The Newton Community School District will host the 40th annual Jasper County Honor Band on Tuesday, with approximately 105 Jasper County middle school instrumental musicians showcasing their talents during a final evening concert beginning at 7 p.m. in the Newton Senior High School Center for Performance.
This year’s middle school honor band director will be Steven McCombs. McCombs earned his bachelor’s degree from Central College in Pella and received his master’s degree in music education from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. He has served as the affiliate faculty instructor of percussion since 1992 at Simpson College, where he teaches the percussion methods and pedagogy classes, the percussion studio and directs the percussion ensemble.
McCombs is also an on-call percussionist for the Des Moines Symphony and a performer in civic and commercial shows in and around the Des Moines area. His past teaching experience includes positions as director of bands for the Lynnville-Sully Community Schools, assistant director of bands at Valley High School in West Des Moines and an adjunct instructor of music at both William Penn University in Oskaloosa and Central College in Pella. He retired from his position as a band director for the Pella Community Schools in May of 2012 but continues to teach private lessons from his home studio in Pella.
McCombs has been the conductor for numerous honor festival bands as well as having served on the staff for the Celebration Iowa Jazz Band, the 1000 Hills Summer Music Camps and the Southwest Iowa Percussion Camp.
McCombs is active as a percussion clinician and arranger and as a clinician and adjudicator for jazz, marching and concert bands. He also serves IHSMA as the percussion coordinator for the Iowa All-State Orchestra. He is a former co-chair of the Iowa Jazz Championships and is a past president of the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association, the Iowa Jazz Educators and the Iowa Bandmasters Association. In 2002, he was recognized by “School Band and Orchestra Magazine” as one of “50 Director’s Who Make a Difference” and in 2011 he was awarded the “Karl King Distinguished Service Award” from the Iowa Bandmasters Association.
The public is invited to attend the concert.