New Band Director at MNU

Jul. 15, 2014 - by Carol Best

Alum Returns to Direct Bands

By Rachel Phelps (’09)
July 15, 2014
Johnson Luke-200px

Luke Johnson (‘03) loves teaching music. So it was a sacrifice when he quit his full-time position as director of bands at Lansing High School in Lansing, Kan., to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in wind conducting at University of Kansas last year. His goal was to eventually teach at the college level.

“Mostly, I wanted to be a better teacher,” Johnson says. “I needed this kind of program to help me excel and learn things I couldn’t learn on my own.”

Little did Johnson dream that he would have the opportunity to start teaching at the university level so soon. While still in his doctoral studies, Johnson began teaching at MNU last spring as an adjunct instructor. This fall he joins MNU’s faculty full-time to teach Secondary Methods for Music Education, Fundamentals of Music Theory, and conduct both Concert Band and Jazz Band.

Johnson says his studies focus on performance and practical conducting rather than research and theory. He is also working with the KU bands, including the Marching Jayhawks. This, added to a decade of teaching and directing experience, will be a bonus to his MNU students.

“This hands on experience has helped provide me with a large tool bag of pedagogy, rehearsal techniques, and musical taste.  When the position at MNU came available, I was able to apply many of things I was learning directly to the ensemble at MNU.”


“I am passionate about training future music educators, and the mission of MNU is close to my heart.  Being an alum, I love MNU and what it stands for and have a vision for what this band and music department can achieve,” said Johnson.

Johnson is looking forward to being on campus full-time and building relationships with the students. His goal is to foster an atmosphere for musical expression, education, and performance

“I get excited teaching and experiencing the music together with the ensemble.  There is nothing better than helping the ensemble ‘realize’ the music as we work through the creative process,” Johnson said.

One thing Johnson remembers from his own MNU experience is the emphasis on servant leadership, and he is excited to see that hasn’t changed. He also appreciates the fact that professors are encouraged to express their spiritual nature at MNU.

“Having spent over 10 years in public education, you forget what a privilege it is to be able to initiate prayer with your students in an open way.  I remember being struck by this when I came to MNU as a freshman. When my professors prayed and gave devotionals in class, I was awestruck.  I had a similar reaction this time coming back to MNU, although this time, it was me as the professor sharing and praying with my students,” said Johnson.

While Johnson is most excited about getting to work with the bands – particularly the opportunity to work with jazz music again – he also wants to foster the experience of servant leadership among all his students, particularly those headed into the education field.

“We certainly need Christian educators in the public schools, and that is a ministry all its own.  I feel I can help prepare our students who will be going into this environment after graduating,” said Johnson.

 

MNU News

Wednesday, March 22
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
20160408 MNU PresidentsHonors 0836
MNU to Honor Olathe Community at President’s Honors Gala April 7, 2017

MNU to Honor Olathe Community at President’s Honors Gala April 7, 2017

MidAmerica Nazarene University has announced it will honor the Olathe community with the first-ever Pioneering Spirit Award at President’s Honors,…

Read More
bc-fa-weekend-large
50th Anniversary Fine Arts Weekend March 4-5

50th Anniversary Fine Arts Weekend March 4-5

MNU’s 50th anniversary celebration continues next month with a weekend packed full of music, theatre and art from yesterday and today, March 4-5,…

Read More
TC-w-tag
Ministry Leadership Institute for High School Students Taking Applications

Ministry Leadership Institute for High School Students Taking Applications

Applications are open for The Call, a one-week ministry leadership institute held June 5-9 or 12-16. Pastors, professors and others in ministry will…

Read More
Drummond-1
Drummonds to Serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of MNU Gala

Drummonds to Serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of MNU Gala

MidAmerica Nazarene University announced that long-time community leaders, Dr. Bob and Julie Drummond, are the honorary co-chairs of the 2017…

Read More
Kayla Cossins
2017 Scholarship Challenge Winners Announced

2017 Scholarship Challenge Winners Announced

High-achieving high school seniors were invited to compete for one of three prestigious full-tuition scholarships at Scholarship Challenge Weekend…

Read More
Founding Faculty Mourned

Founding Faculty Mourned

Founding Pioneer Faculty Member Mary Alyce Galloway, 86, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, in Longmont, Colorado. Mary Alyce joined the faculty in August 1968 to teach English. Later she became…

Read More
Garrett Todd-5
Garrett Appointed MNU Athletic Director

Garrett Appointed MNU Athletic Director

MidAmerica Nazarene University announced the appointment of Todd Garrett as Director of University Athletics today. Dr. David Spittal, MNU president made the announcement saying,…

Read More
IMG 4417
MLK Living Legacy Award to Rev. Marvin Daniels

MLK Living Legacy Award to Rev. Marvin Daniels

Rev. Marvin Daniels, executive director of The Hope Center of Kansas City, was honored with MNU's Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy Award…

Read More
Open House Pic
Accelerated and Graduate Programs Host Open House

Accelerated and Graduate Programs Host Open House

The School of Professional and Graduate Studies is hosting open houses at its Liberty and Olathe locations. WEDNESDAY, February 22    …

Read More
Sports
Pioneers Split with Mt. Mercy

Pioneers Split with Mt. Mercy

OLATHE, Kan. - The Pioneers lost Game 1 late but exploded in Game 2 to salvage a split vs. Mt. Mercy on Tuesday...

 
Crusaders Sweep Pioneers

Crusaders Sweep Pioneers

OLATHE, Kan. - MNU is 0-6 in the Heart after losing twice at home to Evangel on Tuesday...

 
Pioneers Take 3 of 4 from Evangel

Pioneers Take 3 of 4 from Evangel

OLATHE, Kan. - The Pioneers dominated Game 1 then played 3 close games in a weekend series win over Evangel...

 
Latest Photos
LC-Ribbon-1 Mabee Learning Commons now includes the Academic Success Center and the Library.
LC-Ribbon-44 The team that helped bring these changes to Mabee Learning Commons through the US Dept. of Education grant, poses together. Left to right: Dr. Linda Alexander, Rick Hanson, Julie, Lon Dagley, Whitney Gray, Marcelle Cooper, Christine Snyder, Bruce Flanders, Jon Spence, Janelle Jefferson, Lauren Hays, Brenda Ebert, Dr. David Spittal, Mitch Hazen (Nabholz Construction).
LC-Ribbon-26 US Representative Kevin Yoder joined President Dr. David Spittal, Library Director Bruce Flanders, Director of Facilities Services John Spence, Associate VP for Academic and Professional Success Rick Hanson, Mayor Mike Copeland, Mitch Hazen (Nabholz Construction) and Olathe Chamber CEO Tim McKee for the Ribbon Cutting.
LC-Ribbon-8 A large group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community gathered for the Learning Commons ribbon cutting October 21, 2016.
LC-48 Several rooms are available for meeting, testing or other working groups.
LC-41 Alumni who have toured the Learning Commons in person find the new space surprising. All the books are upstairs and the first floor is an excellent area for a variety of meetings, conversations and even hanging out.