The 30-year teaching veteran was nominated by a handful of colleagues and students for the honor and was selected as a finalist after completing various application materials. The coveted first-place award would come with ambassadorship honors and other recognition. Additional honors will be named for second and third place awardees, all of which will soon be announced by Music & Arts.
While Caviness had been nominated in the past, he said this was the first year he completed the process because so many people went out of their way to tell Music & Arts about him.
“For me, it’s about the students and what they’re learning; it’s not about me,” he said.
Humble in his reflection of his teaching career this far, Caviness said some of his happiest moments have been seeing the plethora of ah-ha moments with his band students. Throughout his FCSD career thus far, he has worked with the following G. Ray Bodley High School groups: wind ensemble, concert band, jazz ensembles, pep band, brass ensemble and various additional small ensembles. Caviness also has been committed to community youth music programs over the past couple of decades. He currently oversees the band program, which has most recently attracted about 120 high school students.
He said he credits his students, who all crave structure and creative learning environments, with creating such a joyful working environment. Their need to musically explore, have opportunities to fail and learn from mistakes all help them achieve the highest level of success, Caviness said.
A trumpet player at heart, Caviness said he is honored students and colleagues have seen inspiration in him, just as he has received inspiration from them and noted musicians of Wynton Marsalis and Maynard Ferguson.