“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
I have always strived to maintain an active life in service. Even as an undergraduate and extending throughout my early career as a public school teacher and graduate student, I engaged in service to my institution and my community. The desire to help people achieve their goals and reach their potential has always been a strong motivating factor in both my personal and professional endeavors. Through my teaching, and now my research, I have always asked myself self “how will this help others?”
As a band director, there are always numerous opportunities to serve. As an athletic band director, those opportunities were voluminous and an essential part of my daily life. The opportunities to enrich the community and serve state and local educators through performances, clinics, and masterclasses proved to be one of the most enriching parts of the job. Fortunately, I found that the more I was able to be of service within the community and the profession, the more it provided to be beneficial to the institutions I served, particularly in the form of recruitment.
In addition to the ubiquitous institutional and community service commitments that go hand in hand with athletic band appointments, I have had opportunities to serve on significant university and college-level committees. For two years I served as the faculty representative for the College of Fine Arts on the Provost’s Work-Life Committee. In addition, I served on the School of Music and the College of Fine Arts Curriculum Committees while at the University of Kentucky. These committee assignments were in addition to my normal committee responsibilities on the School of Music Auditions Committee and various search committees. Prior to my appointment at Kentucky, I served on numerous search and planning committees at Texas A & M-Commerce and the University of Washington, where I served on the university-wide committees for the Quincy Jones and Dalai Lama Honorary Doctorate Ceremonies.
Finally, I have strived to serve the profession as a whole whenever I have the opportunity. Most recently, I served on the National Band Association’s Repertoire Committee where we reviewed and revised a standard repertoire list intended for instrumental music educators nationwide. In addition, after years of benchmarking and advocating with our upper administration at Kentucky, we were fortunate enough to receive a significant increase of $197,000 to our annual operating budget for the UK Bands. In 2016, I presented at the College Band Directors National Association on benchmarking strategies for athletic bands and helped multiple programs successfully do the same at their institutions including the University of Missouri, the University of Mississippi, and Penn State University.
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
― Barack Obama