I was honored to have received the Bandworld Legion of Honor Award from the John Philip Sousa Foundation on Friday, Dec. 23. The award recognizes band directors who have maintained school concert band programs of excellent musical quality and who have held leadership positions in their professional organizations. A selection committee comprised of high school and university band directors choose eight band directors nationally to be inducted into the Legion of Honor each year.
I have served as director of bands at Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minn., since 2011, and currently chair the fine arts department. My primary responsibilities include directing the VISTA concert and marching bands, and the jazz ensemble; coordinating the solo/ensemble and teaching guitar classes. I also lead bi-annual learning trips to broaden band students’ experiences and provide greater historical and global context to their musical education. Past trips have included performances in Italy, France, England and Germany. Under his direction, several students each year are selected to participate in the All-Conference Band.
Previously I was named 1991 Teacher of the Year for Tomah, Wis.; Teacher of the Term for Woodbury (Minn.) High School in 2003; and an “Excellent Educator” by WCCO-TV in 2015.