This season, BYSO alumni spotlights will feature alumni who are doing essential work during this time of crisis. Dr. Philip Simon was the former Director of Music Education and Instrumental Studies and Director of Bands at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for 17 years. He taught high school band for 29 years, sixteen of them as Director of Bands at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Much of Dr. Simon’s 50 years of experience has been not just in teaching music, but building music education programs from the ground up. “During my first year at Thomas Jefferson High School, I started with a group of 43 students. “Five years later, we had 3 concert bands, 2 jazz ensembles, and a 175-piece, volunteer marching band. The total school music program involved 500 students, in a school of 1,560 kids. One-third of the entire school was involved in the music program!”