Bryson City – Recently, the Western North Carolina Bandmasters Association voted and awarded the 2021 Award of Excellence to Mrs. Karen Williams-Lanning. To receive this award, the recipient must be nominated by a member of the body and receive a majority vote. Mrs. Williams-Lanning was nominated because of her tireless dedication to the growth and success of the Swain County Band Program as well as her service to the band director community at large. Currently, Mrs.Williams-Lanning is the president of the WNC Band Masters Association and the Secretary of the NC Bandmasters Association. During her career in Swain County, Mrs. Williams-Lanning has been recognized as the Swain High School Teacher of the Year and Swain County Schools Teacher of the year. Mrs. Williams-Lanning has had numerous students compete at the region and state levels and continual success in the concert hall, receiving superior ratings at many concert band festivals. On the marching field, Mrs. Williams-Lanning has led the marching band to numerous best-in-class awards as well as many other recognitions. Mrs. Williams-Lanning has orchestrated Swain County Band Program performances in Disney World, New York, Washington DC, and Hawaii. However and most importantly, Mrs. Williams-Lanning has and continues to impact the lives of innumerable students throughout her career. Using her keen ability to show students their self-worth, Mrs. Williams-Lanning has inspired student after student to achieve greatness in areas well beyond the band room door. The substantial impact Mrs. Williams-Lanning’s has had on the students of Swain County is ever-present, and the legacy she is still creating persists in the students now directing bands of their own. Congratulations to Mrs. Williams-Lanning on the well-deserved award!