TBA HALL of FAME - CLASS of 2023
A 1983 graduate of The University of Tennessee at Martin, John D. Easley recently retired after 34 years as a public school band director in the state of Tennessee. His longest tenure was with the Union City School System as Director of Bands for 31 yrs., where the band program boasted membership of approximately 38 percent of the student population.
Under Mr. Easley’s direction, the band program flourished, affording his students much success, both individually and collectively. A nationally recognized program, the Union City High School Marching Band is a 5-time Tennessee Division II State Champion, as well as the winner of 10 Bands of America Regional and Super Regional Class Championships, and an 8 time finalist at the prestigious Contest of Champions at Middle Tn. State University. They have been accepted and marched in The Tournament of Roses Parade, The Sunkist Fiesta Bowl Parade, Disney Days Celebration, and most recently, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. In 2005 and 2009, the UCHS Symphonic Band performed a full concert on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In addition to his work with his own bands, John is consistently sought out as a consultant, clinician, workshop presenter, and adjudicator throughout the Southeast. One of the highlights of his career includes his time as a staff member with the United States Army All-American Band in San Antonio, Texas.
John has always taken an active role in his community, having served as the Sanctuary Choir Director at First United Methodist Church from 1997 to 2018. He has also been an active participant in the community’s Masquerade Theatre, both as actor and pit orchestra member, and most recently as President of the Masquerade Theatre Board of Directors. “Coach Easley” has worked with numerous children and young adults in the Little League, Babe Ruth, and girls’ softball leagues in Union City and Obion County. In 2016, he and his wife were chosen to lead the Union City Rotary Club’s European Travel Study tour for 16 high school students.
Mr. Easley’s professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu professional band director fraternity (past president); WTSBOA (past president); Tennessee Music Educators Association (past board member); American School Band Director Association, and Tennessee Bandmasters Association.
Originally from Union City, TN, John would like to thank the late Mr. Marion Reithel for inspiring him as an outstanding educator, mentor, and friend. Additionally, he credits his father, the late George Easley, a Navy musician, with encouraging him to follow his dream of becoming a music educator.
John is married to UTM Faculty Collaborative Pianist Delana Easley. They have been blessed with a wonderful family, all of whom are involved in music and the performing arts: Benjamin and Sarah Easley, daughters Ella and Harper; Rebecca and Chris Lowry; and Andrew Easley.