Furman music professor wins Excellence in Teaching Award

Leslie HickenLeslie W. Hicken, professor of music at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., has been awarded a 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (SCICU) organization.

SCICU annually recognizes one faculty member from each of its 20 member schools with the teaching awards. Each recipient is given a $3,000 professional development grant and honored at a special dinner.

Hicken joined Furman in 1993 as director of bands and supervisor of instrumental music education. Outside of Furman, he is the artistic director for the Carolina Youth Symphony and the Furman “Music by the Lake” Summer Concert Series.

Beginning his musical career as a clarinetist in the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, Hicken holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music; the Teachers College, Columbia University; and Indiana University.

Hicken’s band pedagogy articles have appeared in The Instrumentalist and The Music Director’s Cookbook, among other publications. He has presented clinics and adjudicated competitions at regional and national events throughout the nation.

In 2000, Hicken completed a residency with the public schools in Brazil. The South Carolina Chapter of Phi Beta Mu awarded him both the Outstanding Bandmaster of the Year Award and the Outstanding Contributor Award. In 2002, he was elected into the American Bandmasters Association. He is a past president of the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division, and is currently the president of the South Carolina Band Directors Association.

Under Hicken’s direction, the Furman Wind Ensemble has performed as a featured ensemble at numerous state and national venues including the New York Wind Band Festival at Carnegie Hall, the American Bandmasters Association National Convention, and the Chicago International Music Festival at Symphony Hall.

President Elizabeth Davis praises Hicken’s career for “enriching the musical life of the Upstate and for mentoring many of the leading band directors in the state.”

For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at (864) 294-3107 or visit the SCICU website, www.scicu.org.