Evan M. Denison Memorial Fund

Evan M. Denison Memorial Fund

About the Evan M. Denison Memorial Fund

The Cavalier Marching Band welcomed Evan Denison into the UVA Band family in 2018. He was a beloved member of the trumpet section and was an outstanding drum major. Evan led the band through his enthusiasm for his peers, his passion for music, and his compassion for others.  He had a deep love for music and leadership and knew their powerful roles in creating community. Everyone who marched with Evan was touched by his infectious joy. He was wise beyond his years and known to be empathetic, caring, and present-minded. His memory lives on through awards granted in his name to Cavalier Marching Band members who exhibit the same charity and joy for which Evan was known. 
The purpose of the Evan M. Denison Memorial Award is to support Cavalier Marching Band members who share Evan’s passion for music, enthusiasm, and empathy for others. Recognizing CMB members for their passions and conduct that Evan also valued is an important way to nurture the same traits that Evan valued and honor Evan’s legacy of selflessness, care for others, and his passion for spirited musical performance.
Your gift to the Evan M. Denison Memorial Award Fund will make a difference for current and future Cavalier Marching Band members who share the same passion for the music community that Evan so dearly loved.

Award Selection Information

Each year, a CMB member can nominate a peer for this award whose values align with Evan’s values. Those values can include compassion, care, peacefulness, positivity, an encouraging demeanor, authenticity, confidence, and creativity, among others. Nominations are reviewed in the spring semester. Award recipients are announced toward the end of the school year and are in effect the following academic year.

Recipient Eligibility

Any band member who will be in their 2nd-5th year of marching in the CMB the following academic year is eligible for consideration.

Recipients are required to be enrolled in and march in the CMB course during the next marching season. For example, if a CMB member is named an award winner in Spring of 2026, they must be enrolled in and march in the CMB during Fall of 2026.

Peer Nomination

A returning CMB member may be nominated by a peer for consideration as an Evan M. Denison Memorial Marcher. The nominating student serves as the Principal Author and submits a nomination packet for consideration to the Director of Bands.  The nomination form is available HERE. Completed nomination materials should be emailed to cmbofficestaff@gmail.com due by Friday, March 22, at 5PM.

Nomination packets name the nominee, include a 2-3 page Author Letter outlining why the nominee is deserving of this award as well as two, 1-page supplementary letters of recommendation from current band members in support of the student nominee. The Author Letter may address the nominee’s character and conduct in the CMB, leadership efforts of the nominee, efforts to achieve performance excellence in the CMB, and the nominee’s impact on their fellow band members. 

Selection Process

Nomination packets are considered by a larger recommendation committee that advances its recommendations to a smaller selection committee. The recommendation committee consists of all UVA Band Directors, two CMB graduates from the 2015-2023 period who knew Evan Denison, and 1-2 current band members. The larger committee reviews each packet to consider how the nominee’s conduct as a band member aligns with Evan’s values, which include:

Authentic | Caring | Compassionate | Confident | Creative | Impactful | Intelligent | Intentional | Kind | “Once in a lifetime” friend |Peaceful | Positive | Present-minded  Thoughtful | Uplifting | Unforgettable | Unique

Nominee(s) names are advanced to a smaller selection committee consisting of the Director of Bands, two representatives from the Denison family, and one CMB graduate, which will interview Principal Authors about their nominee. Following interviews with nomination Authors, award recipients will be selected and announced at Band Banquet or a similar event.

Recipient Recognition

Award Recipients will be referred to as Denison Memorial Award Recipients, or a “Denison Memorial Marcher.” Denison Memorial Marchers’ names will be displayed on a plaque housed in the Hunter Smith Band Building trophy case in perpetuity. Recipients’ names may also be published on the CMB website.

Monetary Award

The purpose of the Evan M. Denison Memorial Award Fund is to support an award for members of the Cavalier Marching Band who share Evan’s passion for music, enthusiasm, and empathy for others. The amount available for distribution as a monetary award is determined in accordance with the spending and other polices established by the Board of Managers of the Alumni Association of the University of Virginia. The Director of Bands and the Denison family may determine together the amount awarded to each recipient. The award amounts may be equal but are not required to be equal.