Jason Harris, Trumpet Player & Music Educator

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Jason Harris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and a Master of the Arts in Music from Webster University.  Mr. Harris is an active musician in the St. Louis area with over twenty years of professional experience.  A recent trumpet professor at Lindenwood University, Jason has performed trumpet with Opera Theatre St. Louis, Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra, Gateway Brass Quintet, Winter Opera, Washington University Symphony, Gateway Festival Orchestra, Compton Heights Concert Band, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Webster Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony, Susan Slaughter’s Holiday Brass, St. Louis Brass Band, and the American Kantorei Orchestra to name a few.  Currently, Jason is a member of the Union Avenue Opera Orchestra, the Clarion Brass Quintet, and the Arch City Brass.  On occasion, he performs with Spectrum, Trilogy, The Bob Kuban Brass, and The Steve Schankman Jazz Orchestra.  For about decade, Jason sounded “Taps” at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery for over 10,000 military funerals.

Mr. Harris previously taught band at McKinley Middle School for St. Louis Public Schools.  During this tenure, he founded and directed the Scottish Rite Youth Wind Ensemble, whose mission was to serve as a resource for educating and mentoring inner city music students by providing high quality performance opportunities for those students lacking the necessary resources to participate in other established community ensembles.  In 2007 the Scottish Rite - Valley of St. Louis presented Jason with their Volunteer of the Year award for his efforts in leading the Wind Ensemble, which for several years, benefited many inner-city music students.

Currently, Mr. Harris is in his ninth year as Band Director for the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District, where he leads a non-traditional music program in a technology based curriculum.  To meet the needs of his students, school, and community, Jason created an innovative performing ensemble called the Blue Devils Rhythm and Blues Band.  This unique and ‘non-traditional’ music group melds music education with transformative technology, resulting in state-of-the-art performances through a varied repertoire of musical hits spanning the past five decades including Oldies, Motown, Funk, Rhythm & Blues, Dance, Disco, and Classic Rock.  This group of instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers, along with their audio, video, and tech crews serve as the 'pep' band for high school sporting events and district assemblies while maintaining a busy performing schedule within the community.  Jason transcribes, composes, and arranges all of the music for this ensemble.  Likewise, these same arrangements are often used by many of the top professional variety bands in the midwest.  The Blue Devils Rhythm & Blues Band was one of three ensembles chosen in North America to perform at the 2014 National School Boards Association Conference in New Orleans, LA for its’ breakthrough approach in music education. 

A number of Jason’s students have participated in the Missouri All-State Concert Band, Orchestra and Jazz Ensembles, as well as the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Webster Community Music School Youth Orchestra, and the Jazz-U All Stars at Jazz at St. Louis.  In 2014, Mr. Harris’ high school jazz combo was selected to perform at the Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference for the National Association for Music Education.  Jason is currently serving in his final year as District President for the St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Association.

                                        “There is no substitute for hard work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.” - John Wooden