Jeffrey Tower (MM Performance, trombone, '82)
Jeffrey Tower received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa and his Master of Music Degree in Trombone Performance at the University of Redlands. Mr. Tower was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from Pacific Western University for his accomplishments in Music Education in 1985.
Dr. Tower retired in 2008 after being the Director of Bands at Hemet High School in Hemet, California for 30 years. Under his direction the Instrumental Music Program maintained a fantastic reputation as one of the nation’s finest, appearing at the Rose Parade, the Aloha Bowl, the Montreux and Playboy jazz festivals. The Hemet Bands also performed at multiple WIBC, Midwest and IAJE conventions, won many sweepstakes awards at various World of Music Festivals and was selected as a Grammy Signature Program.
In conjunction with his Hemet position, Mr. Tower is also The Chairman of Summer Jazz Studies at the Idyllwild Arts. He has served as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor at music festivals, conventions and camps all over the nation in both the jazz and classical venues. He serves as an educational specialist and trombone artist for Conn/Selmer Musical Instruments, is a member of the University of Northern Iowa School of Music Advisory Board and American Band College Faculty. He is currently the past president of California Alliance for Jazz, and the marketing director of LMP Studios.
As a professional trombonist, Jeff Tower has experience in all aspects of the music industry including symphony orchestras, movie soundtracks, broadway productions, TV commercials, recording projects, casuals and shows. He has performed with Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Bennett to name a few. Jeff has participated in over 300 recording projects as a performer, conductor or producer. He has served as president for the International Association of Jazz Educators in California and jazz coordinator for Southern California School Band Association.
Special awards include being selected as an outstanding educator at the World of Music Festivals, Hemet Jaycee’s Teacher of the Year, National Band Association’s Outstanding Jazz Educator Award, Selection into the National Band Director’s Hall of Fame, W.I.B.C Phoenix Award, Mid-West Band and Orchestra Medal of Honor and being the recipient of Downbeat Magazine's Jazz Education Achievement Award and The Sousa Legion of Honor.
Originally from Greene, Iowa, Jeff resides in Hemet, California with his children, Jonathan, Justin and Jamie, and his father, David.
Stephanie Huffman (BM '85)
Stephanie Huffman has just released a new book "When You Grow Up and get ... Single." For more information on Stephanie Huffman visit her website.