Bandsman of the Year

2018 – 2019
Dr. A. J. DiCaro, Jr.
Arabia Shriners

Dr. DiCaro became a Master Mason of Gray Lodge #329, Houston, Texas, in September of 1970 and became a Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine on February 27, 1971. He is an endowed member of all 3 organizations.

Dr. DiCaro is a past member of the Board of Trustees of Arabia Shrine Temple, with 9 years in office. Overall, he has been a member of this entire organization for 50 years.

Dr. DiCaro’s musical background with the organization includes being a member of the German Band, The Jazz Band and Past President of the Arabia Shrine Concert. He was Director of the Oriental Band for approximately ten years.

A member of the 25-piece Big Band Orchestra called “The Heartbeats,” an all-doctor band (with a few Shriners mixed in), Dr. DiCaro was proud to have helped raise money for the Texas Heart Association and Texas Children’s Hospital so that Shriner patients with any type of vascular problems could be seen and treated from the Shrine Orthopedic Hospital in Houston.

Dr. DiCaro has also been Medical Director of the Arabia Shrine Center since 1980. Acting as Ambassador for the American Society of Oriental Bands, Dr. DiCaro represents the United States in the International Division of the ASOB in Panama and South America.

Further Shriner work has included assisting Dr. Ed Smith who was Medical Director in the mid-1960s at the Shrine Hospital in Houston, Texas and assisting the next Directors, Dr. Donovan and Dr. Parrish with exams, X-rays, and evaluation of the children served by the hospital and assisting in surgery and rehabilitation as well.

Dr. DiCaro also collaborated with doctors Cooley, Hallman, Bloodwell and Latson on the development of a heart pump and the artificial heart, and assisted in the development of life support packs used by NASA for astronauts to wear under their spacesuits.

This lifetime of dedication to the Shriners was brought about because Dr. DiCaro’s father was a 60-year member Mason of Concordia Lodge. Also, two distant cousins were past Potentates of Al Koran Shrine in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. DiCaro is grateful and proud to receive the honor of Bandsman of the Year. This is an honor not to be taken lightly.

Dr. DiCaro looks forward to continuing to serve as Ambassador to Panama and South America in hopes that the goal of starting some Oriental Bands there can be realized, as he and Harry Pressman have already worked together to organize the officers and band members for Abou Saad Shrine Temple in Panama City, Panama. They, along with so many other Shriners, have made contributions towards the financial needs, instruments, uniforms, etc. to make this possible.

Please join Dr. DiCaro in remembering to support the Ladder of Smiles, so that we may continue to do our good work in the support of our Shrine Hospitals and Clinics, both here and around the world.


1. Purpose:

The purpose of the A.S.O.B. Bandsman of the Year Award is to recognize an Oriental Band member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the A.S.O.B., to the Ladder of Smiles, to his Shrine Center, and to his Oriental Band.

2. Criteria:

The criteria for this award are as follows:

a. Member in good standing in his Shrine Center
b. Letters of recommendation from the Potentate of his Shrine Center and the Area A.S.O.B. Ambassador.
c. Demonstrated Leadership within his band, and the A.S.O.B.
     1. Willingness to assist and lead where possible
d. Identifiable support for the Ladder of Smiles
     1. Responsible for coordinating and managing a fundraiser for his band and or Shrine Center.
e. Attendance at either his Regional Association Meetings or Imperial Session.
f. Must demonstrate goodwill towards all OB Members

3. Nomination:

Nominations should be submitted to the A.S.O.B. Secretary/Treasurer prior to the A.S.O.B. Mid-Winter Meeting. All Nominations will be reviewed by the A.S.O.B Executive Committee to ensure that the candidate meets all of the criteria. If more than one nomination has been submitted, they will vote on the candidates.

4. Award Presentation:

The A.S.O.B. Bandsman of the Year Award will be presented by the A.S.O.B. President. The presentation will take place during a Stated Meeting of the Bandsman of the Year’s Home Shrine Center. In the event the A.S.O.B. President is not available to personally make the presentation, he may select another A.S.O.B. Line Officer to perform the presentation.

5. Award:

The A.S.O.B. Bandsman of the Year Award will be a plaque with the A.S.O.B. Logo, A.S.O.B. Bandsman of the Year Award, Year, Member’s Shrine Center, and his Name in
letters the same size as the title Line

Previous Winners

Keith Oviatt
Zem Zem Shriners

2016 – 2017
David McCarthy
Moslah Shriners

Dave McCarthy

Chris Parker
Melha Shriners