This week, Nick Averwater talks with Dr. Mike Yopp, Director of Bands at Middleton High School in Middleton, TN. Middleton is a town of just a few hundred people in the southwestern part of the state, but the high school serves several surrounding communities as part of the Hardeman County School District. In March of 2023, a few weeks after this conversation, it was announced that Dr. Yopp will be taking on a new role as a professor and Director of the jazz band at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN.
In this episode he'll tell us about the people and experiences that inspired him to become a music educator, but the majority of the conversation will focus on his strategies and philosophies about recruitment, something he has been very successful at doing at both the high school and college level.
Our conversation was recorded January 26, 2023. We've broken it up into two episodes, and this is part one.