Roger Bjorklund Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Roger Bjorklund, who served as Band Director at St. Anthony Village High School from 1961 to 1991, was recognized with the 2017 Butch Dufault Memorial award--a Youth In Music Hall of Fame award for Lifetime Achievement in Music and the Marching Arts.  Chris Ravndal, St. Anthony Middle School Band Director, presented the award to Roger Bjorklund and is pictured with Bjorklund's daughter Lori Gullickson.

Roger Bjorklund, who served as Band Director at St. Anthony Village High School from 1961 to 1991, was recognized with the 2017 Butch Dufault Memorial award--a Youth In Music Hall of Fame award for Lifetime Achievement in Music and the Marching Arts--during the 2017 Marching Band Championships on October 14, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium.  Roger Bjorklund was hired as a band director in 1961 when St. Anthony Village High School opened.  During his 30-year career in St. Anthony-New Brighton School District, Bjorklund’s leadership created award-winning high school band and marching band programs, pictured below.  This prestigious award recognizes Bjorklund’s impact on music education in Minnesota and his legacy in the St. Anthony-New Brighton School District.

2017 Butch Dufault Memorial YIMMY
A native of Minneapolis, Roger Bjorklund began his career as a band and choir director at Clara City High School. In 1961 he started the band program at the new St. Anthony Village High School with just nine students. With Roger’s commitment to excellence and a belief in a balanced program centered on concert music, the band flourished rapidly.  His Concert Band performed at the State Music Convention and annually earned unanimous superior ratings at contest. The band was selected as a Program of Excellence by the Department of Education. His Jazz Ensemble performed at local and national events and was featured on WCCO TV.

In 1988 Roger founded the Patriots Marching Band, a 170 member parade band drawing membership from 4 suburban communities, and served as the executive director until his retirement in 1991.  Under Roger’s leadership, the St. Anthony Marching Band consistently received first place awards at local, national and international competitions including 7 consecutive first place awards at Minneapolis Aquatennial Torchlight Parades. They also earned 3 championship awards at Lions International Parades and Grand Champion awards in Calgary, Winnipeg and Washington DC.

Bjorklund has received the St Anthony Outstanding Citizen Award, the MAC Bandmaster Award and the Excellence in Education Award. He served as president of the ASBDA and the Phi Beta Mu Band Fraternity.  He was a Minnesota Music Educators board member and served for 6 years as an All State judge. In 2001 he was named to the MMEA Hall of Fame.  Through excellence and encouragement Roger Bjorklund taught thousands of students to treasure their music experiences. He and his wife LaVerne live in Eagan and are proud of their two daughters, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.