Argyle Director Elected to the American Bandmasters Association
by Pamela Arrington
Who is the leader behind the direction of one of the states most recognized high school bands? On any given Friday night during the fall at an Argyle High School Football game spectators have the pleasure of watching the four time back-to-back state champion high school marching band perform at half time. The neatly pressed uniforms, perfect formation, and pride that is exuded from the band members is evident when they step on the field. Argyle ISD takes great pride in the Argyle High School Band and knows the dedication it takes to build such a successful program.
Behind every great band there is an amazing leader and that leader is Mrs. Kathy Johnson. Her eye for perfection, expectation for high standards, and strength in leadership have led her to mold a high school band into an award winning state title band year after year. Johnson is completing her 10th year as the director of bands at Argyle High School.
Mrs. Johnson started her career out at The University of North Texas where she earned both her Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music Education. Throughout her career she has had the honor of being a part of many prestigious organizations and groups including the following; The Texas Bandmasters Association (Region Representative), Texas Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu (an honorary music fraternity where she serves on the board representing the small schools), the Association of Small School Bands, Women Band Directors International, the Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and she is a founding member of the Dallas Winds, a professional Wind Ensemble.
Mrs. Kathy Johnson has set a name for herself and the Argyle High School Band. While under her direction, the AHS Band has earned four state marching championships (title held for 8 years). The concert equivalent of that is the Texas Music Educators Honor Band, and they have held that title once. The National/International concert equivalent is performing at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic which they have done once.
“The honors we have earned are simply a byproduct of a high standard of performance,” explained Johnson.
She also stated that the most rewarding part of all is the journey.
“To be a part of the musical growth of a student is indescribable,” said Johnson.
Mrs. Johnson was recently elected to the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. Membership in this organization is by invitation only and recognizes the significant accomplishments and contributions of its members to the advancement of the Wind Ensemble and its literature. The association was founded in 1929 by famous band directors Edwin Franko Goldman, John Philip Sousa, A.A. Harding, Charles Benter, Victor Grabel and Arthur Pryor. With fewer than 300 members, membership in this organization is considered a great honor and is only offered to leaders in the profession of band conducting.
This election to the ABA represents a multiple year examination of work, artistry, teaching, and contributions to the advancement of music. This great honor reflects the significance of Johnson’s career as well the quality of the band at Argyle High School.
When asked about her philosophy in regard to teaching she stated that as an educator, her goal is to facilitate lifelong lovers of music and the arts. She works to instill an uncompromising work ethic in her students as well as strong moral character. Mrs. Johnson strives to teach her students how to apply the knowledge they have to every situation. She believes that teaching the application of knowledge is something that is sorely lacking in the educational system. It is apparent that Mrs. Johnson’s love for learning is portrayed in her students’ desire to excel as well as the Argyle High School Band’s achievements and high standards.
“How do I put into words the goose bumps you get when a perfectly shaped phrase is executed or when you sense the audience holding their collective breath after a soft, beautiful passage of music is complete?” contemplates Johnson. “Those are the moments of which I am most proud and the moments that I live for!”
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