NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Two faculty members in the College of Fine Arts will be honored during the 24th annual Stephen F. Austin State University Gala on Saturday, Dec. 8, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

The faculty achievement awards presented during the ceremony recognize innovation and excellence in teaching and research. Fred J. Allen is the recipient of the 2012 Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching, and Dr. Nathan Nabb has earned the Faculty Achievement Award for Research.

Allen is professor of music and director of bands in the SFA School of Music where he directly impacts nearly 300 students involved in the university's music and band programs each year.

He has served the College of Fine Arts for almost two decades, teaching classes and overseeing four concert bands, the athletic bands and multiple chamber groups. Many of the performance groups have been recognized at the regional, state and national levels. Allen has guest conducted All-Region and All-State bands throughout Texas and the United States, as well as in Korea, Taiwan and Australia, directly contributing to the musical development of thousands of young music students and their local school directors.

"On campus, every student who meets Professor Allen is immediately imbued with his passion for music," Dr. A.C. "Buddy" Himes, dean of the college, said in his recommendation of Allen. "Hence, students are not only attracted to his program but also remain loyal through and beyond graduation.

"I often overhear others make reference to the retention rate in fine arts and music. Without knowing it, in many ways, these people are talking about Fred Allen - both his teaching and in the examples he sets for other faculty members who have the good fortune to be able to work with him."

Allen is a member of American Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, Phi Beta Mu Honorary Bandmasters Fraternity, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Texas Music Educators Association, and Pi Kappa Lambda. In addition, he recently was recognized with the 2012 Meritorious Achievement Award from the Texas Bandmasters Association. Allen earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Abilene Christian University and a Master of Music from Texas A&M University at Commerce.

Nabb is an associate professor of music/saxophone in the SFA School of Music. A regular saxophonist with the St. Louis and Houston symphonies, he has given featured solo performances and concerts in both national and international venues.

Nabb has toured Asia and Europe as a solo and chamber musician. He is recognized internationally as a champion of new solo and chamber music for the saxophone and is committed to increasing the body of literature available for the instrument. Nabb has led master classes at a number of prestigious universities, coaching both soloists and saxophone quartets. His creative projects include recordings "LigAlien," "Oasis Quartet," "Tangled Loops" and his recent solo work, "Distances."

"Dr. Nabb is a testament to artistic creativity and an inspiration to both his students and faculty colleagues here at SFA," said Dr. Scott Harris, interim director of the School of Music. "This is his third year at SFA, and in that short time, he has quickly earned the highest respect and admiration of his faculty peers and the School of Music and College of Fine Arts administration."

Fellow SFA professor of music Dr. Deb Scott added, "he is the most high-profile performer on our faculty, and his reputation could easily compete with professors at the most prestigious music conservatories in the country."

Nabb earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Illinois and both a Master and Doctor of Music from Northwestern University. In 2010, he joined the faculty of the SFA College of Fine Arts where he directs the saxophone chamber ensemble, teaches saxophone studio class and provides private saxophone instruction to graduate and undergraduate music majors.

The Gala cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a candlelight dinner at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Signed Sealed Delivered of Dallas. The eight-piece band performs a mixture of pop, rock, jazz, swing and country music.

SFA donors to be honored at the Gala include Rick Campbell, Cecil Richey Jr., and Jim, Tom, John and Bob Kingham.

Tickets are $175 for orchestra seating and $125 for ballroom seating. Proceeds from the Gala help build a permanent endowment created by the SFASU Foundation to honor faculty achievement.

For more information about the Gala or to purchase tickets, call (936) 468-5406.