Permian High School Associate Director of Bands John Carroll loves band and band people, so it seems fitting that he was recently elected to a two-year term as Texas Music Educators Association state band vice president/chair.
The officers include president, president-elect and immediate past president. There are five divisions in TMEA. The band division has a chairman, which is now Carroll. Then there is the orchestra division, vocal division, elementary music division and college division.
The position involves overseeing the band division, including running auditions for all-region and all-state bands, running the honor band competition and scheduling 40-plus clinics at the annual Texas Music Educators’ convention in February.
“But it also means I serve on the overall TMEA executive board, which oversees all of TMEA so I’m in charge of my division but it’s also a committee that watches out for the other divisions and just watches out for music education overall in Texas,” said Carroll, who is listed as a TMEA executive board vice president on the organization’s website.
Carroll said he doesn’t necessarily need eight hours of sleep a night and can take care of things late into the evening. His plan is to choose good clinics and good all-state conductors who will have a life-changing effect on the all-state musicians. He noted that more than 60,000 people start the process of trying to make all-state, but that does not represent the number of people in fine arts in Texas.
He doesn’t mind taking on the extra responsibility on top of his already busy job as associate director of bands at Permian. And he wants to give back to the organization that he said has given him so much.
“It’s an honor. … It is very humbling to know that my colleagues put their trust in me,” Carroll said.
Executive Director of Fine Arts Mark Lyon said the district is proud of Carroll for being elected to the TMEA post.
“John will represent Permian High School, ECISD and Texas with the utmost honor. It is also fantastic to have a voice that represents West Texas fine arts at the state level. He works tirelessly at PHS to help our students and now he will have the opportunity to do that at a state level,” Lyon said in email.
TMEA is the largest music education organization in the country with more than 12,000 members and leads the nation in the best practices for music education.
“Mr. Carroll was nominated by several TMEA Regions in fall of 2017, which made him an official candidate. He was elected on Feb. 15 at the business meeting at TMEA by his colleagues and peers. He will serve a two-year term,” Lyon wrote.
Originally from El Paso, Carroll has been in education for 40 years. He was a percussionist growing up and still plays occasionally with the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale and the Odessa College band.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Abilene Christian University and a master’s in music education from West Texas A&M University in Canyon.
“When I started college I was a Bible major. I was going to be a preacher, a minister. But I changed majors. I just loved being around band people,” Carroll said.
He added that there was no one moment that changed his mind, he just slowly moved toward the decision.
Starting off in Dumas, Carroll worked his way to Dalhart, where he worked with his college band director, arriving at Permian 23 years ago. The band starts and ends the school year with summer band in August and graduation in the spring.
The students, he said, are what make his job fun.
“I am fortunate to work in Odessa and I’m very fortunate to have the three people on this campus that I call my colleagues — Jeff Whitaker and Trey Burns and Lyndsay Eiben that I’m lucky to get to work with. I feel very blessed in that also. I feel very blessed to serve this association that has been so good to me,” Carroll said.
Whitaker is director of bands and Burns and Eiben are associate band directors and each has a different specialty.
Carroll is a percussion specialist, Concert 1 band director and Black Cat Jazz director.
Burns is brass caption head and Concert 2 band director.
Eiben is woodwind caption head and Concert 3 band director.