National Band Association

What is the National Band Association?

The National Band Association, founded on September 11, 1960, is the largest professional organization for bands in the world. It was organized for the purpose of promoting the musical and educational significance of bands and is dedicated to the attainment of a high level of excellence for bands and band music. The NBA is an organization open to anyone and everyone interested in bands, regardless of the length of experience, type of position held, or the specific level at which one works. The membership roster includes men and women from every facet of the band world. NBA is today’s professional organization for band directors, and it stands ready to serve all members of the association through a variety of projects and initiatives.

Educational Purposes of the NBA

  • To promote the excellence of band performance throughout the world
  • To encourage the composition and performance of quality band music at all levels
  • To assist directors at all levels of experience to identify areas of mutual concern
  • To promote pride and continued enthusiasm among band directors
  • To encourage quality students to pursue careers in music
  • To promote a spirit of cooperation and continued dialogue among directors, performers, the music industry, and all other band support organizations at all levels



The National Band Association was founded on September 11, 1960. The organization was the dream of Traugott Rohner, the editor and founder of The Instrumentalist magazine. Rohner set up a meeting with three of the most capable leaders among America’s band directors, Al G. Wright (Purdue University), John Paynter (Northwestern University) and Earl Dunn (Ball State University). These highly respected leaders established a new, inclusive band organization that grew into the largest professional band organization in the world.  Elected by the membership every two years, you can see the type of people who have not only been involved with, but have guided the National Band Association since 1960.