Aaron Bush with SMF 2016
Aaron Bush with SMF 2016

South Shore Conservatory (SSC) congratulates Summer Music Festival (SMF) Jazz Ensemble Director Aaron W. Bush for his nomination and award as a top 50 Directors Who Make a Difference by School Band & Orchestra (SBO) magazine.  This prestigious award has honored great music educators from all 50 states across the nation for 19 years.

Approaching his fourth season directing the SMF Jazz Ensemble, Bush notes that SSC has always played a critical role in his life.  “I was a student in the Summer Music Festival from ages of 12 to 20. The Conservatory taught me the joys of making music with others and set me on the path to teach. During the summers of my college years, I was fortunate to also coach Summer Music Festival saxophone students.”

Nominations for the annual 50 Directors Who Make a Difference awards are submitted by current and former students, colleagues, peers and parents of outstanding band and orchestra directors from across the United States. SBO receives moving stories of amazing, often life-changing experiences that educators create in their classrooms and for their students. The recipients, only one from each state annually, are as diverse as their geographic locations, providing an inspiring look at today’s music educators around the country.

Bush was nominated by Foxboro music educator Cami Tedoldi. Tedoldi said she nominated him for the honor because he “is a very had working and dedicated music teacher.  The moment you walk into his rehearsal it is evident that he has built a culture of musical excellence in Needham.  He is committed to providing an outstanding experience for all of his students, every day. I was inspired to nominate him because I thought he fit the description of this award, and was incredibly deserving of this honor.”

An educator for the past decade, Bush serves as Director of Middle School Bands in the Needham Public Schools, where he teaches and directs 250 students in 7th grade Concert Band, 8th grade Concert Band, Middle School Jazz Ensemble and Middle School Wind Ensemble.  He strives to make a difference in his student’s lives by encouraging them to constantly raise their standards.

“I tell them to never settle for anything less than their best work,” Bush said.  “I believe in them, I care about them, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to help them find success. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy, but the struggle is what makes it so valuable and provides opportunity for growth.”

Under Bush’s direction, Needham’s performing ensembles have consistently received state, regional, and national recognition at adjudicated events and festivals, including gold-medal awards at MICCA Music Festival.  His ensembles have received notable recognition as feature performers at MMEA All-State Festival, NafME All-National Honor Ensembles, and the New England Highland Jazz Festival.

“I do my best to teach students strive for excellence comes in attention to detail and by working harder than everyone else,” says Bush.  “Playing in an ensemble is about being part of something greater than one’s self, being dedicated to constant improvement, and being reliable to others. If they can achieve that excellence in an ensemble setting, they can achieve excellence in anything they seek to do.”

As a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor, Bush has directed the Northeastern Jr. District Jazz Ensemble and the Vermont District 5 Jr. Jazz Ensemble. He also serves as the conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble, and as a faculty member of the Foxboro Jazz Improvisation Summer Program. Bush is a member of the MICCA Executive Board, serving as the Gold Medal Showcase Chair and an active member of the MMEA Eastern District.

For more information about SSC’s Summer Music Festival, which runs from July 7-22 at One Conservatory Drive, Hingham, visit or follow South Shore Conservatory’s Summer Music Festival on Facebook.

About South Shore Conservatory

South Shore Conservatory, (SSC) has been providing access to and enriching the lives of South Shore residents through music and the arts for over 45 years. Recognized as a national model for arts education by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, SSC is the largest, not-for-profit, community school for the arts in Massachusetts, serving over 3500 students of all ages and abilities at its two beautiful campuses and in partnership with schools, and social service and community agencies throughout the South Shore. Students participate in more than 50 diverse programs in music, dance and drama, with performance playing an important role in overall education. With more than 100 exceptional musicians on faculty, SSC offers 30 professionally produced concerts annually.  Through innovative partnerships, SSC’s Creative Arts Therapies department supports the mental, emotional, and physical health of some of our community’s underserved members, and the ImagineARTS program strengthens pre-reading skills for young learners in Brockton Schools through integrated music and dramatic play. SSC’s campuses are located at One Conservatory Drive, Hingham, (781-749-7565) and 64 St. George Street, Duxbury (781-934-2731). SSC programs are supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information call us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram or visit

In keeping with SSC’s inclusive mission to provide access to quality education in the arts for all, the Conservatory offers programs for all segments of the population to enjoy, regardless of age, ability, geography, and financial means.  Furthermore, South Shore Conservatory admits students and families of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.

Music Educator Spotlight is an advocacy series sponsored by Michelle McGrath PR | Media Relations to the arts, non-profits and small business.

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