Greenwich High School band director John Yoon was selected for the School Band and Orchestra Magazine‘s “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” December 2016 edition.
Yoon, who said he was notified at the end of October of his nomination, said he was honored to represent Connecticut. School Band and Orchestra Magazine has published the annual “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” issue for 19 years.
In its December issue, the magazine featured one music educator from each state and Yoon was selected to represent Connecticut. The School Band and Orchestra Magazine editor Mike Lawson said his staff was blown away by the heartfelt, inspiring stories about band director and orchestra leader candidates.
“It isn’t easy to choose the final names for each state,” he said. “In fact, it’s rather difficult. This isn’t a popularity contest, so the most submissions doesn’t garner a spot on the list, though it certainly gets attention if the entire band gets together to enter their director and say amazing things.”
Yoon, who has been teaching for 30 years including 25 in Greenwich said his proudest moments as an educator include receiving letters from former students – both recent ones and others who graduated more than 20 years ago – describing the positive and lasting influence he had on their lives.
“I hope to make a difference on my student’s lives by helping them discover what they are truly passionate about,” he said in his interview for SBO. “If music ends up being just a hobby, at least they will have been given the chance to uncover it for themselves. So much can be learned through music that no matter what field they decide to pursue, they will have gained invaluable lessons that will guide them through the rest of their lives.”
Yoon said the most important lesson he tries to teach is how to be a good human being. “As a music educator, if I’ve only taught my students to be good musicians and nothing else, I have essentially failed them as individuals.”