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

Sunday, August 30
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
CC Flags
MNU Rekindles American Heritage Week

MNU Rekindles American Heritage Week

In preparation for MNU’s 50th anniversary in 2016, the university is reintroducing programs and traditions that hold significant value to its students, alumni, staff and faculty. The Donald S. Metz…

Read More
Q in Haiti
New Passion to Serve Project Has $50,000 Goal

New Passion to Serve Project Has $50,000 Goal

MNU’s 2015-2016 Passion to Serve project will benefit four communities in Haiti. Students will guide efforts to raise $50,000 to install a soccer…

Read More
Prayer Walk 2014
Public Invited to Pioneer Prayer Walk 2015 Aug. 27

Public Invited to Pioneer Prayer Walk 2015 Aug. 27

MNU Associated Student Government invites members of the Olathe and surrounding community to join students, faculty and staff in Pioneer Prayer Walk,…

Read More
Hodges 7x7 2015
Creativity and Precision: Knitted Together

Creativity and Precision: Knitted Together

For MNU professor Abby Hodges, there is a beautiful similarity between spinning her own yard from sheep’s wool, and observing the science of the…

Read More
Overholt
Prof’s Research Finds Good News: Solar Events Unlikely Cause of Birth Defects

Prof’s Research Finds Good News: Solar Events Unlikely Cause of Birth Defects

Physics professor Dr. Andrew Overholt has made science headlines again, this time with his research on the effects of solar events on birth…

Read More
IMG 1889
SERVEteams Assist Drexel Church After Flooding

SERVEteams Assist Drexel Church After Flooding

Justin Barnes, a junior English and Intercultural Studies major from Olathe at MNU is lending his help this summer at Drexel, Missouri’s Victory…

Read More
FOE Team 2015
Foundations of Excellence Project Launches

Foundations of Excellence Project Launches

Faculty and staff chosen to be on the Foundations of Excellence task force studying MNU's first year student experience are in Asheville, North…

Read More
UO8A1215
Bringing a passion for the past into the present

Bringing a passion for the past into the present

History means something special to MNU graduate Sarah Wacker (’15). Her inspiration for American history stems from memories of her grandfather, of…

Read More
Lauren Glenn Mark
More Games Needed in the Classroom

More Games Needed in the Classroom

To engage today's learnings, more games should be utilized in the classroom. Games and learning are not at odds according to conference keynoter Glenn Wiebe a curriculum & technology integration…

Read More
Sports
Pioneers Break Scoring Record in Opener

Pioneers Break Scoring Record in Opener

The Pioneers put up a program-record 80 points in the season opener vs. Culver-Stockton on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
Pioneers Back on Winning Track

Pioneers Back on Winning Track

The Pioneers were back in action Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Field...(click title for more)

 
Krohn Shines as MNU Beats Northwestern 4-1

Krohn Shines as MNU Beats Northwestern 4-1

Steffi Krohn came off the bench in the 19th minute and sparked the Pioneers with 2 quick assists and a goal in a 4-1 victory on Saturday...(click title for more) 

 
Latest Photos
Prayer Walk 2015 By Josiah Crandall
Prayer Walk 2015 By Josiah Crandall
Prayer Walk 2015 By Josiah Crandall
Prayer Walk 2015 By Josiah Crandall
Students gather to pray outside Campus Center during the Prayer Walk 2015 By Josiah Crandall
Students gather to pray outside Campus Center during the Prayer Walk 2015 By Josiah Crandall