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, June 1
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Relentless2016big
Summer SERVEteams

Summer SERVEteams

MNU SERVEteams are hitting the road this summer, traveling the MNU region to serve in churches, camps, District Assemblies and more. Together the groups will serve at 38 different events.The 19…

Read More
Eick Chicago School
Calling to Counseling

Calling to Counseling

Natalie Eick (’12), sociology/psychology major, found her mission field within the walls of her graduate program in the clinical psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology,…

Read More
2016 MNU commencement 0892
Spring 2016 Honor Roll

Spring 2016 Honor Roll

MidAmerica Nazarene University recently announced its Honor Roll for the spring 2016 semester.  All students in traditional programs carrying 12 semester hours or more with a term GPA from 3.2…

Read More
auch-tanner4
Math Professor Says It's About Relationship

Math Professor Says It's About Relationship

When thinking of a professor with a PhD in mathematics, people tend to conjure images of giant blackboards and the professor filling them at…

Read More
Soly de la cruz
Love for Volleyball Takes Alum to New Places

Love for Volleyball Takes Alum to New Places

From the Dominican Republic to Olathe, Kansas to Commerce, Texas, Zoraida Heredia de la Cruz, or Soly, as her friends call her, has definitely led a…

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

Open House: Accelerated and Graduate Programs

The School of Professional and Graduate Studies is hosting open houses at its Liberty and Olathe locations. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8     …

Read More
Victoria Atencio 2016-2
Art, Design and Social Media Come Together for Grad

Art, Design and Social Media Come Together for Grad

Victoria Atencio ('14) has always loved art. She hoped to find purpose for her life and passion for her art, when a friend brought her to MNU for a…

Read More
HPCeremony2016
2016 Commencement

2016 Commencement

The MNU class of 2016 graduated May 6, 2016 with 607 in the graduating class. Held in two ceremonies, one for traditional undergrad and one for professional and graduate students, the 45th annual…

Read More
2015 Commence 10
Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations Graduates

The rhythm of life is about to change on campuses everywhere and MNU is no different. Many classrooms will be quiet and halls will empty because this Saturday is Commencement. More than 600 students…

Read More
Sports
Track & Field Nationals

Track & Field Nationals

T&F Nationals | Gulf Shores, AL Schedule  Live Results Video Streaming Twitter: @MNUTrackXC, @mnusports

 
Women's Basketball Camps

Women's Basketball Camps

MidAmerica Nazarene University Women's Basketball program has launched online registration for their 2016 summer camps...(click title for more)

 
Three Pioneers Honored as All-Heart Selections

Three Pioneers Honored as All-Heart Selections

Alexis Pacheco and Macie Jones earned First Team nods and Megan Deiter was named to the Second Team on Friday...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich