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FHS band directors set county precedent

Farragut High School band directors can boast something no other high school in Knox County can.

Band director Ron Rogers and assistant band directors Steve Taylor and Michelle Lewis, call hold offices within the handful of professional band organizations in the state.

Rogers is president-elect of Tennessee Music Educators Association; Taylor is president-elect of East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association as well as the All-State general chair for the instrumental section of Tennessee Music Educators Association and Lewis is the executive secretary of the Tennessee Band Master Association.

“This is a real special situation that is non-existent in any other school in Knox County,” Rogers said.

“In the state of Tennessee there are X number of offices. What you have for band is East Tennessee School Band Directors Association, the East Tennessee Secondary School Band Directors Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association and the Tennessee Band Masters Association and that is about all that we have band-wise for professional associations.

“In Knox County virtually nobody holds these professional offices within those. In this office here, all three of us do,” he added.

Lewis was asked to run for her position by the president of TBA.

“About a year ago the president of T-B-A said our executive secretary had decided he was done and asked if I would go up for election with T-B-A and I agreed and they elected me,” she said.

The position requires much organizational ability.

“I take minutes at our yearly meeting, which is an All-State conference. I also am in control of all the monies within T-B-A. I take care of dues, keep the membership roles intact, I write checks when things need to be paid for for T-B-A and I take care of the communication within T-B-A,” she added.

TBA is the adjudicator of the State Concert Festival, in which FHS participates.

Rogers, as president-elect of Tennessee Music Educators Association, is being primed to take over as president.

“I was elected this past spring as the president-elect and I will take office as president in June of 2010,” he said.

“The T-M-E-A is the governing organization for instrumental, band and orchestra, vocal and for general music for all of Tennessee. It represents 1,600 teachers throughout the state from an elementary to a college level,” he added.

TMEA answers to directly to the National Music Educators Conference, of which Rogers is a Board member.

“Every state has an executive Board which meets to discuss things, and by virtue of being president-elect I also serve on the executive Board for the Tennessee Music Educators Association as well as the executive board for the southern division of the National Music Educators Conference,” Rogers said.

Rogers’ appointment as president-elect was a special honor.

“I was the first president elected by the entire state. In the past there has been a presidential committee that has decided upon the president of the state association and this is the first time the president has been elected by the entire membership,” he said.

Taylor is not new to holding professional office within state band organizations.

“My first position on the Board was as band chairman and I did a four-year term, which involved running Senior Clinic. Tenth- eleventh- and twelfth-graders go and audition on one Saturday and the top players are picked for four different ensembles that play. We have clinicians come I from all over the United States.

“Then I was elected by the membership as president-elect. The president-elect position is a two-year term that revolves into a president position for two years then into a past-president position for two years,” Taylor said.

As president-elect of ETSBOA, Taylor is responsible for keeping the principals of all East Tennessee band programs apprised of band activities.

“Also at All-State East we have clinics going on for our directors — our students are there to learn and we want our directors who are there to learn — and I secure those people to come and do those clinics for the directors,” Taylor said.

As chair for TMEA Taylor is responsible for coordinating clinics at a state-level.

“I coordinate and ensure that we have a jazz clinician, a concert band clinician and an orchestra clinician. I make sure that all of those people know what needs to be done,” he added.

“A lot of the reason Mr. Taylor was appointed to this position on a state level is because of the amazing organizational skills he showed at the East Tennessee level,” Rogers said.

“He was asked by our current state president to do this because he knew his ability to organize and pull these things together.”

Rogers said all duties related to the professional offices are handled outside of school hours.

“It is a lot of work, but it is also something that we very graciously try to approach and handle our duties because so many students, not just here at Farragut but anywhere from here to Memphis to Bristol, are influenced by any decision that is made by this office. And this office, by the virtue of all the positions that we hold, is like grand Central Station,” he added.


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