John Mosley, a 34-year teaching veteran, is the guiding force behind the successful performing arts department at . Mosley, along with fellow director, Chad Bloom, said he is proud to conduct the various jazz bands, choruses and orchestras at the high school.
In 2010, Mosley was named Educator of the Year from the Los Angeles Jazz Society, and he is currently a finalist for a BRAVO award from the Music Center in Los Angeles.
Mosley, 54, has a reputation for exacting standards and manages to get each performer to achieve at the highest level. Each year, the various jazz bands consistently place in the top three of the top jazz festivals throughout the country, and this year was no exception. Mosley credits his success to the perseverance and dedication of all the student musicians in the program.
The list of accomplishments by Mosley and his students reads like an all-star lineup. "This year alone we took the top orchestra to the National Cup in New York where they placed third," he said.
In addition, Mosley took all of the jazz bands to competitions, including the invitation-only, in Savannah were the jazz ensemble placed third, competing mainly against magnet schools.
Both and "B" competed in the Reno Jazz Festival and placed third. Currently, the "A" band is preparing to go to the invitation-only Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival, in New York. The choir took third and the Wind Ensemble took first at the Chicago International Festival.
"We are very proud of the students. They work extremely hard, they do a lot of time commitment, and we are really pleased with all of their efforts," he said.
Mosley boasts a "unique" background on his road to becoming an educator. “Initially, I was going to major in math at Occidental College,” he said.
During senior year, in 1978, his former band director at Oceanside High contacted him and asked if he would take over as the band instructor at the high school. It was to be the first of many experiences instructing young musicians.
"I had a wonderful time," said Mosley. "It was a stunning group... there were over 225 kids in the music program, just in the marching band. The school was really known for promoting the arts."
After his time at Oceanside, Mosley pursed a Masters degree from San Diego State. While he was working on his masters, he said the phone kept ringing off the hook at his parent's house. "Other band directors had heard and seen my work. My parents kept getting phone calls from other schools asking if I would come in for an interview,” he said.
He moved on to teach at Northview High School in Covina and finished his masters in curriculum development. After his time at Northview, it was via a former student teacher at Northview that Mosley was referred to Dr. Boxford at Calabasas High School. Mosley was interviewed at the high school, and by the time he got home, there was a message waiting for him from Boxford wanting to know if he would come and teach music at Calabasas High, he said.
"I admired him so much as a principal, I didn't even hesitate," said Mosley. He taught at Calabasas for four years before following Boxford to Agoura when the principal changed schools.
"[Agoura High] is where I've remained since 1986," he said.
Clearly, Mosley is passionate about his work and extremely proud of his students. "We've built a program that now includes, three wind ensembles, two string orchestras, two girls choirs, a mixed choir, several combo groups and all of them do extremely well," said Mosley.