Dr. Steve Bingham serves as Director of the SF Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble and Rhythm & Blues Band. After many years as an adjunct, Bingham is also the new, full-time Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands for Santa Fe College.
“What drives me to do music is the passion to share what God has given me with others,” he said.
Born in Kansas City, he is the husband of Trudy Bingham, a 33-year veteran third-grade teacher at J.J. Finley. The two have been living in perfect harmony for 35 years.
They have many children: “We teach them and send them home,” he said, smiling, referring to the number of students they teach on a daily basis.
Bingham is the oldest of his siblings, one brother and three sisters. He grew up in a musical family. “My mother played piano at night and sang us to sleep,” he reminisced. His father was a surgeon and played clarinet with a band called Docs of Dixieland. “There was always a band around the house so I started joining the rehearsals, and here I am,” he said.
Bingham’s higher education began in Columbia, Mo., at the University of Missouri, where he first earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He went on to complete a master’s in Curriculum, also at the University of Missouri.
He launched a 21-year year career as band director teaching 5th-12th graders in Versailles, Mo. After two years as a new band director, he decided to become a Nole and attended Florida State University (FSU), earning a master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in Marching Band, Conducting, and Jazz Education.
“My family almost divorced me over that decision, but FSU had a very good music program,” he explained to all the Gator fans.
He then spent 19 years as director of bands in Florida (Coconut Creek High School), Missouri (Aurora and Lebanon High school), North Carolina (Chapel Hill High School), and in Gainesville (Gainesville High School, Waldo Elementary, and Newberry High School).
Then an opportunity to start his quest for a doctorate in Music Education presented itself in the form of a teaching assistant position at the University of Florida, where he received his Ph.D. in 2007.
So far, 2010 has been an exciting year for Bingham. In May, he took the Big Band to play in Carnegie Hall accompanied by developmentally challenged students from Sidney Lanier School. This past summer, he and wife attended the 17-day International Society of Music Educators Conference in China, where he gave a presentation on the performance at Carnegie Hall.
He also became a full-time faculty member of Santa Fe this year, but it’s not over yet.
On Oct. 9, he will celebrate his 57th birthday. On Oct. 22, his father will celebrate his 85th birthday. On Dec.11, he plans to take the Musicians United Club to the candlelight holiday performance at Disneyworld.
Bingham is currently a member of the Music Educators National Conference and has served as a regional site chairman for district festivals in Missouri, North Carolina, and Florida.
He is most thankful for his wife’s love and support throughout the years.
“In the beginning of my marriage, I was diagnosed with cancer,” he recalled. “Having a loving wife who stuck by me means the world to me. I’m also thankful for my faith. We’re members of Trinity United Methodist. And I’m thankful for the chance to teach these great students at SF. We’ve come a long way together and there’s a lot left for us to do together.”
~ This profile was written by Nequana Thomas, Communication Specialist, College Relations