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BETHANY ROBINSON

 BASSIST  EDUCATOR  CLINICIAN

BIO

01 bio

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2022 GRAMMY Music Educator Award Finalist and Yamaha Performing Artist Bethany Robinson is currently the Jazz Band Director at Noblesville High School.

In 2011, Bethany received her first Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant, and traveled to New Orleans and New York City, exploring the current trends of jazz in those two cities. She experienced dozens of jazz shows, attended the Band Director Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center, composed her first piece for big band, and came home with a whole new concept of jazz pedagogy at the secondary level. Since her return from this experience, her jazz program has expanded from 1 to 6 high school big bands, and the top band has made regular appearances at the ISSMA Indiana Jazz State Finals, placing first in 2023, first place finishes at both Ball State and Purdue University Jazz Festivals, and is a 2-time finalist for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington Festival and Competition.

In 2014, Bethany was named "Indiana Jazz Educator of the Year" by the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation. In 2015, she was named "Teacher of the Year" for Noblesville Schools, the 11th largest public high school in Indiana. In 2016, Bethany was a Semi-Finalist for Indiana Teacher of the Year. She is a 2022 Grammy Music Educator Award Finalist, and was named one of the 2022 Jazz Heroes by the Jazz Journalists Association, which honors advocates who have had a significant impact in their local communities. Bethany was also recently named the 2023 "High School Music Educator of the Year" by the Indiana Music Educator Association.

Bethany currently serves as Chair of the National Association for Music Education Jazz Council (NAfME), Jazz Education Network NAfME Liaison Board Member, and President of the Indiana Jazz Educators Association. During her time as IJEA President, she spearheaded efforts to create the All-District Jazz Program, a Junior All-State Jazz Ensemble, began a partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and partnered with IJF Artistic Director Rob Dixon to feature the Indiana All-State Jazz Combo at the annual Indy Jazz Fest. 

In 2018, Bethany was a part of the inaugural Indiana Jazz Girls Day, traveling around the state playing bass at concerts and workshops with New York City Musicians Leni Stern, Jamie Baum, and Austria-based Monika Herzig. She continues to travel with this group annually in the spring, playing bass and serving as a clinician at workshops around the state of Indiana, inspiring young jazz musicians to be leaders on the bandstand.

Bethany received her second Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant, and spent the summer of 2019 exploring the Brazilian cities of Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, taking in the sounds of choro, Bossa nova, and samba while exploring her mother's childhood home, creating music for her students, and collaborating with local Brazilian musicians. 

Bethany has been a featured presenter for music education students at Ball State University, Butler University, Vanderbilt University, for community members at the Center for Performing Arts/Palladium (Carmel, Indiana), and has adjudicated events including the Benny Golson Jazz Festival at Butler University, the Clark Terry Jazz Festival at Southeast Missouri State University, and the Western Australian Schools' Jazz Festival, and the Elizabeth City State University Max Roach Centennial. She has also adjudicated the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Newark Academy New Jersey Essentially Ellington Regionals for Jazz at Lincoln Center. In September 2021, Bethany was a keynote speaker for the Australia National Band and Orchestra Conference, speaking on topics like building jazz culture, teaching jazz for those new to jazz, and building leaders through the Jazz Girls Day Event. Bethany was also a presenter at the 2022 Indiana Music Educators Conference, the 2022 International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL, the Oklahoma Bandmasters Summer Convention, and was the keynote speaker for the 2023 New York State Summer Music Conference. In 2024 Bethany led workshops at the Music For All National Concert Band Festival, in July will lead workshops and clinics in Perth, Western Australia, be the chief adjudicator at the Victoria Schools' Jazz Festival in Melbourne, and in December will be the Guest Conductor for the 2024 New York All State Jazz Ensemble.

As an avid performer on upright bass, electric bass, and vocals Bethany has performed over the years at the Indy jazz Fest, Indianapolis Jazz Kitchen, The Center for the Performing Arts, Carmel Jazz Fest, the Indianapolis Zoo Jazz Series, Zoobliation, and Irish Fest with many artists including Everett Greene, Sarah Scharbrough, and Katherine Nagy, and has opened for YAMAHA Artist Dave Koz. 

 

SHOWS

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April 10

Guest Lecturer

Ball State University

Muncie, IN

April 12/13

MAX ROACH CENTENNIAL FESTIVAL

Honor Jazz Band Director

Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

April 19

NHS Jazz Bands at The Palladium

with Sammy Miller & The Congregation

Carmel, IN

April 20

Todd Williams (tenor sax) Trio

Cassius Goens, Drums, Bethany Robinson, Bass

Palladium

Carmel, IN

April 20

Katherine Nagy Trio

Bass/Vocals

Sugar Creek Winery

7-10pm

Carmel, IN

April 24

Eric Baker Jazz Trio

Bass

Private Event

Carmel, IN

April 27

ERIC BAKER: MUSIC OF 1970s SO CAL

Bass/Vocals

Feinstein's at Hotel Carmichael

Carmel, IN

April 30

Guest Appearance on "Best Buds"

Band Director Community Podcast

May 6

Jazz Night Guest Artist

Tecumseh Schools

Lafayette, IN

May 7

Noblesville HS Jazz 1

Indy Jazz Kitchen

Full Band Show, 7pm

Indianapolis, IN

May 11

ERIC BAKER TRIO

bass/vocals

Sara's Soiree

Noblesville, IN

May 13-14

Clinician

King's Academy

West Palm Beach, FL

May 16

KATHERINE NAGY TRIO

Bass/Vocals

Carmel, IN

May 18

KATHERINE NAGY TRIO

Bass/Vocals

Broad Ripple Art Air

Indianapolis, IN

May 27

BRENDA WILLIAMS

Bass

Private Event

Indianapolis, IN

June 1

KATHERINE NAGY TRIO

Bass/Vocals

Bean Blossom Festival, 2pm

Bean Blossom, IN

June 6

Sarah Scharbrough/Bethany Robinson Duo

Bass/Vocals

Wabash, IN

June 9

KATHERINE NAGY BAND

Bass/Vocals

Jazz Kitchen

Indianapolis, IN

June 24

KATHERINE NAGY TRIO

Bass/Vocals

Greenfield, IN

June 26

KOKOMO PARK JAZZ BAND

Bass

Highland Park, 7:30pm

Kokomo, IN

July 8-12

Butler Jazz Camp

Faculty

Butler University

Indianapolis, IN

July 15-26

Perth Australia Residency

Clinics & Concerts

Churchlands School

Methodist Ladies' College

Scotch College

Hale School

July 29-Aug 1

Victoria Schools' Jazz Festival

Chief Adjudicator

Melbourne, Australia

Aug 2

Jazz Girls Day Australia

Bassist/Clinician

Melbourne, VA

Sept 7

Eric Baker Trio

Bass

Private Event

Woodstock Country Club

Indianapolis, IN

Sept 10

Katherine Nagy Trio

Bass/Vocals

Holliday Farm

6-8:30pm

Zionsville, IN

Nov 10

Katherine Nagy Trio

Bass/Vocals

Hotel Carmichael Brunch

11-12:30

Carmel, IN

Dec 5-7

New York All-State Jazz Ensemble

Guest Conductor

Rochester, NY

December 20-22

Sarah Scharbrough Annual Holiday Show

7 Shows

The Jazz Kitchen

Indianapolis, IN

 

MUSIC

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MEDIA

Noblesville HS "Road to Essentially Ellington" 2022

YAMAHA: Education as Foundation

INDY NOW TV Appearance

FOX59 TV Appearance

WTHR TV Appearance

Noblesville HS 2022 Essentially Ellington Performance

BANDS/GUEST APPEARANCES

Sarah Scharbrough-Video

Monika Herzig's Sheroes-Video

Katherine Nagy Music- Video

Everett Greene

Groove Essential

Jennie DeVoe

Shed Zeppelin

Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra

Kokomo Park Band Big Band

Carmel Symphony Orchestra

Anderson Symphony Orchestra

DOCUMENTARY APPEARANCES

Open to the Moment

(Jazz Legend/Civil Rights Leader Dr. Marvin Chandler)

In Her Hands

(Women In Jazz, Indiana Girls Day)

BOOKINGS

For Speaking/Clinics/Music Inquiries

Click "CONTACT" tab

JAZZ EDUCATION

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Whether teaching one of her school's 6 big bands, or serving on state or national jazz organization boards, Bethany has a passion for jazz education. She spends her time working with and bringing in professionals to work with her students, sharing the stories of her classroom with the community and around the world through conferences, and lending resources to anyone interested in increasing their comfort level in front of a jazz band. She has developed an extensive warm-up package including engaging students in singing, dancing, long-tones, different scale modes, tuning, quoting blues vocabulary, and a variety of options integrating improvisation, student engagement, and leadership development into the daily rehearsal. 

In addition to her own classroom, Bethany has partnered with Monika Herzig to organize the annual Indiana Jazz Girls Day, a series of free concerts and clinics for girls grades 7-12 around the state with other guest musicians from Indiana, New York City, and California. She has contributed articles to publications including the Indiana MEA "INform" Magazine (Vol 75, Issue 3), the NAfME "Teaching Music" Magazine (January 2022), and was featured alongside other jazz educators in the April/May 2022 edition of the "Instrumentalist" national publication. In the "Play Jazz" method book series by Josh Weirich and Ryan Fraley, Bethany contributed the chapter on bass tips for young players.

Bethany is a Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellow, and has the distinguished honor of earning 2 coveted grants. Her grants took her to New York City & New Orleans in 2011, and to Salvador & Rio de Janeiro in 2019. The experiences during both grants have transformed and propelled her teaching with new approaches, genres, techniques, and even renewed love for the craft of teaching. 

As a result of her 2011 New York City grant, Bethany discovered the Band Director Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where she discovered a new world of jazz pedagogy, and returned to Noblesville High School to build a jazz band from 1 to 6 bands, 5 time qualifier for the Indiana Jazz State Finals, placed 2nd at the 2021 & 2022 National Jazz Festival, and was a 2021 & 2022 Essentially Ellington Festival Finalist. Jazz 1 was also named the Honor Band at the 2023 ISSMA Jazz State Finals.

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