A special award of
The John Philip Sousa
Zack Williamson has been the Band Director at Roane County High School for the last thirty-two years. He started his teaching at Lewis County High School, stayed there for a year, then moved to Greenback High School, doubled his time there. Then he found Roane County and has found home.
Williamson earned a BS in Education from the University of Tennessee. He earned the Master degree in Education from Lincoln Memorial University. He also added the Specialist of Education nation from Tennessee Tech.
When asked about his philosophy he says,”I have spent my entire career in a small rural school, which has played a large part in shaping my thoughts on how I teach and what I think about music education. Every aspect of the school and community involves a band student in some way, so it becomes essential to instill in the students the importance of being a part of something bigger than themselves. I believe in the whole child and want them to grow in all aspects of life by pursuing excellence in band, school, sports, and supporting their community. It is my hope to give students the skills necessary to succeed in whatever career path they choose for their life and give them a lifelong appreciation of music. Band students work towards a goal of producing exceptional music, but the most important part is the process leading up to the performance through the exposure to quality band literature. To me programing is everything. I am a firm believer that you should perform transcriptions, marches, solo works, standard band literature, and contemporary pieces.”
The Bandworld Legion of Honor was established in 1989 to honor, over the course of a year, eight of the finest band directors in our business.
Recipients have taught for at least fifteen years, have maintained a very high-quality concert band program, and have contributed significantly to the profession through dedication to bands and band music.
Each is honored at the annual Sousa Foundation awards ceremony during the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.
Chairman of the Legion of Honor Committee is Terry Austin, Virginia Commonwealth University.
His philosophy must work because his bands have earned consistent Superior ratings at the ETSBOA’s Concert Performance Assessments. They have played joint concerts with University of Tennessee, Tennessee Tech’s Wind Ensemble and the Tennessee Wind Symphony. He has served his profession by holding the office of President of the Tennessee Bandmasters Association as well as President of the Tennessee Secondary School’s Band Directors’ Association.
His honors include the Presidency to the Tennessee Bandmasters, induction into Phi Beta Mu, and being selected three ties to play air the TME In-service Conference.
His career has been shaped by several mentors as he says, “Being a second-generation band director, I had the distinct privilege of watching my father run a successful band program. I learned from him and my college band director, Dr. W. J. Julian, that the most important factors in being a successful band director are to seek out mentors and to have the most qualified people in your band room. I have never been afraid to ask for help and to have other people in front of my bands. Some of my mentors include Dr. Ric Best, Roy and June Holder, Dr. John Culvahouse, and Joseph Herman. They have been regular visitors in my band room throughout my career. I have had the honor of having many other directors and conductors work with my band such as Colonel Thomas Rotandi Jr., Joel Denton, Colonel John R. Bourgeois, Dr. Mary Schneider, Dr. Barry Krais, Dr. James Taylor, Robert W. Smith, Dr. Gary Sousa, Dr. Edwin Powell, and Dennis Zeisler to name a few. I would be remiss if I did not mention that much of my success is due to my supportive wife and family.”