Conductors of the NorthWinds Symphonic Band

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John Bell was appointed Artist-in-Residence – Director of Bands and Orchestra at Northwest Missouri State University in February of 2013. In addition to conducting the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony at Northwest, his duties include teaching Intermediate Instrumental Conducting, Advanced Instrumental Conducting, and String Methods. He also supervises instrumental music education student teachers, and is a Co-Director of the Northwest Summer Music Camp.

 John completed his Bachelor degree in Music Education at Central Missouri State University and received his Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois. Post-graduate work includes extensive hours toward the DMA in Conducting at The University of Iowa. His conducting mentors include Harry Begian, Glenn Block, James Dixon, Paul Vermel, Russell Coleman, and Myron Welch.

 Prior to his appointment at Northwest, John taught instrumental music in the public schools of Missouri for thirty years. Ensembles under his direction received consistent superior ratings at regional and national music festivals, and were invited to perform at state, national, and European conferences, including the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic. He has received recognition as a Park Hill School District Teacher of the Year, a recipient of the UCM Music Department’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the MoASTA Outstanding Collegiate Educator of 2016, and the Missouri chapter of Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Band Director Award.

 Active as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the Midwest, John has served as a MMEA officer at both the district and state levels. He was the MSHSAA District 11 State Large Group Music Festival Manager for ten years, and served as a member of the MSHSAA Music Advisory Committee. He was a staff member of the Missouri Ambassadors of Music Biennial European Tour from 1996 to 2014, conducting and performing in both the concert band and string orchestra. He has served as Music Director and Conductor of the Medical Arts Symphony of Kansas City, and is currently a Co-Conductor of the NorthWinds Symphonic Band of Kansas City. John’s memberships include NAfME, MMEA, NMEA, CODA, CBDNA, NBA, MoASTA/ASTA, MBA, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and he is an Honorary Member of Kappa Kappa Psi.


Danny J. Watring, a native of Sedalia, Missouri is the Director of Bands for the Grandview Consolidated School District #4. Responsibilities include the Blue & Gold Brigade Marching Band, the Symphonic Winds and Percussion, and the Jazz Orchestra. He also works with students at Grandview Middle School. In 1986 Danny began his career in Grandview as an Associate Director. Before returning in 2006, he served in the North Kansas City School District as Director of Bands at Oak Park High School and as Associate Director of Bands in the Liberty Public School District.

Under his direction, his marching, symphonic, concert and jazz bands have received numerous superior ratings at District/State Music Evaluative Music Festivals, MO-AJE sanctioned Jazz Festivals, and area marching band competitions. He is a past vice-president for both Jazz and Concert Bands in the Kansas City Metro #3 District and served on the Board of Directors for the Kansas University Kansas City Youth Wind Symphony. Danny served as an All-State adjudicator for eleven years, as well on the Missouri State High School Activities Association Prescribed Graded Music List Committee. He is the founder/coordinator of the Greater Kansas City Middle School Solo and Ensemble Festival. Currently, he serves as the state vice-president for the Missouri Association of Jazz Educators.

Danny is a staff member of the Missouri Ambassadors of Music where he has conducted bands throughout Europe including Great Brittan, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. He is active as a guest director, clinician, and adjudicator throughout Missouri and Kansas for concert bands, marching bands, jazz bands and percussion. He has maintains an active and successful private percussion studio for several years.

Professional memberships include: Missouri Bandmasters Association; Missouri Association of Jazz Educators; Missouri Music Educators Association; NAfME National Association for Music Education; Phi Beta Mu; and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Danny has been recognized into Who's Who Among America's Teachers five times over his career and was inducted into the National Honor Society of America's High School Educators in 2004.

Receiving his undergraduate degree in Music Education, he has also earned graduate hours in Music Theory, Composition, and jazz piano from Central Missouri State University (now UCM). Danny completed a Master's Degree in Educational Technology from Mid-America Nazarene University in the summer of 2006.

He has two daughters. Devan is a professional entertainer in Branson, Missouri. And, Madison, a sophomore at Missouri State University, is majoring in Interior-Design.