Mike Gangemi Memorial Scholarship Fund


The purpose of the California Band Directors Foundation is to provide:

Support to the school band directors and school band programs of California.

Opportunities to the All-State Honor Bands and their students. 

Support for students to audition and participate in the All-State Honor Bands.


Donate to the Michael Gangemi

Memorial Scholarship Fund


On June 20, 2021, Michael Gangemi, CBDA board member, band director at Santiago High School, and a friend to so many, lost his battle with liver failure. With Mike’s passing, the world lost a compassionate, hardworking, and loving man as well as a legendary music educator. 

There were many times Mike encouraged us to reach out to one another and support each other. He once posted the following message on Facebook:

“Please, for the sake of your own sanity, open your contacts and send someone a message to let them know you’re thinking of them. That you love them. That they’ve made an impact on your life…As corny and lame as it may seem, it certainly beats the… “if I only had 5 more minutes with them…” – Mike Gangemi

What we wouldn’t give for the opportunity to send Mike another text, a quick call, or have “five more minutes” with our friend. 

Mike served on the CBDA board since 2009, making him the longest serving member on the board at that time.  As webmaster, Mike helped us move from an organization that was mostly offline into one of the leading groups in the nation for online auditions and applications. Of course, Mike’s work in CBDA went well beyond that of his role as webmaster. If you needed help, you could be confident Mike would be there in an instant, willing to do whatever it took to help you succeed.

Not only was Mike a prolific volunteer for CBDA, he truly believed in the mission of our organization and the impact that participating in the All-State groups could have on a student’s life. It was for that reason that Mike donated money to help pay the participation fees for students who couldn’t afford them on their own. Mike quietly donated towards these fees for years and did so anonymously, unknown not only to the student and director, but to most of our board as well. In addition to the financial gifts, Mike donated a significant amount of time to help students record their auditions, including students outside of his own school’s music program. To honor his contributions to All-State, CBDA is so excited and honored to announce the Michael Gangemi Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund will help provide partial and full scholarships to All-State students in need, continuing Mike’s legacy of service to CBDA and his willingness to help those less fortunate. 

Mike was celebrated with a wonderful “Mikeapalooza” – a Celebration of Life- on July 31, 2021 at Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks. Hundreds gathered to celebrate his legacy and enjoyed live music, fun stories, and an overall fitting tribute for such a wonderful man. The attendance at this event alone is a great example of the reach that Mike had, and how much he influenced and touched the lives of others for the better.