Alumni Feature: Dr. Scott A. Jones

Dr. Scott A. Jones was a Cadet soprano in 1985 and 1987.

“The first time I did anything on my own was in 1985 when I flew from Columbus, Ohio, where I was in school, to New Jersey for camps and rehearsals.” This went on until the middle of June, when his classes let out and he was able to move in full-time with The Cadets.

Scott had long desired to be a Cadet. He auditioned for the soprano line in 1984, but things didn’t work out until 1985.

scott jones and friends2.jpg
Left to right: Scott Jones, Jeremy Greiner and Brian Hickman

The 1985 corps was largely made up of vets, so Scott learned a lot. “At the time, I didn’t realize how much I was actually learning about teaching,” he said. “There was just a great synergy that surrounded every rehearsal on the road that year.”

But The Cadets of the ‘80s were tough and worked hard, and ‘85 was no exception. “We just did not stop that summer. We went 22 days straight without doing our laundry,” Scott recalled. “They finally sent the volunteers out to do laundry while the corps rehearsed.”

The Garfield Cadets sopranos. Scott Jones is on the far left in the second row. The Cadets’ drill writer and visual caption supervisor, Jeff Sacktig, is in the front row, second from the left, and Jon Vanderkolff, who went on to help create Blast!
is fourth from left in front row.

Scott said he has many fond memories of his second summer with The Cadets in 1987 as well. “When the corps entered the field at finals, there was a certain sense of anxiety,” he said. “But someone in the corps began humming ‘Simple Gifts,’ and everyone began humming along. That calmed us down and got everyone focused again.”

Focused enough, that is, to win a fourth World Championship in five years.

(below) Scott Jones with young Andy Warntz, who went on to march in The Cadets front ensemble in 1992, and Holy Bass in 1996 and 1997.
ScottJones.jpg“As a Cadet, I pushed myself and expanded what I was capable of,” Scott said. “I learned that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and I learned to value being part of something that is bigger than yourself.”

After winning his second championship as a Cadet, Scott earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Ohio State University in 1989. He was a band director at Teays Valley High School in Ashville, Ohio for six years, until he achieved his Master’s degree in Music Education from the
Vander Cook College of Music in Chicago in 1995. He then moved to Apple Valley, MN, where he was hired as a band director for Apple Valley High School.

In 2003, with 15 years of high school teaching experience under his belt, Scott received his Ph.D. in Music Education and Conducting from the University of Minnesota (whose colors happen to be maroon and gold). He then became the Director of Bands at Concordia College in western Minnesota, very close to Fargo, North Dakota.

ScottJones2.jpgThis past summer, Dr. Scott A. Jones became the Associate Professor of Music and the Associate Director of Bands at his alma mater, Ohio State, where he conducts the university’s Symphonic Band and leads the undergraduate conducting curriculum.

Among other accomplishments, Dr. Jones was named “Music Educator of the Year” by the Minnesota Music Educators Association and was one of only three band conductors from the United States selected to participate in the National Band Association International Conducting Symposium in Rome, Italy. His guest engagements regularly include All-State and Honor Bands, as well as international engagements throughout Asia.  He has commissioned more than 30 new compositions for wind band and chamber winds in the past decade.

“The Cadets taught me not to be consumed with the expectations of others, but to know myself and to better myself,” Scott said. “This was the central tenant to being a Cadet, and I try to lead my life that way today. Not a day goes by when I don’t think if my time as a Garfield Cadet.”


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