From 1978-2012, Jeffery H. Richardson was the band director at Needham B. Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Originally from Portsmouth, Virginia, “JR” is a 1978 graduate of The University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. During his tenure at Broughton, the program grew to a 165-member marching band, one 65-member symphonic wind ensemble, one 55-member concert band, two jazz ensembles and one winter guard performance group. He has been awarded the Richard M. Jewell Teaching Excellence Award in 1988, 1993, and 2007 (the only three-time recipient), and also the prestigious $25,000 Richard Jenrette Teaching Endowment Award in 1994. He has also been awarded the “Inspire the Future” Award presented by the North Carolina Symphony and Fidelity Investments for his tireless efforts and devotion to music and arts education. In 2007, Raleigh’s own News and Observer newspaper honored him as their “Tar Heel of the Week” for his dedication to public education. In 2008, Mr. Richardson was awarded the “Medal of Arts” by the Raleigh Arts Commission for continually contributions to the arts community during his teaching career. Upon retirement and due to his service to North Carolina, Governor Beverly Perdue presented JR with the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine”, the highest honor any citizen of the state may receive. Past recipients have included: Maya Angelou, Reverend Billy Graham, and basketball legend Michael Jordan. He has also served as talent coordinator/musical director for the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Raleigh. In 2003, he was awarded the Wake County PTA Outstanding Teaching Award for high school educators. He has also been inducted into the Broughton Athletic Hall of Fame for his continued contributions to high school athletics at the school.
During his tenure at Broughton, his bands performed in the 2012 and 2008 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. In 2001, they represented Raleigh and North Carolina and traveled to Kerkrade, Holland, where they were presented the “gold” medal in the World Music Contest. Other musical highlights include performances for three United States presidents (Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama) and the 2004 Grand Championship of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. Although he retired in 2012 from Broughton, he has remained active in music/arts education and was rehired by the Wake County Public School System, continuing to teach at Underwood Elementary School and accumulating over 42 years of teaching in public education in Wake County. In 1982, he was the first orchestra director for the annual Wake County production, “Pieces of Gold,” and continues promoting the arts in that capacity today. He also serves as a staff member for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill band program and is involved with various musical activities during the fall football season. JR has served for over 20 years on the Board of Directors of Theatre in The Park promoting the theatre arts throughout the Wake County system.
JR has taught students in Raleigh and Chapel Hill for over 42 years--commitment to teaching like that is hard to find! JR still often drops by the Broughton Band room to work with our groups, and subs for many band directors in our county. He also checks in with directors to help brighten their day or listen to their rants and stresses. My students love to see him walk through the door as his energy fills them with so much excitement for band and music making. The alumni I run into love to talk about the impact he has left on their lives. JR has left a legacy of band at Broughton and in the greater Triangle community that I have never experienced before.