Patrick Kearney, Johnston Schools Band Director, was recently inaugurated as the 82nd President of the Iowa Band Association (IBA).
For 21 years – 12 of which have been at Johnston – Kearney has been teaching instrumental music in the state of Iowa. His experience working in a variety of classroom settings, coupled with the state of music education in schools, set up his presidential priorities for the next year.
“Educators are in the process of aligning their curriculum with Iowa Core, and it’s my goal to make sure music education has a place there, too,” Kearney said. “I would like to work with legislators to make sure the arts and music are part of the Iowa Core movement. Students need to develop those skills and build knowledge, just as they are in math and science.”
In his 12 years at Johnston, Kearney has seen significant growth in the music programs. He said that statewide, Johnston schools are known for their strong music education programs and the district’s ability to keep the fine arts programs expanding along with the rate of student population growth.
“The music and arts programs in Johnston have a lot of support from parents, the Board of Education, and administration,” Kearney said. “Johnston has been able to strike a good balance and sharing of students involved with both athletics and activities. We believe it’s important to share involvement and open as many doors for students as possible.”
IBA has been bringing Iowa bandmasters together since 1928. Today, the group focuses largely on professional development, a mentorship program, and publication of news and events. As president, Kearney also oversees the association’s annual conference, held each spring in Des Moines.
“One of the association’s strongest programs is our mentorship program for first- and second-year bandmasters,” Kearney said. “They are paired with a retired director from the IBA and spend the year developing band curriculum, honing their teaching and directing skills, and building their network of contacts around the state.”
The IBA is also a trusted resource for teaching materials, classroom curriculum, and music news. Kearney said he is proud to be the president of a growing, dynamic group of music educators.
“We have about 1,200 members and we’re growing,” Kearney said. “Efforts to bring in [students from] collegiate music education programs and private music instructors have added to the richness of this group and the ability of members to connect with other music professionals across the state.”
For more information on the Iowa Bandmasters Association, visit www.bandmasters.org/.