Dr. Steven Bingham: Spirit of Gainesville nominee
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.
Dr. Steven Bingham has been a Professor of Music at Santa Fe College since 2005 where he has developed an innovative instrumental program focusing on jazz, rhythm and blues, and concert band repertoire. Dr. Bingham has also served for ten years as band director with the Sonlight Youth Choir of Trinity United Methodist Church. The son of a Dixieland clarinetist, Bingham’s life has been focused on music performance and education. In his capacity as a performer and teacher, Dr. Bingham has touched the lives of hundreds of students and countless members of the community.
About Dr. Steven Bingham
Occupation: Music Professor at Santa Fe College
Years in Gainesville: 10
Spouse: Trudy Bingham
Dr. Bingham served for twenty-five years as a music teacher in public schools in Missouri, North Carolina, and Florida, including work at Gainesville High School, Waldo Elementary School, and Newberry High School. At Santa Fe College, Dr. Bingham has inspired his students to greatness on a limited budget, with his Santa Fe Big Band, R&B Combo, Jazz Combo, and Concert Band regularly performing for schools, retirement homes, community festivals, and many other venues throughout Gainesville including routinely sold out performances in the new Santa Fe Fine Arts Hall. He also takes the show on the road! With Santa Fe ensembles and the Sonlight Youth Choir, Dr. Bingham has taken the music of Gainesville to St. Louis, Dallas, New Orleans, Chicago, Nashville, and venues across the state of Florida. In an especially memorable program, Dr. Bingham recently partnered with Dr. Don Devito and students of Sidney Lanier School on a trip to New York City where the Santa Fe Big Band and Sidney Lanier students performed in Carnegie Hall.
All of this could not have been possible without a vast amount of personal sacrifice, most of it happening behind the scenes. One will often find Dr. Bingham roaming the halls of Santa Fe’s E-Building—teaching students one-on-one, rushing to and from rehearsal, or assisting his colleagues in their creative endeavors—long after everyone else has gone home. His students are like family, and he will do anything to help them succeed. Many of them have gone on to music programs at the University of Florida and other colleges across the country. Dr. Bingham’s wife Trudy, who is a teacher at J.J. Finley Elementary, has come to expect as much from her dedicated husband. Dr. Bingham’s energy, enthusiasm for hard work, and even bigger enthusiasm for having a good time continues to show in the accomplishments of his students, the admiration of his colleagues, and the enjoyment of his audiences. His spirit is truly Gainesvilleian to the core.
Submitted by Chris Ballengee