2018 North Iowa Band Festival Honorees Announced

The North Iowa Band Festival Committee has selected the theme for the annual festival scheduled for Memorial Day weekend May 24-28, 2018.  “Totally 80s” was chosen to celebrate the festival’s 80th year.  




Grand Marshal Award –Fred & Ila Mae Fenchel

The Grand Marshal Award recognizes people of local or national prominence who have made a significant contribution to the development, history, or success of the festival.  The North Iowa Band Festival Committee is pleased to announce Fred and Ila Mae Fenchel as the 2018 award recipients.

Fred has served as a Chamber of Commerce Ambassador for 60 years.  At the organization’s 100th Anniversary Annual Meeting in 2016, Fred was presented with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his service.  Fred had a 28-year career at Metalcraft in Mason City before beginning a new career as an entertainment promoter.  He operated the Fred T. Fenchel Entertainment Agency and rubbed elbows with the rich and famous.

He always had a great story to tell from his days of booking entertainer such as Loretta Lynn, Tom Jones, Barbara Mandrell, and others. Through the years, Fred assisted with booking acts for the North Iowa Band Festival, too.  Fenchel was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Ila Mae is never far from his side. For years, she attended Chamber Ambassador functions with Fred. They make a strong team. According to Chamber President Robin Anderson, the Fenchels are two of Mason City’s best promoters. “For as long as I can remember, Fred has greeted each of the Band Festival royalty candidates at the door as they arrive for the parade.  If it’s raining, Ila Mae is right there to hand Fred an umbrella to shelter the royalty. But rain or shine, they’re both sporting a welcoming smile,” she said.

Congratulations to Fred and Ila Mae Fenchel on this well-deserved recognition!


Klempnauer Award –Robert Fisher 

The Klempnauer Award was named for Dan Klempnauer, a long-time volunteer and festival supporter, and is intended to honor an unsung hero who volunteers for the festival in a behind–the-scenes role.  This year’s honoree is Robert Fisher, who has volunteered in many distinct capacities over the years to help make the North Iowa Band Festival a success.

Bob has served on the North Iowa Band Festival Committee for as long as he can remember. He was one of the lucky students who marched 5 times in the parade during his high school band career! As an outstanding, three-time All-State musician he has been a long time member of the Mason City Municipal Band, which performs on the plaza at Band Festival. For a time, he helped to assemble and lead the Trombone Fanfare which begins the parade in playing 76 trombones from The Music Man.

As the News Director for Alpha Media USA (KGLO-AM, KRIB-AM, KLSS-FM, KIAI-FM, KYTC-FM), Fisher has been able to broadcast the Band Festival parade live to listeners. He also serves as a gracious emcee for many of the performances that take place throughout the weekend. Bob has won many awards for his broadcasting talents. Bob plays an ‘instrumental’ role in the Performing Arts Pavilion Committee who is bringing the outdoor plaza a new indoor/outdoor stage.

Fisher is humbled by the honor of receiving the Klempnauer Award and gives many thanks to the North Iowa Band Festival community.

Band Master Award -Michael McEniry

The Band Master Award was first awarded in 1990 to honor a retiring band master in recognition of outstanding work in the field of music with area youth.  This year, the North Iowa Band Festival honors Mr. Michael McEniry for a successful 38-year career teaching instrumental music (32 of those years with Mason City High School).

McEniry grew up in Mason City and moved back to the area in 1968.  As a band instructor at Mason City High School he taught marching band students the traditions of the North Iowa Band Festival and guided them along the parade route. McEniry also conducted the MCHS jazz band performances and still participates in the Municipal Band. In 2008, to honor the 50th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of The Music Man, McEniry co-organized a large group of trombones and trumpets to lead the Band Festival parade in the popular song, “76 Trombones”.

Even though retired he still has a passion for music. McEniry wishes to instill that musical light in youth by teaching private lessons, judging contests and performing with musical groups. This will be McEniry’s 39th Band Festival parade.

Congratulations to Michael McEniry, this year’s Band Master Award recipient!

Visit www.nibandfest.com frequently for updated information including major sponsors, parade forms, and the full entertainment schedule.

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