Inducted in 1997
Richard Dennis Mayo was Director of Bands at Florida State University from 1971-1976. He graduated from Miami Jackson High School in Miami, Florida, where he played oboe and piano. In 1953, upon the arrival of Manley Whitcomb as Director of Bands, Richard was selected to be his first drum major of the Marching Chiefs. In 1955, he received the Bachelor of Music Education from FSU. From 1956-1958, while in service, he was Assistant Band Director for the 8th Infantry Division Band, as well as Chorus Director, Dance Band Director, and Vocalist. In 1969, Mayo earned the Master of Arts degree from Columbia Teachers College in New York City.
Prior to his appointment to FSU in 1971, Mayo taught and directed bands in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, Florida; West Islip and West Babylon, New York; and at Plainedge Public School in New York.
As Director of Bands at FSU, his responsibilities included direction and supervision of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Concert Band, the Marching Chiefs, and three Jazz Ensembles. He released Bach, Rock, and All That Jazz on a seven-record set, all FSU Bands participating: Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble with professional solo artists, and Marching Chiefs with the great Charlie Carter arrangements. In 1974, the U.S. State Department invited the Marching Chiefs to perform and represent the U.S. at the World Trade Fair in Damascus, Syria. Bach, Rock, and All That Jazz, as well as a concert group of FSU faculty and students, also performed and were accompanied on the trip by J. Stanley Marshall, President of FSU. At the conclusion of the Syrian performances, King Hussein of Jordan invited the ensembles to perform in Amman for the Jordanian people and the Royal Family. Earlier in 1974, Mayo originated the All American Show Timers: twenty singers and dancers and twenty instrumentalists, who presented summer performances at Callaway Gardens in Callaway, Georgia. A three hour course was also offered for the study and performance of popular music.
Other accomplishments while at FSU included the establishment of the Tri-State Jazz Festival and the founding of the Florida Chapter of the National Association of Jazz Educators. He also directed a three week Jazz Ensemble tour to Poland in 1974 at the invitation of the Polish Government.
Mayo left FSU in 1977 to become Music and Education Director of the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation in New York City. In this position, he was responsible for auditioning and selecting ensembles for performance tours throughout Eastern Europe, Romania, Poland, and the Soviet Union. He also accompanied these groups overseas and served as the liaison between the United States and the Eastern European countries.
Currently residing in Hialeah, Florida, Mr. Mayo continues to be active in music education as a Clinician and Guest Conductor.