April 19, 2006
by Brent Solomon
Albany -- An Albany State University instructor is receiving one of the top honors there is when it comes to music.
Jesse Walker is now a member of the Georgia Bandmaster's Hall of Fame. Music man Jesse Walker is at the top of his craft.
At Albany State, he does it all. Band, music education, applied music, and the list goes on.
When he interacts with his students, he goes beyond the music, he teaches discipline. "A student will come in and say 'I'm intending to do well.' Intention is not what I'm looking for. It's the results of what comes out of the instrument I'm after. You can intend to do very well but you might not be doing very well because you didn't put in enough time," said the music master.
It's tough love students like Khadijjah Douglas can appreciate. "All of the time, you can find him in Holly Hall. If it's not one thing, it's another. If it's not music, he'll say 'girl you need to do your social studies homework' or whatever the case may be."
His dedication to students is part of what gained Walker induction into the Georgia Bandmaster's Hall of Fame. It's a distinct honor. It's a singular honor, becasue they only induct one person a year, if at all, because sometimes they don't find anyone they want to induct.
They found Walker. And he humbly accepts the recognition. "All of a sudden they call me and said 'You've been nominated into the Hall of Fame' and I said 'What?' because I had no idea it was happening to me."
It's a big reward for someone whose brought the sound of music to students for over 30 years.
Music that has played quite effectively in students' lives, both in and out of the classroom. "He always taught me I need to do what I need to do. I need to take care of myself and he's made me a pretty strong person," said Leroy Bynum, who works with Walker.
Walker began teaching during the height of integration in Georgia schools. He is the 7th person to receive this recognition.
One of Walker's former colleagues and longtime Worth County Band Director, Eugene Wyles, nominated him for this honor. He, too, is a member of the Hall of Fame.
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