Former BVU honored by NW Iowa Bandmasters
The Northwest Iowa Bandmasters Association recently presented the Martin Crandell Excellence in Education Award to Buena Vista University alumnus Corbet Butler, who teaches instrumental music at Storm Lake High School.
The award is named after the late Crandell, a longtime faculty member at Storm Lake High School.
“I didn’t lose this award which is named after one of my great predecessors at Storm Lake High School,” says Butler, a 2011 BVU graduate. “I went to the University of South Dakota music camp as an eighth grader from Spirit Lake. Marty Crandell was my jazz band manager so I was lucky enough to work with him. I was fortunate to work with his wife, Cheryl Crandell, in the years that followed and she shared some very kind words of congratulations upon receiving the award.
Butler participated in concert band, jazz band, concert choir, plays and musicals while at BVU. The music education major also worked at 2Fix, BVU’s IT department, throughout his college career, following somewhat in the footsteps of his father, Patrick Butler, who graduated with a BVU degree in 1995 and then went on to in a career in information technology.
“I have a picture of me and my dad together outside Siebens Fieldhouse before he graduated BVU,” says Corbet Butler. “We recreated this photo minutes before I graduated 11 years ago.”
Butler began his career at Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School. He then went to Alta-Aurelia High School, where his jazz bands won the second and third of three straight Iowa Jazz Championships in 2013 and 2014. Butler came to Storm Lake High School three years ago.
“Since my time at BVU, I’ve really enjoyed Storm Lake and the Storm Lake area,” he says. “The chance to teach at SLHS was a great opportunity.”
Butler, who has nominated instructors and voted for recipients over the past few years, says the honor recognizes music instructors in northwest Iowa who go above and beyond normal duties, often assisting students in other schools at competitions and festivals, for example.
“When I nominate others for the Marty Crandell Award, I think of directors who are very well connected to their students and their programs,” Butler says. “And then I think of those same directors who, at any moment, will step in and fix instruments on the fly, or tune instruments, or help a student from another school in any way they can.”
Two of Butler’s former teachers, Jody Ingwersen and Curt Ohrlund, earned annual Karl King State Honors from the Northwest Iowa Bandmasters Association. Ingwersen teaches at Spirit Lake Middle School. Ohrlund, a Storm Laker native who retired from Le Mars Community High School, taught Butler private snorkel lessons when Butler was at BVU.
“It was so cool to receive an honor like this at the same time that two of my former teachers, people I really admire, were also honored,” Butler said. “I am grateful to my peers for having had enough respect for me to present me with this award. I will work to live up to the expectations that come with it.