Inducted in 1996
Robert T. Braunagel ("Brownie") was the first director of the modern day band program at Florida State University. He earned the Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Cincinnati (1941), the Bachelor of Music from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (1941), and the Master of Music Education from the University of Texas (1947). He pursued further study at Florida State University and the University of Michigan. He served on the faculty at Florida State University from 1947 to 1980. Most of his tenure was in the band area, serving as Director of Bands 1948-1953, Director of the Concert Band 1963-1971, and Director of the Marching Chiefs 1963-1971. It was during Brownie's tenure with the Marching Chiefs that the name Marching Chiefs was chosen as the official designation for the marching band at Florida State University. He had a special flair for designing, charting and rehearsing interesting and complex drill routines. He also served as the coordinator of the student teaching program in music education. He nurtured hundreds of fledgling music educators as they completed their internships and started their teaching careers.
Robert Braunagel was a unique person. He was both an imposing figure, commanding an almost awestruck respect, and a warm gentle man, endearing and magnetic in his ability to make one feel his concern for them. Fate arranged for Brownie to remain at Florida State University for 33 years, as band director and professor of music education, for he had come to Tallahassee to be our applied trumpet teacher. His prowess on the trumpet was legendary, yet few people in Tallahassee ever had the joy of hearing him play. His ability to interpret the written score and get its most expressive elements transformed into musical performance was realized with band ensembles made of students who were, by his choice, not the "stars" of the school. He had all of the talent, abilities, and intelligence that other conductors of lesser qualities would have displayed in the form of ego. Robert Braunagel cared deeply for Florida State University and the School of Music. He cared for its students and for its mission, and he zealously guarded the opportunities he had to influence them.