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Music Professor Wins Florida State’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Florida State University has awarded one of its music professors with the 2019 Distinguished Teacher Award, the university’s most prestigious honor for teaching.

John W. Parks IV, who works as a professor of percussion in the College of Music, was recognized for leading the program, which is the only conservatory-competitive university percussion studio in the country.

The award includes a $7,500 stipend funded by FSU, which was given to Parks IV during the school’s annual faculty awards dinner on April 30.

“My basic philosophy is to prepare students for any professional musical opportunity that speaks to them,” Parks said. “We work within a variety of genres, master the major percussion instruments, and perform literature that reflects classic programming and embraces modern trends, preparing our students for the professional music world.”

Patricia Flowers, dean of the College of Music, lauded Parks for his contributions, describing him as an “amazing musician, pedagogue, and colleague.”

“He has created one of the foremost percussion studios nationally and brings highly talented students to FSU from across the United States,” Flowers said. “Dr. Parks is fully committed to his students and their success, and he serves as a role model and mentor for them as they launch careers in music. His presence on our faculty brings distinction to the College of Music and FSU.”

In the past, Parks received the University Teaching Award in 2006 and led the FSU Percussion Ensemble to wins at the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition in 2007 and 2011.

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