Position: Band Director
School: Blackburn Laboratory Middle School
School District: Jackson Public Schools
City, State: Jackson, Mississippi
About the Nominee: Cedric Eubanks was nominated by a colleague, Latosha Bennett. Mr. Eubanks is a native of McComb, MS, and a graduate of Hazlehurst High School. He later attended Jackson State University on a music scholarship, majoring in Music Education with a Jazz concentration. While there, he marched in the famed “Sonic Boom of the South,” and played in the Jazz Ensembles and Symphonic Wind Ensembles.
After earning his undergraduate degree in Music Ed, Mr. Eubanks returned to Jackson State to acquire a Master’s degree. He then continued with his educational pursuits by earning another Master’s degree in Music Education from Boston University Online. Since the age of 13, Mr. Eubanks has been performing as a professional musician in churches, clubs and studio appearances, banquets and countless other musical venues. He is currently performing regularly with the Southern Komfort Brass Band.
Mr. Eubanks has been in the field of music education (private and public teaching) for more than 20 years. Fourteen of those years have been spent bringing music into the lives of the students of Blackburn Laboratory Middle School, an inner-city middle school. Over the years, he has been determined to help students see a better way out of life’s setbacks through music, while providing them with a vehicle to express their thoughts and emotions musically. Several of his former students have gone on to become professional musicians themselves.
Mr. Eubanks has the proven ability to make a difference in the lives of students he serves. He enjoys introducing students to different genres of music, with jazz being an emphasis this year. Students are eager to attend Mr. Eubanks’ elective block and cannot wait until band practice starts. Music has become a positive part of many of their lives. Even though 6th graders are not eligible to march in the band, they work very hard during class in hopes of participating the following year. Students know that under Mr. Eubanks' direction, they will not only learn the basics of musicianship, but will also learn discipline and be prepared for different life challenges. Mr. Eubanks takes the extra time to mentor and motivate his students. This year, students with disabilities have the opportunity to run a student-based business as band members and music managers. Aside from this, other students are always asking to join the band, in hopes of learning how to play and be recognized as a band member. Students who have the desire to enhance their musical abilities look forward to learning about performing outside of school and becoming professional musicians with the expertise of Mr. Eubanks.