BAKERSFIELD — Amanda Posey likens her Jazz Educator of the Year award for 2014 to the circle of life completing itself.
The Taft Union High School band director received the award from John Biller, the Stockdale High band director and the president of the Kern County Music Educators Association, which gave her the award from her peers. Biller was Posey’s band director at South High in 1990 when he presented her with the outstanding senior in band award.
“I was very surprised. I really thought I had no chance of winning this award,” Posey said. “The jazz educators in Bakersfield are my mentors. I did not see myself even getting nominated.”
She said Taft gained some notoriety recently when 20 jazz students played in the Rabobank lobby before the Riders of the Purple Sage took the stage. “People stopped and watched instead of going in to sit down.”
Posey has been the band director at Taft High for six years and with the drum line for 15 years.
Four of her students were on hand in the Kern County honor band when she received the award at the Grand Night for Music concert Jan. 28 in the Rabobank Arena.
But her husband, Vic, was back at Taft High leading the drum line practice. “I didn’t cancel practice,” Amanda Posey said. “Practice is more important than awards.”