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College of Visual and Performing Arts


John E. Mode
Guest Conductor
33rd Annual Invitational Band Clinic

Biographical Information

John Mode, a native of Morganton, NC attended Appalachian State University and graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Music. Following a summer of study in Europe with the composer Randall Thompson, Mr. Mode was hired as band and chorus director at Hildebran (NC) High School.  Other positions followed at East Burke HS and West Iredell. In 1984 Mr. Mode received a Master of Arts degree from ASU.  After a short leave of absence from education, he assumed duties at Shelby Middle School during the 1992-93 school year and later  at Shelby High School. During Mr. Mode’s tenure at Shelby High School, the band received consistent superior ratings at both marching contests and at the annual state contest/festival.  He has served as clinician and adjudicator in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee , hosted the Shelby “Golden Classic” Marching Contest and was the Contest/Festival Chairman for the South Central District for several years. In addition, he played bass in the Western Piedmont Symphony for 15 years. Mr. Mode was last employed by the Hickory City School System as band director at Hickory High School prior to retirement in 2007. He has served as Chair of the South Central District Bandmasters Association, and was voted to receive the  NCBA Standard of Excellence Award from that district in 2005. For over 40 years he has been an active church musician and has been Music Director at the Waldensian Presbyterian Church in Valdese, NC since 1980.  His professional memberships include MENC, NCMEA, NEA, NCAE, an elected member of the American School Band Director’s Association, Phi Mu Alpha and Phi Kappa Lambda.  Mr. Mode resides in Newton, NC with his wife Mary and  has two grown sons John and Matt.