointed board member and as the southern division chair and state chair. In addition to teaching, Aarhus co-directs MSU’s Famous Maroon Band and basketball pep bands and conducts a wind ensemble, the Concert Band and Campus Band.

Learn more about MSU’s band program, housed in the College of Education, at

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