This week Nick Averwater talks with John Easley, who is now an Educational Representative for Amro Music, but for over three decades was a band director in several school districts in northwest Tennessee. Most of his time as a music educator was spent in Union City, a town of around 11,000 people. They'll be talking about John's early days as a band director, the value of having patience when growing a band program, and more. Our conversation was recorded September 24, 2021 and is broken up in to two episodes. This is part one.
A 1983 graduate of The University of Tennessee at Martin, John D. Easley retired in 2016 after 34 years as a public school band director in the state of Tennessee. His longest tenure was with the Union City School System as Director of Bands for 31 yrs., where the band program boasted membership of approximately thirty eight percent of the student population.
Under Mr. Easley’s direction, the band program flourished, affording his students much success, both individually and collectively. A nationally recognized program, the Union City High School Marching Band is a five time Tennessee Division II State Champion, as well as the winner of ten Bands of America Regional and Super Regional Class Championships, and an eight time finalist at the prestigious Contest of Champions at Middle Tn. State University. They have been accepted and marched in The Tournament of Roses Parade, The Sunkist Fiesta Bowl Parade, Disney Days Celebration, and most recently, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. In 2005 and 2009, the UCHS Symphonic Band performed a full concert on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In addition to his work with his own bands, John is consistently sought out as a consultant, clinician, workshop presenter, and adjudicator throughout the Southeast. One of the highlights of his career includes his time as a staff member with the United States Army All-American Band in San Antonio, Texas.
Mr. Easley’s professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu professional band director fraternity (past president); WTSBOA (past president); Tennessee Music Educators Association (past board member); American School Band Director Association, and Tennessee Bandmasters Association.
John is married to Delana Easley, former UTM Faculty Collaborative Pianist. They have been blessed with a wonderful family, all of whom are involved in music and the performing arts: Benjamin and Sarah Easley, Benjamin is Director of Bands at Nolensville High School, daughters Ella and Harper; Rebecca and Chris Lowry, Rebecca is Director of Bands at Mill Creek Middle School and Chris is Associate Director of Bands at Rockvale High Schooll, son James; and Andrew Easley. Mr. Easley is currently the Middle Tennessee Educational Consultant for Amro Music and he and Delana reside in Smyrna, Tn.
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