Joliet Central High School Band Director Don Stinson was chosen as a winner for this year's Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award by the Quinlan & Fabish Music Company. This special award recognizes excellence in the field of Music Education in the Chicagoland area. He will attend a special awards presentation along with the four other winners in June.
Mr. Stinson is the Director of Bands at Joliet Central High School, only the fifth director in the band’s 107 year history. Under his direction, the program has received a grant from the Give a Note Foundation and received three consecutive NAMM Foundation SupportMusic Merit Awards for excellence in music education. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the Symphonic Band was selected to participate in the prestigious University of Illinois Superstate Festival, and in 2018, the band was awarded class winner at the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in Tennessee. In 2017, the Joliet Central Marching Band was featured in nationally televised McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Don is a 2002 Joliet Central alumnus. During his time as a student at Joliet Central, he performed as first trumpet with the Joliet Central Symphonic Band under the direction of Mr. Ted Lega, and earned honors such as being selected as an Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Honors Musician, receiving the Bruce Houseknecht Scholarship, and being named "Mr. J" in 2002 as a representation of the ideal student at Joliet Central High School.
Don earned degrees from Joliet Junior College, VanderCook College of Music, Northern Illinois University, and the University of St. Francis. He holds multiple Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association, is a 2017 CMA Music Teacher of Excellence, a twice-named Grammy Music Educator Quarterfinalist, and is a National Board Certified teacher. As a service to the profession, he hosts the music education podcast “The Bandmasters.”