Dr. John Taylor, professor of music at Friends University, has been awarded the 2018-19 National Federation of High School Activities State and Section 5 Award for Outstanding Music Educator. He is not only the Kansas honoree, but the NFHS Section 5 award winner representing Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The award is given to individuals whose contributions have impacted high school activities programs. Nominees must exemplify the highest standards of ethical conduct and carry the endorsement of their respective state high school association. Significant and/or long-term contributions to interscholastic high school music activities are important criterion in evaluating candidates.
Dr. Taylor has taught at Friends since 1989 and has also served as the Kansas Music Educators Association executive director since 2003. He is a recognized advocate for music programs across Kansas and throughout the world. He has worked with state and national legislators and with State Departments of Education to advocate for school music programs, to set national and state standards for school music teaching, and to write music curricula guides.
His Friends University ensembles have commissioned and performed world premieres of many works, which are now available for performance by school bands. He has brought more than 40 renowned composers and performers to Friends University to work with high school music teachers and their students. He has presented clinics to school music educators across the United States and in foreign countries to help improve the pedagogy of music instruction. His work with state and national professional organizations has resulted in policies and regulations affecting music instruction and adjudication in the schools.
He has helped many successful music educators entering the profession to positively impact the lives of thousands of school music learners. As a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator, Dr. Taylor has provided instructional pedagogy for thousands of high school band students. He has also taken hundreds of school band students on tours across the United States, to performances in foreign countries, and to national and international competitions.
The NFHS Music Association Outstanding Music Educator Award was first given in 1989 when seven individuals received sectional awards. Since that time, 176 sectional and 321 state awards have been presented. Added to those totals for 2018-19 are seven sectional awards and 13 state awards. Also, 1989 marked the beginning of an annual selection of a NFHS Citation recipient. The Citation is one of the highest awards presented by the NFHS in the fine arts. As the result of being selected as a sectional award winner, Dr. Taylor will compete next fall as a candidate for the 2019-20 National Citation Award.
Friends University, a Christian University of Quaker heritage, equips students to honor God and serve others by integrating their intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.