Baylor Associate Director of Bands Receives Highest Honor in Wind Studies, Guest Conducts "The President's Own" United States Marine Band

Isaiah Odajima, D.M.A., recognized for his outstanding contributions to wind bands through conducting, teaching and mentorship

April 16, 2024
Odijima American Bandmasters

Isaiah Odajima, M.M. ’99, D.M.A., was inducted into the American Bandmasters Association at the organization’s national convention in Washington, D.C. (Photo Credit: U.S. Marine Band Office of Communications).

Contact: Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-327-8012
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WACO, Texas (April 15, 2024) – Isaiah Odajima, M.M. ’99, D.M.A., associate professor of ensembles and associate director of bands in the Baylor University School of Music, was inducted into the American Bandmasters Association at the organization’s national convention in Washington, D.C., and served as a guest conductor for "The President's Own" United States Marine Band

The American Bandmaster Association, founded in 1929, stands as a pinnacle of excellence in the world of wind band music. Membership in this prestigious organization is granted by invitation only to conductors, composers, arrangers and educators who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and musicianship in the field. 

“I am honored and grateful for the remarkable opportunity to join the esteemed American Bandmasters Association,” Odajima said. “This induction means the world to me, and I'm thrilled to become part of such a distinguished community.”  

Election to the American Bandmasters Association involves a highly competitive and robust evaluation process that requires being nominated and sponsored by several current members, submission of performance recordings and a review of professional contributions by the entire ABA membership. With such a rigorous selection process, induction into the ABA is a recognition to an individual's dedication, skill and contribution to the advancement of wind band music.

“Dr. Isaiah Odajima’s knowledge and artistic interpretations of wind literature, both here in the Baylor School of Music and out into the larger world, are inspiring to hear across the full spectrum of the historical record,” said Gary Mortenson, D.M.A., dean of the Baylor School of Music. “It is such a joy to hear him bring new life to the existing repertoire and equally meaningful to hear him conduct new music I have not had the privilege of hearing. His passion for artistic excellence, and the guidance and leadership he brings to the musicians he serves, has been a joy to witness firsthand.”

In celebration of his induction, Odajima served as a guest conductor for "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, conducting a special performance commemorating the 100th anniversary of Gordon Jacob's iconic composition, "The Earle of Oxford's Marche," from The William Byrd Suite. This composition holds a special place in the repertoire of wind bands worldwide, exemplifying the rich tradition and artistry of the genre. "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, recognized as one of the finest wind ensembles in the world, is synonymous with excellence, precision and artistry. 

“Not only is this a personal milestone, but I believe it reflects the outstanding achievements of our wonderfully talented students and exceptional faculty in the Baylor School of Music,” Odajima said. “This illustrates Baylor’s dedication to the finest levels of musicianship and education.”


Odajima has appeared as clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor throughout the United States. His leadership of his ensembles have been nationally recognized with invitations for the Baylor Symphonic Band to perform at two Southwestern Division CBDNA Conferences, and with the Golden Wave Marching Band selected twice for presentation at National CBDNA Conferences.  He has conducted performances at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, College Band Directors National Association Conference, American Bandmasters Association Convention, Texas Music Educators Association Convention, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association and served as a conductor at the Interlochen Summer Music Camp. Odajima also is also a member of the College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association and is an honorary member of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Celebrating more than 100 years of musical excellence, the Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. Baylor’s School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs include bachelor’s and master’s degrees in performance, music education and academic majors, as well as doctoral degrees in church music. Degrees leading to the Bachelor of Music Education conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency. Visit the School of Music website to learn more.