Southington band director receives national recognition

Southington band director receives national recognition


Jeff Shaw, right, directs the Southington High School band during a rehearsal inside the school auditorium Tuesday afternoon August 15, 2005. This is the second day of the music camp that will meet five days a week for two weeks until school begins. Chris Angileri/Record-Journal.

SOUTHINGTON — “School Band & Orchestra,” a national magazine based in Las Vegas, recently named high school band director Jeff Shaw as one of “50 Directors Who Make a Difference.”

For the past 16 years, the magazine has put together an article highlighting one director from each state. The article, called “Report: 2013’s 50 Directors Who Make a Difference,” published in December, said it “shines the spotlight on an incredible array of outstanding music educators from every corner of the United States.”

Shaw has been working at Southington High for 24 years and teaching for 31.

“It’s kind cool because you’re nominated by your peers,” Shaw said. “It’s always nice when people recognize you.”

Shaw found out about the recognition when the magazine called him for an interview at the end of November. Peers, teachers, and others nominated Shaw and he was chosen by the magazine’s editorial board. “Southington High School is lucky to have such a dedicated music educator,” said Brian Robarge, president of the Southington Band Backers, a group that raises funds for the band. “(Shaw) truly cares about his students and works just as hard as they do.”

Shaw said students, teachers, and others around town have been congratulating him. An announcement was made at the high school recently about the honor.

“(Shaw) represents all that is right with music education,” said Southington High principal Martin Semmel. “He works tirelessly with his team to provide a world class music experience for our students. I am not at all surprised that Jeff is being recognized in this way.”

Each educator had a small profile written about them with their name, their school, and three areas that outlined their work. The three paragraphs explained their proudest moments as an educator, making a difference in kid’s lives, and the key to a successful career in music education.

“It’s important to show students what it takes to excel at something so that they can apply that experience into whatever career path they choose,” said Shaw in the School Band & Orchestra article. “It’s equally important to show you care about them.”

Shaw said the ultimate goal is to teach the students well enough to where they “sound like adults” when they play together, something he says he strives for.

“Our students learn a tremendous amount about music in our band programs but they also learn how to be a part of a high functioning team,” Semmel said. “While (Shaw) is receiving this recognition our students are really the winners for having such an amazing educator out in front of their learning.” (203) 317-2212 Twitter: @FollowingFarrah

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