Kenneth Bartosz (2001)
Two generations of Loyola's football faithful have witnessed excellence on parade, not merely in the group of athletes wearing the maroon and gold but also in another group similarly attired, a group no less disciplined, no less cohesive, no less talented, and no less hard-working. This squad, the Loyola Academy Marching Band, is the handiwork of one man's consummate expertise and tireless devotion: Kenneth A. Bartosz. Instrumental is the only appropriate word to characterize Ken Bartosz and his nearly forty years of professional service to the Academy and its students, both in the classroom and on the athletic fields. After earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Northwestern University, Ken arrived at Loyola in the spring of 1965 to find a school not only without a marching band to complement its athletic resurgence, but also devoid of a Fine Arts curriculum of any kind. He quickly set out to organize both. Within two years the Fine Arts department was born, with Ken its first chair, a position he held for thirty-two years. In that time he developed a curriculum replete with courses in art, drama, dance, and of course, music. So too with the marching band. Within five years, from meager beginnings of 25 members, his band was marching 80 strong down Pennsylvania Avenue in the 1970 Presidential Inauguration. That the band had come of age during a Loyola football rebirth marked by three Prep Bowl championships put Ken's troops on display and under pressure, and rapidly cemented its reputation for brilliant teamwork. In his thirty-six years as Director of Music and his thirty-two as Fine Arts chairman, he has transformed a tenuous dream into a motherlode of excellence. Ken is a past recipient of Northwestern's Outstanding Music Alumni Award, the Chicagoland Educator of the Year Award, and the National Catholic Band Association's Lepinsky Award (its highest honor), and the Archdiocese of Chicago's Heart of the School Award. Active as a workshop and convention presenter, contest judge, local conductor, NCBA past president, and board member of various music associations, Ken remains immersed in music and in young musicians. He continues to conduct Loyola's Wind Ensemble, String Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, and Musical Comedy Orchestra, all of which he founded. He is equal parts professional acumen and Christian demeanor. Loyola's Man of Letters, Ken Bartosz bespeaks integrity, selflessness, and vision.