John M. Wetherington

John M. Wetherington, Director
John M. Wetherington
Director, 2019
Trombone Member 1992-2001

As an alumnus of the trombone section of the South Sound Symphonic Band from 1992-2001, plus a variety of services since then, John M. Wetherington is honored to have been invited to direct the group. John is entering his 28th year as a public-school band director, 27 of those in the Bethel School District. This is his 20th year as the director of bands at Bethel Senior High School in Spanaway, Washington. 

John holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from PLU, a Master’s of Science Degree in Music Education from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, and a Master’s of Arts Degree from PLU in Educational Leadership and Administration. John has been fortunate to have the opportunity to be the cooperating teacher for ten PLU student teachers. 

John has previously been a part time faculty member at Pacific Lutheran University where he taught the brass and woodwind lab courses, for 2 years directed the University Concert Band, and for 22 years directed the football Pep Band. (Go Lutes!) He has also taught orchestra at Bethel High School, elementary band at Shining Mountain Elementary School, and in the past was the director of bands at Frontier Junior High School (where he founded the Frontier Jazz Festival) and Curtis Junior High School. For nearly 10 years, John was the director of the Tacoma Debut Wind Ensemble for the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association. He was the 1998 Washington State winner of the ASBDA/UMI Distinguished Young Band Director’s Award.

John is an active guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician. He has adjudicated at many large group and solo/ensemble contests throughout Western Washington, and has served as the guest conductor for several regional massed and honor band festivals. He has served the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) as a conference presenter, All-State Wind Ensemble organizing chair, regional festival host, and is twice Past President of the Mountain Region. 

As a professional trombonist, John’s performance experience includes many years with the Swing Reunion Orchestra, the South Sound Symphonic Band, the Tacoma Concert Band, and as a guest performer in many other local ensembles. John plays and collects vintage trombones with particular interest in early Vincent Bach, H. N. White (King), and Earl Williams instruments. He considers himself lucky to be the current steward of three Earl Williams trombones including one of thirteen model 10 bass trombones ever built, and the model 6 tenor trombone previously owned by Milt Bernhart. 

John tries very hard to put his family first—he enjoys camping, travel, board games, and watching the yard crew mow the lawn at his condo on Spanaway Lake where makes his home with his wife Katie and dog Charlie May. He is the proud dad of daughter Brontë who attends WWU with her dog Jackson. 

Former Directors

Bob Rink

Bob Rink
Director, 2018-19
Guest Director & Clarinetist

Bob Rink is serving his 32nd year with the Puyallup School District — the last 23 years as band director at Ferrucci Junior High School. Additionally, he is an affiliate faculty member at the University of Puget Sound teaching Concert Band and music education courses.

Active in the Washington Music Educators Association, he served on the Executive Board as Band Curriculum Officer 2012-2016 and has presented numerous sessions at WMEA conferences. He also was appointed Symphonic Band director with the Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble organization 2010- 2014.

Under Mr. Rink’s direction, the Ferrucci Concert Band has performed at three WMEA conferences, MENC Northwest Division Conference, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, and many local band festivals.

Mr. Rink is humbled to have received the following awards from his peers: Valley Region “Outstanding Music Educator,” Puyallup School District “Teacher of the Year”, Washington State recipient of School Band & Orchestra magazine’s national “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” and in 2012 inducted into the WMEA Hall of Fame.

Mr. Rink earned music degrees from University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University. He feels fortunate to have learned from several mentor teachers and appreciates the collegiality of many dedicated music educators. After 25 years of performing as clarinetist in the South Sound Symphonic Band, he was recently appointed musical director and conductor for the 2018-2019 season.

Paul Bain

Paul Bain
Director, 2013-2018
Trumpet member, 2000-2013

Paul Bain is the Associate Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Central Washington University (2018) where he leads the instrumental music education program and conducts the CWU Symphonic Winds. He was the Director of Bands at Graham-Kapowsin High School (Bethel School District) since 2006 where he taught three concert bands, jazz ensemble, percussion, and hosted the annual jazz festival. He was also active with the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association and served as the band director for the Washington Ambassadors of Music, giving concerts in London, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany every other summer.

Mr. Bain has guest conducted the Tamana All Girls High School Band New Year’s Concert in Kumamoto, Japan, and in 2002, he was appointed guest lecturer for one quarter at Pacific Lutheran University conducting the concert band.

In addition to his teaching duties, he serves as a clinician and adjudicator throughout western Washington. Mr. Bain holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Washington. His primary conducting teachers have been Timothy Salzman and Raydell Bradley.

Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson
Director, 1987 -2013

Tom directed the South Sound Symphonic Band for nearly 30 years (1987-2013). He taught with distinction for 12 years in the Franklin Pierce SD and 13 years in the Puyallup SD (1970-1995). Some of you may know him as a colleague, respected music educator, or past president of Music Centers, Inc. As a leading advocate for school music programs, Tom was awarded the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association, named Outstanding Music Educator for the South Puget Sound League, and selected into the Washington Music Educators Association Hall of Fame — Class of 2000. In October of 2007, Mr. Anderson was inducted into the prestigious Northwest Bandmasters Association. Mr. Anderson’s bands are known for having achieved the highest level of musicianship and remain a model for those in the field of music education.

Tom generously served as mentor to numerous band directors in the region and his influence is still present in those who continue his teachings. The Thomas E. Anderson Scholarship originated over ten years ago with Mr. Anderson being the primary contributor. Tom valued a high level of musicianship and felt it was important to recognize and reward that accomplishment in our youth. Read more and see past recipients about the Thomas E. Anderson Scholarship.