Issue: April - June 2017
Bandworld Magazine Page



Previous Legion Next Legion

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 Bina

John Bina has served as the Instrumental music teacher at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minnesota for the last six years. This involves concert and, marching band, jazz ensemble, Solo/Ensemble coordinator as well as guitar classes.

Bina earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He went on to Virginia Commonwealth University for his MM degree,

Bina began his teaching in 1985 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, at Roncalli High School. He continued to move west into MInnesota until settling at St. Thomas in 2010.

In 1991 Bina was named the Teacher of the Year for Tomah, WI. In 2003 he was named Teacher of the Term at Woodbury High School (MN). IN 2015 WCCO-TV named Tina one of their Excellent Educators. He is also an member of Phi Kapa Phi and Phi Kappa Alpha.

He has served his profession in various offices including Minnesota Band Directors Association - regional President from 2012- 2014.

While St. Thomas Academy does not enter competitions they expand their students’ experiences by traveling. They have traveled to and performed in London, France, Germany, Austria and Italy in the past ten years. They also play host to touring ensembles which have included The Dallas Brass.

Bina says, "I have been fortunate in my career to work in communities where students, parents and stakeholders have high expectations for the arts and high standards for the education of their children. This environment has challenged me to become a life long learner to provide the best possible learning environment for our students."

"It is our obligation as music educators to pass along the cultural heritage of our society. The background of the student-ethnicity, socio-economic background, language, level of experience is immaterial. Music connects all students to the past, the present and the future. The knowledge and skills gained in performing arts classes provides them the necessary tools to assist them in facing the challenges of life." That is the guiding philosophy of John Bina.

John Cisetti

John Cisetti is the District Band Director for Louisburg Unified School District #416 in Louisburg, Kansas. This involves all of the bands in the district in grades 5 through 12. The incredible thing is he has been doing this for his entire career. He teaches at Broadmoor Elementary, Louisburg Middle School and Louisburg High School.

Cisetti did all of his schooling at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. There he earned his Bachelor of Music Education, his Master of Arts and his Education Specialist Certificate.

In 2000 Cisetti was named Louisburg Master Teacher of the Year. In 2001 he was a semifinalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year. In 2015-16 he was named Outstanding Band Director of the Year by the NE Kansas Music Educators Assoc.

He has served his profession by serving on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Bandmasters Association. He also has served as the President of the Louisburg Council of the Arts

Cisetti’s high school ensemble has received a First Division Rating in every year except one since 2007. During that same stretch of time his middle school ensemble has also earned straight first division ratings.

He relates one special moment,"I had the rare privilege of leading my band in “Taps” over the grave of John Philip Sousa using Sousa’s baton as the wreath was presented to Capt. Fettig, who placed it at the monument. The baton was then passed to my assistant director, Dean Davison, who conducted Sousa’s “High School Cadets.” A baton, of course, is but a piece of wood. The magic is when it is used to lead young musicians as they bring the music to life. This is the real thrill and the real honor for any band director. After the ceremony, Mr. Pugh carefully returned the fragile, old baton to its case where it waits to bring life to the music again."

"But the lessons of band go beyond music. In band, students work together on a complex project with many different parts to produce a product in which they can all take pride. America needs citizens who have that collaborative, creative skill set in order to be successful in the modern, competitive world."

  Terry Austin Bio
Legion of Honor Chairman


The page you have requested is part of the subscriber area.
  • You can select another page using the navigation above.
  • If you have a subscription, please login below to view this page:
User ID: