The National Band Association recently presented J. Seth Peveler, Hopkinsville High School band director, with a citation of excellence for “outstanding contributions to band and band music.”
The award was given to him after the HHS band performed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association conference Feb. 7 in Louisville.
Peveler, 29, said it is an honor to receive the award, especially at his age.
“I am super humbled by this,” he said. “I was definitely shocked.”
The citation of excellence is a recognition of leadership skills.
“Through professional leadership you have inspired and motivated excellence in musical performance. Your record of service to our profession is one of which you may be justifiably proud, and it will serve as a model to others,” according to the plaque.
Peveler is part of a musical family heavily involved in the band community, he said. However, he is the first person in his immediate family to become a band director.
“I was basically raised in the Muhlenberg-North Hopkins band room,” he said. “My mom (Teresa Peveler Campbell) was the color guard instructor there.”
As a youngster, Peveler experimented with different musical instruments. As a fifth-grader, he settled on the trombone. He continued to play the brass instrument through middle school band, and high school concert band and marching band. While attending Murray State University, he performed in the Racerband, wind ensemble, jazz orchestra, symphonic orchestra and slide advantage trombone ensemble.
Peveler has a bachelor’s degree in music education, and he noted that from a young age, he aspired to be a band teacher and director.
“Everyone sits at home and dreams,” he said. “It was always going to be music, no matter what. I used to sit in my room, listen to music and do my best impressions of my band director. As I got into college, I found other great conductors and teachers to model myself after.”
Peveler has served as the band director at HHS for five years. Working with high-school students can be tumultuous, he said, but gratifying.
“It is an emotional rollercoaster,” he said. “You never know what kind of day the students are going to bring into your classroom. Making connections with the students is super rewarding, but it also is a lot of work. Having students who go on to college and major in music … seeing that you’ve touched their lives in some way, like they want to be a band director like you … that’s probably the most rewarding.”
Reach Mari-Alice Jasper at 270-887-3262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.