TROY, Ala. (AP) — Johnny M. Long, a leading U.S. music educator and the longtime leader of Troy University’s band, has died, the school said Tuesday. He as 94.

Long died at home in Troy after a brief illness and had been in declining health for more than a year, an announcement said.

Long was a past president of the American Bandmasters Association and is a member of the organization’s conductors hall of fame. He served as Troy’s director of bands for more than three decades beginning in 1965, and the school’s marching band performed at two presidential inaugurals during Long’s tenure.

Troy’s current director, Mark Walker, said Long built the band into one of national prominence.

“He has produced thousands of band directors and musicians who have gone on to careers throughout the United States in all areas of music and music education,” Walker said in a statement.

Long, an Alabama native, entered music education after serving as an Army band member in World War II.