MHS band director named Outstanding Music Educator of the Year

Publish Date: 12/02/2021

Marion High School Director of Bands Joshua Huff has been named the Outstanding High School Educator of the Year by the Indiana Music Education Association.

The Outstanding Indiana Music Educator Award recognizes educators who have exemplified outstanding achievement in the field of music education, with a record of excellence over multiple years of teaching and contributions to students as well as the music education profession.

“On a list of a million things that could’ve happened to me, this isn’t one of them I would have ever expected,” Huff said when he learned of the honor. “This is a huge blessing and testament of the students I have the privilege of working with each and every day.” 

In his seven years at Marion High School, Huff has reinvigorated the band program. 

  • He revived the storied Marching Giants program in 2014 — his first year at Marion — bringing marching band back to Grant County for the first time in years. In 2021 the Marching Giants earned a top 10 finish at State Fair Band Day, the culminating competition of the Central Indiana Track Show Association summer competition circuit. 
  • He emphasized recruiting efforts starting as early as elementary school, taking his musicians “on the road” to make sure that young Marion Giants know about the musical opportunities that await them at Marion Community Schools.
  • He supported the band program at Justice Intermediate School as it experienced exponential growth, helping to build a strong “feeder system” for his high school band program.
  • He worked closely with the music department at McCulloch Junior High School as they became widely recognized as one of the best junior high music programs in the state, earning the Indiana State School Music Association’s top yearly award for seven years in a row. 
  • He led his high school musicians to a historic achievement in a uniquely challenging year, earning ISSMA’s top honor, the Total Department All Music Award, in the 2020-21 school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In collaboration with other band directors in the county, he helped establish a new opportunity for young local musicians: the Grant County Honor Band, which offers some of the best high school musicians in the county a chance to work with a guest conductor and prepare a special performance for the public every year. (This year’s performance is set for 7 p.m. March 8 on the main stage at the Walton Performing Arts Center at Marion High School.)
  • He worked to bring ISSMA organizational competition to Marion High School’s beautiful Walton Performing Arts Center, bringing band programs from around the district to our city and ensuring a top-notch experience for all, with his own students and their families among the volunteers making sure everything runs smoothly.
  • Alumni of his program helped establish the new marching band program at Indiana Wesleyan University this year.

As you can see, this honor is well-deserved! Marion High School and Marion Community Schools congratulate Mr. Huff on this special honor, and we look forward to continued excellence and amazing opportunities for young musicians in Marion!

You can come out and support the outstanding young musicians under Huff’s leadership this month! The Marion High School Music Department’s Holiday Extravaganza is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, on the main stage at the Walton Performing Arts Center at Marion High School, 750 W. 26th St.