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Directors Who Make a Difference

  • 2020 Survey Report on COVID-19 Impact

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    For over two decades, the December issue of SBO magazine has honored a band director from each state in our annual “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” issue. Typically, the following five or six months are when nominations for the next issue pour in by the hundreds from students, administrators, parents, colleagues and more. As we all know, the following period in 2020 was not “normal.”

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  • The 22nd Annual 50 Directors Who Make a Difference

    Mike Lawson | December 6, 2019

    School Band and Orchestra Magazine’s “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” report was compiled again having painstakingly reviewed hundreds of nominations.

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  • SBO Presents the 20th Annual 50 Directors Who Make a Difference

    Mike Lawson | December 8, 2017

    For two decades, School Band and Orchestra Magazine’s “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” has focused the spotlight on outstanding music educators from each of these United States.

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  • SBO Presents The 19th Annual 50 Directors Who Make A Difference

    Mike Lawson | December 13, 2016

    SBO’s 19th annual “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” once again showcases great music educators, each of whom were submitted from all 50 states.

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  • Florida Band Association Inducts During 26th Annual FBA Hall of Fame Weekend

    Mike Lawson | January 7, 2016

    Florida Bandmasters AssociationMusic to their Years. The Florida Bandmasters Association celebrated its 26th Annual Hall of Fame Weekend at Stetson University in Deland, Florida by inducting one new Hall of Fame member and two Roll of Distinction honorees. Southern Winds structured this event around concerts for the Roll of Distinction ceremony and the Stetson University Symphonic Band for the Hall of Fame.

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  • From Marching Band to Multi-Platinum: A Profile of Narada Michael Walden

    Mike Lawson | November 11, 2015

    Narmada as a Drum MajorNarada Michael Walden’s career is, in some respects, mind-blowing. But it all started out in high school marching band. He went from snare drum to drum major to a scholarship to learn jazz, all of which he parlayed into one of the most enviable careers a former drum major could possibly hope to have.

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  • Dress Our Band

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2015

    Editor’s Note: This past June, SBO ran a cover story on Fairview High School band director (Fairview, TN) entitled “Justin Barr is Getting the Band Back Together” detailing his success in rebuilding his high school marching band program from a low of under 20 members to nearly 80 members today. With that growth in new musicians in his program came a serious need for new band uniforms. We asked the president of the band boosters to follow up with us on that story and let us know what’s happened since this past summer to address the need to dress the band, and she delivered this report.

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  • 2013 ’50 Directors Who Make a Difference’ Report

    Mike Lawson | December 16, 2013

    SBO’s 16th annual “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” report once again shines the spotlight on an incredible array of outstanding music educators from every corner of the United States. From directors of programs with champion marching bands like Ken Turner of River Bluff High School in Lexington, South Carolina to dedicated string teachers such as Elaine Sloane, who is in her 37th year at Radnor Middle School in Wayne, Pennsylvania, SBO readers have gone above and beyond in bringing forth the stories of the peers and mentors whom they admire.

    Nominated by readers and selected by SBO’s editorial staff, this year’s report also provides the opportunity for a glimpse beyond the typical school music department, recognizing small programs like Gregory McCallum’s at Richmond (Va.) Community High School, an institution that focuses on gifted students from economically challenged backgrounds, and Cynthia Sibitzky’s work at Crawford Elementary School in Alaska, where she has been teaching music to the children of active duty service members at Eielson Air Force Base for nearly two decades.

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