I grew up on a farm about 60 miles north of Manhattan, Kansas. My family moved to Colorado when I was 12, and I have lived here ever since. For 20 years, my wonderful wife and I raised our family in Broomfield, and currently we live in Littleton. We have two grown daughters, and a 3-year-old granddaughter and a 7-month-old grandson.
I went to University of Northern Colorado in Greeley for three years, and graduated from University of Colorado-Boulder. I waited 19 years to get my master’s degree, from Southern Oregon University, in Ashland, Oregon.
Getting into teaching
I enjoyed band so much in high school that I wanted to become a music teacher myself. I taught for 30 years, all grade levels, from kindergarten through high school. I started teaching elementary band and then moved to middle school band, and then to high school band.
I was not looking for a high school position when D’Evelyn needed a new band and orchestra teacher. But I was intrigued by the school and decided to apply. I finished my career at D’Evelyn and it was a great time.
Colorado Bandmasters Association’s 2017 Hall of Fame
I have served on the board of the Colorado Bandmasters Association (in various roles), for 15 years.
The Hall of Fame award is very exciting. Every year the award is presented at our summer convention, and I have been watching wonderful teachers get that award my whole career.
Each year, a member of the association may nominate a candidate they feel is deserving of our Hall of Fame. Usually three to four directors are nominated, and then membership votes for one.
Being nominated is wonderful, and being voted on by your peers is the most meaningful part to me. I hope I can continue to serve our teachers and the band director community, and I am grateful.
Music in schools
Students learn how to work together as a group, and they are recognized for their individual efforts as well. Band was the main thing that kept my interest in high school and I know for many students, whether it is band, choir, or orchestra, music is how they feel connected.
My message to music teachers is to remember that excellent music programs are the best advocacy for the importance of music education in our schools. Students are attracted to excellence, and if you provide excellence in a caring and positive environment, your program will thrive.
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