Nominated by Robert Johnston and Chad HIgdon
Wynn Justice is a retired career music educator with more than 30 years of experience. He currently lives in Nebo, NC, where he is an active guest conductor and clinician with many high school and middle school band programs throughout Burke, McDowell, and Avery counties.
After graduation from Glen Alpine High School, Justice attended Appalachian State University and began teaching in the Burke County Public School system. He then began working with his former band director Martha Thomason and realized his calling as a music educator. He continued his education at Western Carolina University where he studied music education wit tuba as his primary instrument. After graduating from WCU, he accepted a position as Director of Bands at Andrews High School and Middle School.
Under his direction, the band program membership tripled. The Andrews Bands performed at many local, regional, and state competitions, festivals, and clinics with both marching and concert bands. Justice returned to his home in Burke County to teach at Oak Hill Junior High School. Under his leadership, the Oak Hill Band grew to become a superior-rated concert band with a tradition of excellence.
In 1990, Justice was chosen to be the Director of Bands at Freedom High School where he would teach for the remainder of his career. During his time at Freedom, the band grew to more than 300 members with over 200 members in the Marching Patriots. The FHS Marching Band competed at many local and regional competitions and is known for their awesome sound and size. They performed many classical music based shows. It was Justice's philosophy that it was not only important to expose students to wonderful music but also important to educate the audience and community through performance. The Freedom High School Band program consisted of four concert bands that attended concert band MPAs and earned over 40 superior ratings in grades III through VI. The FHS Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Symphony performed and traveled to music festivals, competitions and performances in Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, New York, and Hawaii.
Justice is a member of Phi Mu Alpha and Kappa Kappa Psi music fraternities. He was awarded the 1997 Award of Excellence by the Northwest District Bandmasters Association and was selected for membership into the American School Band Directors Association. He served as Middle School MPA Chair for the Northwest District of NCBA for many years.
His biggest contribution to our activity is the love of music he instilled in his students. Many of his students and student teachers are currently teaching music and performing throughout the United States in all levels of music education. No one who performed under his baton will ever forget the passion and love he gave to his students and music on a daily basis.