Jackson Academy is pleased to announce that Todd L. Taylor will join the faculty as band director beginning June 1. Taylor has nearly 30 years experience developing musicians and leading bands in both Mississippi and Iowa.
Taylor comes to JA from Hillcrest Christian where he has served as band director for the last nine years. Taylor’s tenure at Hillcrest has been noted for growth of programs and nurture of young musicians. The band program grew from 33 students to a 96-member ensemble. His bands also earned superior ratings at MSAIS marching and concert festivals.
Taylor enjoys introducing students to band as well as developing the talents of gifted musicians. “Everyone loves to be a contributing part of something. That’s one of the wonderful things about band: Everyone practices…everyone performs. There is no one sitting on the bench,” he said. “Also, at this level, if they want to be better than the other person, all they have to do is practice twice as much. They aren’t limited to how tall they are, how strong they are…they just have to put more time in.
“Students continue to surprise me every day. It just takes that one moment to propel them on…I love watching their eyes light up when they conquer that challenging piece that looked impossible when I first handed it to them. Sometimes it just takes that right moment for the ‘switch to flip’ and they step up to the next level…occasionally they are just happy to be a part of a group…and that’s OK, too.”
Taylor moved to Mississippi in 1989 to complete a degree in music education with a minor in art from Mississippi College. He also studied at Coe College, and during those years held positions with bands at two schools, one working specifically with beginning band students.
After completing his degree at Mississippi College, Taylor taught art and music and was assistant band director at Provine High School for eight years. He served as band director at Forest Hill High School for two years, where he directed a band of 125 high school students that was rated excellent at state marching competition and concert competition.
Taylor is looking forward to his new role at JA. “JA has a long history of having a high quality band. I look forward to continuing the excellence, as well as growing the program. I love finding those students who need a group, and introducing them into the band family.”
He and his wife, Candice, have three sons, Troy, Toby, and Titus.