MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Jan. 4, 2018 – At its annual awards ceremony Friday, Dec. 23, the John Philip Sousa Foundation honored Saint Thomas Academy Director of Bands John Bina with the Bandworld Legion of Honor Award. The award recognizes band directors who have maintained school concert band programs of excellent musical quality and who have held leadership positions in their professional organizations. A selection committee comprised of high school and university band directors chooses eight band directors nationally to be inducted into the Legion of Honor each year.
“I have been fortunate to work in schools and communities where the arts and music instruction are highly valued and recognized as integral to the development of well-rounded students,” Bina told Bandworld magazine. “Students, parents and administrators have had consistently high expectations of the band programs I’ve led, which have challenged me to be a life-long learner so that I am able to provide the best possible learning environment for students.”
Bina has served as director of bands at Saint Thomas Academy since 2011, and currently chairs the fine arts department. His primary responsibilities include directing the VISTA concert and marching bands, and the jazz ensemble; coordinating the solo/ensemble and teaching guitar classes. He also leads bi-annual learning trips to broaden band students’ experiences and provide greater historical and global context to their musical education. Past trips have included performances in Italy, France, England and Germany. Under his direction, several students each year are selected to participate in the All-Conference Band.
Bina’s previous honors and awards include 1991 Teacher of the Year for Tomah, Wis.; Teacher of the Term for Woodbury (Minn.) High School in 2003; and being chosen a WCCO-TV “Excellent Educator” in 2015. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Kappa Alpha. He has held numerous roles for the Minnesota Band Directors Association, including regional president (2012-2014).
Bina has a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in music education from Virginia Commonwealth University.
About Saint Thomas Academy
Founded in 1885, Saint Thomas Academy is an all-male, college preparatory, Catholic, military/leadership school committed to preparing young men to succeed in college and in life. The Academy challenges its students in grades 6-12 to excel academically, spiritually, morally and physically in and out of the classroom. It is fully accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS); a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Minnesota Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), and the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS). For more information, please visit www.cadets.com.
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