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John Wickersham

Olathe District Schools
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John Wickersham is a Band Director and Percussion Instructor in the Olathe/Kansas City Area. Currently, he is the assistant band director and percussion instructor at Olathe North High School, a position he has held since August 2008. When starting at Olathe North High School, the percussion program was underdeveloped, unsupported, and lacked vision. After 5 years of quality and energetic percussion teaching, John has helped turn Olathe North into one of the premier percussion programs 
in the Kansas City area. The Olathe North Screamin’ Eagle Marching Band is consistently one of the top achieving groups in the Kansas City area and has recently won Grand Champions at the Heart of America Festival at the University of Kansas. The Olathe North ONE Winter Percussion has quickly become a leading force in the MCCGA circuit. In their third year of competing in the Mid-Continent Color Guard Association, ONE Winter Percussion won 1st place in the Scholastic B class at the 2013 MCCGA Finals. John also taught with the Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. John was a member of the 2006 Colts Drum and Bugle Corps and began teaching with the Colt Cadets in the following year. It was an honor to pass down the life-lessons and musical skills that he learned from the Colts to the young performers of the Colt Cadets. With John’s help, the Colt Cadets made the Drum Corps International Open-Class Finals for the first time in the history of the organization in 2010.

In addition to teaching in the public school setting, John also has a firmly established percussion studio consisting of 8 dedicated students that learn a well-balanced approach to percussion. Students start out on concert snare drum to establish a solid foundation in technique and rudiments. After steady improvement is shown, time is also spent developing mallet performance, drum set techniques, and rudimental snare drumming.  

John Wickersham also is an active arranger and percussion composer in and around the Kansas City area. Over the past five years, he has written for 10 different schools that range from local competitors to groups that compete in Bands of America competitions. John is known for his creative battery writing and well-developed and musical front ensemble arranging. John takes pride in creating professional musical elements that also further enhance students’ development and growth on their instruments.

John Wickersham loves percussion and feels very strongly that music is one of the most important activities that students can be involved in. By providing music education, John teaches students how to make responsible and intelligent decisions, to work as a team, to focus on one specific task until it is complete, and learn how to be dedicated to something they love. This is why John takes music education so seriously. He strongly feels that playing percussion is more than playing drums; it is a lifestyle of being musically intelligent, professional, passionate, resourceful, and dedicated. John 
believes that if he can inspire a student to learn and live up to these ideas by performing and learning music, then he has given them one of the most important lessons and gifts in life.