Taft Doctor of Education Student Receives National Award
Mr. Brian Ingelson took a short break from his Doctoral studies to accommodate some recent obligations, and with his permission, we share his remarkable story.
“During the past three months, it has been an unbelievable period for the music program I head at Palm Springs High. As a program, we are unique and contribute almost one hundred performances per year to the community and to fund the program in these economically challenging times. We also travel internationally and have established a solid reputation both here and abroad.
In the Fall I discovered I was receiving a national award by the John Phillip Sousa Association and Band World magazine. As I was on the way to receive the award in Chicago on December 18th, I received a voice mail that I retrieved upon landing at O’Hare… Mr Ingelson, I am calling on behalf of President Obama and Vice President Biden to invite your band to represent California at the Inauguration… We were selected as 1 of only 10 High School Bands, 10 university and college bands from more than 2800 applications. For the next 23 days, I literally worked 20 hours a day, every day, to organize and execute the transfer of 110 students to Washington, raise $150,000, and attempt to take care of the other responsibilities of my job and family. It was an amazing once in a lifetime moment for our students and when the President and Vice President rose to applaud the students, I can tell you it was something that we will never forget.”
Since our return, we completed a number of other commitments that were made prior to our invitation to the Inaugural including an international festival with 400 Chinese music students from Beijing in San Gabriel last weekend.
Brian has been teaching at Palm Springs High School in Palm Springs, California for the past 17 years. He is the Director of Bands there as well as the Fine Arts Chair. Brian earned his B.A. from the University of Calgary, and his M.Ed. from the University of Missouri.
Brian has received the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, and was named Palm Springs Teacher of the Year in both 1997 and 2006. He was also named the Outstanding Music Director from the Desert Theater League.
Brian states his philosophy in these words, “It is my belief that education in the fine arts is essential to student development. It provides for emotional expression, intrinsic worth, and an opportunity to explore our culture as well as others. Learning music is the only subject that encompasses the entire body both physically and mentally. Education must be meaningful and relevant to students. Music as a performing art must have performance as part of its core. It is a musician’s duty and responsibility to share their talents and experience with the next generation of artist. Our most important trophies are our students. Success in music provides the necessary skills for success in life. I love teaching and I believe there is no more important responsibility than teaching our future generations. Music gives us the opportunity to teach not only our passion, but how to be successful in life.”