Marcus Pimpleton is the music director of the Denny International Middle School, and the band director for Chief Stealth International High School, Seattle’s All-City Band, and Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra’s Jazz Scholars.
On Friday evening, at the Intiman Theatre ceremony, he became a recipient of the KCTS 9 Golden Apple Award for Educational Excellence, which have honored successful teaching models and programs among Washington state educators since 1992.
“In multiple positions—with middle school, high school and university students and the All-City Band—he builds bridges and creates innovative opportunities for his students to learn about life, leadership, volunteering and community through music and performance. In the classroom, Pimpleton saw many middle school students put down their instruments as they made the transition to high school. Aware of the link between music study and academic achievement, he pushed for a chance to teach both the middle- and high-school bands. In two years, the high-school band has doubled in size. He has also run music camps during school breaks and has seen retention rates increase. “The most powerful learning that takes place in my classes is not musical,” he says, “but the personal development that comes from students taking ownership.” KCTS 9
Marcus selects, directs and mentors the student musicians for Jazz Scholars, SRJO’s school-partnered pilot program, providing jazz technique and instrumental music lessons for low-income and minority band students at Denny International Middle Scholl in southwest Seattle. “Marcus works very hard, has been crucial in developing the dynamic music program at Denny/Sealth, and is so deserving of this honor,” said Susan Jenkins, SRJO Board President and co-ordinator of the Jazz Scholars program.
Through its Jazz Scholars program, SRJO provides six professional instructors for weekly individual or group lessons in the six areas of band instrumentation, as well as assisting Marcus with sectional rehearsals for the entire band. We are extremely proud of his accomplishments, and pleased by his recognition.