The North Lincoln High School band director, Kevin Still, recently received the recognition of being one of only seven band directors throughout the state to receive the American School Band Directors Association Foundation Outstanding Potential Award. This award is intended to honor bandmasters who have distinguished themselves early in their careers and who demonstrate the professional standards and artistic qualities upheld by the American School Band Directors Association. The award is given to a young director who exhibits the qualities of a future outstanding director.
Candidates for the OPA are nominated by a current ASBDA member and must be within the first five years of teaching. Still was nominated by former NLHS band director, Neil Underwood, who retired at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. Underwood is now the band director for Lenoir-Rhyne University.
“Kevin’s done a great job carrying on the tradition of excellence in the band program under difficult situations, namely, a director change, two middle school director changes and the usual difficulty following a director who was at the school for a long time,” Underwood said. “I'm very proud of the work he is doing. He has made the North Lincoln High School band program his own.”
Still has been the band director at North Lincoln since 2015 and had some big shoes to fill when he took over from Underwood. The NLHS bands have been consistently successful in competitions and performed in prestigious venues over the years. Over the past four years he’s been the director, Still has maintained that tradition.
“The marching band did a really awesome show this year called ‘Within the Garden’ and we had a good time with it,” he said. “Competitively we held our own. We were a younger band this year, approximately 64% of the band are first- or second-year marchers. We graduated a big senior class last year. The kids did a really good job and stepped up to the plate.”
Winter guard, the jazz band and indoor percussion have just started up practices and spring concerts will be beginning in March.
“It’s been a good year,” Still said. “It’s gone by fast. The marching band’s going to Walt Disney World in April to march in the Magic Kingdom. We’re leading off their Friday daytime parade which I’m told is one of their bigger parades. That’s going to be really cool.”
Still applied for this honor and Disney selected the band to perform.
“I feel very humbled that Neil would consider me for this award,” he said. “I hold him in high regard and taking over the program from him was a challenge but was a great experience. It was nice to receive the recognition. Once you win an award like that, people kind of know your name. Some of my hero band directors that I look up to and want to be like – they now know who I am.”