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In Memoriam: Al Bumanis

Celebrating a Life Well-Lived

In Memoriam: Al Bumanis (1953-2018)

October 1, 2018
Silver Spring, MD
Bumanis1Husband, father, grandfather, brother, music therapist, guitarist, conference manager, and friend.

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of our beloved friend and colleague, Al Bumanis.  Al died peacefully at his home Sunday morning, September 30, 2018, with his loving family by his side. Al is survived by his wife, Nancy Poole; daughter, Audrey Seymour, son-in-law Christopher Seymour, and grandchildren James, Ryan, and Alice; and his brother John and sister-in-law Christie.

Al served as AMTA’s first Director of Communications and Conferences, beginning in 1991. Prior to that he served as a Program Director and music therapist at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup, Maryland. Al’s clinical practice at Perkins was in forensics and he had also worked in geriatrics. His undergraduate degree was from the University of Maryland and he completed his music therapy training at Catholic University.

“Big Al,” as he was known to his colleagues, was the genius behind scores of successful national conferences and served as the intermediary between the association and hundreds of journalists around the world. He was a man of remarkable expertise and highly respected in conference planning and management circles.  He was always the diplomat, guided by excellence, and kindness and caring for everyone with whom he had contact.  Al’s enthusiasm and passion for music therapy never wavered during his 27-year career working for the music therapy association.

BumanisHis colleagues in the national office remember Al for his sense of humor, being a great dad and granddad, his love of the Washington Nationals baseball team, and the bassets that he and Nancy raised. His devotion to guitars was palpable--he surrounded himself with guitars in the office. While concentrating on a big writing project, he typically strummed a guitar on his lap. Al started gigging professionally at the age of 15 and he continued gigging as a part-time professional guitarist in a rock band his entire life.

The music therapy community has lost a wonderful colleague, friend, and advocate.  We celebrate a life well-lived!  Everyone who met Al liked him, and everyone who liked him, quickly grew to love him. Ceremonies to commemorate and celebrate his life—in his hometown and at the AMTA annual conference will be announced in the coming weeks.