Conducting award-winning Wilton Schools’ concert and jazz bands and creating Wilton High School’s unique “dancing” marching band that is so well-known and highly regarded are but a few aspects of the publicly visible array of dedicated contributions made by John Rhodes over his more than four decades of teaching here.
Yet much of what John has so richly and selflessly contributed is not visible to the public eye even as it has had such an enormous impact on so many. His knowledge of music and of a vast range of performance on music instruments is astounding, and his deep care and concern for students and wonderful mentoring and support of them sets a magnificent example. One sees that example reflected throughout the ranks of the teachers in the music department of each of our schools in a nationally recognized program of musical excellence. From youngest grade levels through high school, a remarkable cadre of music educators have joined, and stayed with, our schools during John’s tenure including two of John’s former students: Janet Nobles and Chris Johnson. As Chip Gawle, Marty Meade, and John’s other music department colleagues (present and past), are first to acknowledge, John is enormously supportive and caring, visionary in planning, exceptional in execution of those plans, and always thinking of the needs of others before his own.