One of the highlights of Mr. Wackerman’s career came in 1993 when both the OCSA Jazz Combo and the Los Alamitos High School Jazz Band won the Perpetual Trophy Sweepstakes Award, the highest award given at the acclaimed Reno International Jazz Festival under his direction.
A dedicated fundraiser, as well, Mr. Wackerman formed his annual professional Jazz concert series called “Class Notes,” where he hired well known jazz artists to come work with his students and perform a concert to further fund his jazz program. Such artists as Maynard Ferguson, Louie Bellson, Cat Anderson, Ed Shawnessy, Tom Kubis, Gordon Goodwin, Bob Mintzer, and many more jazz greats were featured.
Mr. Wackerman has been awarded the Irene Schoepfle Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Music Education in Orange County, Jazz Educator of the Year from Fullerton Jazz Festival, and Jazz Educator of the Year from K-JAZZ and the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB. He has also been inducted into the California Alliance for Jazz Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was awarded for Outstanding Contribution to Education by the Orange County Board of Education.