Janis Stockhouse, a 1977 graduate of the Indiana University School of Music, began her teaching career as Director of Bands and Choirs at North Vermillion Jr./Sr. High School, but after a few years, she moved to Bloomington and taught jazz, concert, and marching band at Bloomington High School North for 38 years. She has served as a clinician and guest conductor many times, as past president of the Indiana Jazz Educators Association Board of Directors, and as an officer for several other music educator and band associations and groups.
During her tenure, all of the North bands won top awards at countless jazz festivals, concert band clinics, and marching band competitions. The BHSN jazz program is especially well-known, in spite of the fact that Janis had to basically teach herself jazz as a new instructor! She has also co-authored the IU Press publications Jazzwomen: Conversational Portraits with 21 Musicians (2004) and Jazzwomen Speak: Interviews with Six Musicians (2013).
Janis has received numerous honors for her contributions to music education, including 1997 Indiana Music Educator of the Year, 2005 Arts Educator of the Year (Bloomington Area Arts Council), 2005 James B. Calvert Music Educator of the Year (Indiana Wind Symphony), 2007 Al Cobine Award (Jazz From Bloomington, now B’Town Jazz), and 2014 Jazz Hero (Jazz Journalists Association). In 2015, Janice received the John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year Award, presented at the 48th Annual Berklee Jazz Festival.
Ms. Stockhouse has profoundly inspired and shaped the musical and artistic lives of thousands of students – many of whom have gone on to pursue their own careers in music as music students, performers, teachers, and other music industry professionals. She has been deeply devoted to making music education an integral part of her students’ lives and has fostered ways for everyone, not just professionals, to enjoy music. She says, “My goal is try to figure out a way to connect with each and every student. I try to figure out how to reach them in some way, and make a small difference in their lives, via sharing the passion that is ours, that is music. I care about the whole person.” It’s clear that her students (and their parents) agree and are most grateful.
Jay Showalter & Lisa Ensman