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Zumwalt North’s Rob Babel named Outstanding Jazz Educator

Ron Babel

Congratulations to Fort Zumwalt North High Band Director Rob Babel, who was recognized January 26, 2019, as the state’s Outstanding Jazz Educator by the Missouri Jazz Educators at the annual Missouri Music Educators Association Conference.

In his 20 years at North High, Babel’s ensembles have performed at the highest level of the profession, making four appearances at MMEA including this year, three at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, and two at the Jazz Education Network conference in New Orleans. Some insight into just how good the North High Jazz Band sounds came in this Tweet from Babel during the conference:

“How good were the FZN Jazz Band students yesterday? I just stopped by the booth for the on-site recordings and they are
all sold out of FZN Jazz CDs.
#impressive #notsurprised #Killedit #FZNBand”

Colleagues were on hand to help recognize Babel as he received his award. “He might very well be the most accomplished jazz director in the state of Missouri’s history,” North Middle School Band Director Patrick Stewart told those at the gathering. “Despite all of his accolades he constantly seeks out advice from other jazz educators. He is not afraid to open his program up for criticism and let someone show him how to do something a different way. It’s his desire to improve that makes him special. I am very proud to have him as a teaching partner, mentor and close friend.”

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