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The Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster Award recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support and sacrifice of music parents and boosters across the nation by shining a spotlight on a recipient who exemplifies these qualities.

The award is named in honor of Patrick John Hughes, the father of Patrick Henry Hughes. Patrick Henry is a remarkable young man who, despite physical challenges that would seem overwhelming to many, has excelled as a musician and student, singing and playing piano and trumpet with the Louisville Marching and Pep Bands, with the help of his father, who tirelessly maneuvers his son’s wheelchair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band.

On Friday night during Grand Nationals the 2016 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to Robert Edwards of Fort Mill, SC.

Booster Award

Each year, Music for All honors a band parent, booster, or volunteer who selflessly gives their time and support to a band program. The people we honor come from a variety of different backgrounds, and each has a unique story to tell. However, what they all have in common is that we can truly consider them to be our heroes. For over 30 years, devoted father, grandfather, and husband Robert (Bob) Edwards has been Fort Mill H.S. Band’s hero. Since his three daughters began with the marching band starting in 1983, Mr. Edwards has been a pivotal figure with the program. With a background in engineering, it only makes sense that Mr. Edwards is the primary design and construction coordinator for the props used in Fort Mill Band’s shows. From designing giant Christmas trees to the New York skyline, to flawlessly solving technical issues, his commitment is tireless. Between director changes and campus changes, Mr. Edwards has always remained a constant source of dedication. A former member of the Fort Mill Band revealed that Mr. Edwards is at the school working most of the day on different jobs for the band, and returns later on in the evening to help the other parent volunteers.

Mr. Edwards gives the students a peace of mind and makes sure they are taken care of. His dedication and commitment certainly do not go unnoticed. “He has a certain way of fixing things and building things, and whenever I know he’s worked on props or something for our show, I’m pretty confident it will go pretty smoothly whenever we use them,” a student stated. 

“Bob Edwards is a unique band dad. He has been at this since the 1980s, and you always see him coming here early to set things up. He’s our go-to engineer, and if you need something to be fixed, he’s our guy to call on,” stated one of his grandsons in the band. Yes, you read that correctly. Mr. Edwards doesn’t have just one grandson; he has four that are currently in the Fort Mill Marching Band, with one of them being the head drum major. His commitment extends beyond the marching season, as he has helped repair and build equipment for the indoor percussion and winter guards. Mr. Edwards also helps wherever it is absolutely needed, from replacing door knobs in the band room and repairing instruments, to volunteering at the Fort Mill Playhouse and going on missionary trips with his Church. He has also been a part of a fundraiser since 2012, that helps collect, sort, dismantle and load over 50,000 pounds of scrap metal per year.

Often described as generous, selfless, with an energetic spirit, he is loved by his grandsons and the rest of the students, with whom he has loved and cared
for like they were his own. So to Mr. Edwards, thank you for showing what it means to be dedicated to advocating music for all.

Award Winners Past and Present Mr. Edwards pictured with past Parent/Booster Award Winners

Read more about Patrick John Hughes and his family and the Parent/Booster Award and find out how to nominate the exceptional parent or booster in your music program here.