2018 Oregon
Music Educators Association
“Outstanding Contributor Award”


Individual, business, or organization that has contributed to music education in an extraordinary manner through service, leadership, or advocacy through music business, arts organizations, or advocacy.

What follows is my thank you to our local music educators who nominated me for the award.

Thank you, Craig, for submitting and all of you for supporting me in the award. Just wow.

I was kind of speechless (what?) to hear the news. I cannot be there in Eugene this weekend but if it were to be required to say something (which I understand is not the norm) it would be this:

I am beyond honored to receive this recognition. 2017 was a remarkably tough year for me with loss. My High School Band Director, Jeff Tower, Hemet High School 1977-2007, passed away far too young and my Clarinet and Saxophone Teacher, Larry Mattox, Hemet Unified School District 1962-1993, was also laid to rest.

Besides my family, nobody had a more profound effect on my life than these two music educators. I was, as we used to say, a “Band Buddy” from the word go. Starting with 4th grade private lessons in the milk room to before school jazz band through my senior year, we were taught invaluable life lessons through music. Responsibility, accountability, values, honor, humbleness, respect and an unending commitment to excellence. I’m sure these are familiar themes for all of you and your mission as well – it’s obvious. It seems that wherever music and life has taken me the benefit from those lessons have followed.

Even at a young age I felt I belonged to something greater than I could understand at the time. For me, and I’m far from alone, being in the band and orchestral music business has never been about a job, obligation or transaction but rather a privilege to serve you and your programs. A privilege to offer an opportunity where possible, a privilege to help a student in need, a privilege to enjoy the friendships along the way and a privilege to share in the joy that is music.

I am immeasurably grateful.