John Jay Selzer
Inducted in 2017
John Jay Selzer earned his Bachelors in Music Education and his
Masters in Music Education from the University of Kansas. He has
served the Northeast District of KMEA as District Jazz Chair for
multiple years, and he served as State KMEA Jazz Chair.
John Selzer began his teaching career at Shawnee Mission West
High School and being a strong jazz performer and advocate, he was
an immediate "hit" with his students. The jazz event he created for
area jazz bands, "Jazz on the Bridge", stands today as one of the
highlights for young jazz performers in the KC Metro area.
In John's final nine years of
teaching, he breathed life into the Howlin' Husky Band program at Blue
Valley Northwest and their enrollment numbers tripled. John built a
program for students, parents and the entire community to be involved in
and be proud of.
Fellow teacher, Steve Adams says, "I have known John as fellow
students at KU, professional colleague, competitor, long time friend,
and now I have the honor of being the band director of his kids. I can
assure you, he is the dream band dad!"
Former student, Veronica McKinny says, "He took the jazz band to
New Orleans my sophomore year, and seeing the birthplace of the
genre through his eyes, the eyes of a professional artist, is really
what sealed my love of jazz. Additionally, just a few weeks ago, I
jammed at a jazz club in Japan, performing improv with no warm up
and musicians who spoke no English. I was only able to have this
impromptu experience because of the musical tools Mr. Selzer
passed on to me."
Former student Benjamin Simon says, "Mr. Selzer's 'Band And...'
philosophy—his belief that students should be able to pursue music
as well as their other interests—was instrumental (pun intended) in
my ability to participate and grow in band."
Fellow teacher Penny Snead says, "I know with absolute certainty
that students who passed through John Selzer's program, when
asked about their band director, would say: Mr. Selzer taught me so
much! Mr. Selzer made band so fun! Mr. Selzer was a great friend!"