IWU honors community band director with Maidenberg Award
PUBLISHED: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 11:00 AM
Indiana Wesleyan University awarded Grant County local John Brane with the 2016 Tony Maidenberg Award for community service during the annual employee convocation on Wednesday, Aug. 24. President David Wright presented the award commending Brane for his years of community service as the co-founder and director of the Mississinewa Valley Band.
After retiring as the Eastbrook Junior High School band director, Brane created the nonprofit Mississinewa Valley Band in 2000 with the purpose of providing quality entertainment that is accessible to the public. The community band averages 55 volunteer musicians, representing ten counties. The Mississinewa Valley Band presents three concerts each year at the Phillippe Performing Arts Center on IWU's campus, playing for audiences of 700 to 1,000 people. The musical group also presents a series of summer outdoor concerts in Marion and surrounding communities.
In addition to directing the band, Brane also founded the Van Buren Do-It organization in his hometown of Van Buren, Indiana. The organization works with volunteers to care for flowers as well as clean and maintain sidewalks in the town's business area.
"John Brane is a leading example of someone who is using his God-given gifts to serve his community," said Wright. "His dedication, servant leadership and passion are ever present in his life, and we are honored to present to him the 2016 Tony Maidenberg Award."
In 2002, IWU introduced its annual award for community service as a way to recognize specific individuals for exceptional commitment and selflessness among their neighbors. Maidenberg, a former mayor of Marion and a former Indiana state senator, was its first recipient. The award was later named in his honor, and has been presented to 15 recipients to date.