April 26, 2017 – Santa Fe College Band Director, Steve Bingham, was honored Sunday, April 23, 2017, at the Thomas Center. He was received the Musician of the Year award from his peers and the Foundation for the Promotion of Music in Gainesville, Florida He said, “I am humbled by the honor and by kind words on my behalf given by Professor Emeritus Gary R. Langford and Mr. Geoffrey Spiegel (Professional Trombone artist) and by the many, many students I have taught through my journey in this profession, because without their support of the many programs I have been associated with through the 40 plus years of teaching bands in Missouri, North Carolina, and now Florida, I could have never achieved this honor. I am thankful for the many kind words that were said about the Santa Fe College Band Program (Concert Band, Big Band Jazz, Jazz Combo, and Rhythm and Blues Review).”
He added his thanks to the president, Dr. Jackson Sasser; Provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ed Bonahue; Fine Arts Chair, Mrs. Alora Haynes; and Fine Arts Department administrative assistant, Candace Johnson.
Successful band programs depend on a supportive music faculty. Santa Fe College has an excellent staff including professor Lynn Sandefur (Vocal Instructor), Dr. Mitch McKay (Piano and Theory), new adjuncts Dr. Hamilton (Brass instruction and Percussionist), Garrett Hecker (hand drummer), Leon Larson (hand drummer), Dr. Sheila Forrester (Music Theory) and Jessica Van Leer (Vocal and piano fundamentals). Santa Fe College faculty jazz octet includes Michael, Mark, Gary, Ed, Leon, Will, Andrew, Lynn and Steve.
It takes dedication and support, both financially and physically, to keep this program alive. Steve said “…thanks to all of my colleagues, here at Santa Fe and in our great community of Gainesville. It truly is a blessing that I first married the love of my life, Trudy Bingham (Third-grade teacher), and then survived bile duct cancer (three years ago, April 26), and was able to return to work. Thanks to all!”