Issue: October-December 2015
Bandworld Magazine Page



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A special award of

The John Philip Sousa


The Bandworld Legion of Honor was established in 1989 to honor, over the course of a year, eight of the finest band directors in our business.

Recipients have taught for at least fifteen years, have maintained a very high quality concert band program, and have contributed significantly to the profession through dedication to bands and band music.

Each is honored at the annual Sousa Foundation awards ceremony during the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.

Chairman of the Legion of Honor Committee is Terry Austin,Virginia Commonwealth University.

Legion Laureates List Link

John Yoon

John Yoon has done a variety of band related jobs before settling in to the job of Band Director at Greenwich High School in Green-wich, Connecticut.

Yoon recieved his BS in Music Ed. and his Masters in Instrumental Conducting form the University of Utah. He is ABD at the University of Arizona for his Doctorate in Con-ducting.

Before getting to Greenwich Yoon served as the Program Designed for the marching bands of Utah and Arizona, director of the Arizona Concert Band and Flute Choir, director of the Kaysville Jr. High and the Davis High School Band in Utah.

He has served on the NBA's Executive Committee and as the Band Chair for the CT All-State Music Festival.

Yoon says, "The most important factors that shaped my career is what I've learned from my parents. The idea of being a hard working honorable person still resonates with me every day. In addition, I've been fortunate to have had wonderful mentors who have guided me to be who I am as a music teacher."

His philosophy is this, "It’s been my belief that we must strive to involve every student in a music program because it is an important part of his or her culture and future. We need a nation of music consumers who can express their love of varied musical genres and selections. Being involved in a band program instills extrinsic values such as a strong work ethic, cooperative teamwork, persever-ance and others. However, its most significant value of personal en-richment is the main reason why I believe music programs are essen-tial to our schools. We need to expand the music programs in this country so all students can have an opportunity to create and exper-ience this “universal language.”

Joel Denton

Joel Denton has been the Chairman of the Fine Arts Department as well as the band director of Ooltewah High School in Ooltewah,TN for the last 34 years.

Denton earned his BS in Instru-mental Music Ed from the Univer-sity of Tennessee and then did further graduate studies at UT - Chattanooga.

He has served his profession by serving on the TN Department of Education Fine Arts Committee. He also serves as the President of the TN Bandmasters Association.

The Ooltewah Band has earned nothing less than a Superior rating in Concert Band Festivals since 1991.They were also named the Grand Champion at the 2011 Smokey Mountain Music Festival.

Denton says,"I learned from Dr. W.J. Julian to ask for help. I have never been afraid to seek out those giants in our profession to learn from and to be mentored by. Three of those people are dear friends - Roy Holder, Alfred Watkins, and Freddy Martin. They are all still regular visitors to the Ooltewah Band Program. I also learned very early in my career that there is no substitute for working hard and having high expectations. I am convinced that students rise to the level of the director/teacher's expectations. As a director, I have always attempted to give my best to my students. In return, I have expected their best efforts."

His philosophy is this,"My philosophy is simple: Students success leads to your success. I have always believed that if I thought first about what was best for my students and their success that personal success would follow. I am not a successful band director because I am the best director/ teacher. I am successful because my students have achieved success. My entire program is student centered. I train them to be outstanding musicians and leaders so they model our expectations for others - those that they lead."

  Terry Austin Bio
Legion of Honor Chairman