John has spent the last 30 years helping young adults discover who they are and encouraging them to be the best version of themselves. He currently serves as director of bands at Bethel Senior High School in Spanaway, Washington. John is also the Music Director and Conductor of the South Sound Symphonic Band. Having previously conducted the Tacoma Debut Winds for the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association (TYSA), John is honored to be returning to serve as one of the TYSA’s conductors. He is an active guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician.
John holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from PLU, a Master of Science Degree in Music Education from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, and a Master of Arts Degree from PLU in Educational Leadership and Administration. He has taught band at all levels from beginners to university, high school orchestra, has taught in the music department at PLU, and for 22 years directed the PLU football Pep Band. (Go Lutes!) He is the founder and co-director of the Northwest Band Workshop (NWBW.) NWBW is specifically designed to promote and uplift the music of BIPOC, female, and LGBTQ+ composers.
John currently serves on the Executive Board of the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) as Secretary-Treasurer, and has been a conference presenter, All-State Wind Ensemble organizing chair, regional festival host, and Past President of the Mountain Region. He is pleased to help support the music students and teachers of the entire state of Washington through WMEA’s goals of service, inclusion, advocacy, and organizational vitality.
John plays and collects vintage trombones with particular interest in early Vincent Bach, H. N. White (King), and Earl Williams instruments. He considers himself lucky to be the current steward of three Earl Williams trombones including one of thirteen Model 10 bass trombones ever built, and the Model 6 tenor trombone previously owned and played by Milt Bernhart.
John tries very hard to put his family first—he enjoys camping, travel, board games, and watching the yard crew mow the lawn at his condo on Spanaway Lake where he makes his home with his wife Katie, daughter Brontë, and dogs Jackson and Charlie May.