Joplin North Band Staff - Mr. Joseph Raffurty
Mr. Joseph Raffurty is in his fifth year as Director of Bands at Joplin North Middle School and a band assistant at Joplin High School. Mr Raffurty coordinates all North Middle School activities, and assists at the high school with marching band and concert band activities. Previously, he taught for three years as Assistant Director of Bands in the St James School District serving as coordinator of all Middle School Activities and as Woodwind & Percussion Specialist for grades 6-12.
Mr Raffurty has enjoyed continuing success during his time at Joplin Schools. The north Middle School program is growing each year with increased enrollment and retention of students in the program. He works to try to provide a wide range of experience for his students including concerts, judged competitions, parade marching, and solo performance. Mr Raffurty along with South and East Middle School had a combined 28 students take part in the 2018 SWMMEA Junior High Honor Bands and a combined 32 student in 2019, which is a remarkable sign of Joplin band students' abilities and dedication. In 2020, 26 Joplin students made the District Band, with 15 of those coming from North. Mr Raffurty has also consistently seen his students receive 1 and 2 ratings for solos (the highest ratings) at the Mid America Music Festival. The Joplin North band also received a 1 rating at that festival in 2019. Later that quarter, the Joplin North Band attending the extremely challenging Festival of Music Competition at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City where they received a 2 rating.
As North Band Director of the Joplin School District, Mr. Raffurty has several responsibilities. He is one of the assistant band directors to Joplin High School serving as percussion and music tech advisor to the program. He also assists in concert band season as one of the directors in charge of Concert Band Ensemble. All band activities at North Middle School coordinated by Mr Raffurty and include taking the band to Parades, Pep Assemblies, concert band clinics, and solo and ensemble contests. In his first year at Joplin North, he led the combined 7th and 8th grade ensemble to a 2 rating at Marshfield Festival, Outstanding Junior High Band at the Joplin Veteran's Day Parade, and early 20 I or II rating at Pitt State Solo and Ensemble competition.
While assisting at St James, Mr. Raffurty had the privilege of traveling to New York City and Kansas City with the High School Jazz Bands. Under his direction, the High School Percussionist earned multiple Outstanding Percussion Awards during the marching season. His percussion students also have taken multiple solos and ensembles to Missouri State Contests earning 1 & 2 Ratings. Mr. Raffurty also founded a Middle School Jazz Band at St James. The group traveled to multiple festivals in two years earning accolades and 1 ratings from judges. The 7th & 8th grade bands also traveled to festivals earning 1 & 2 ratings at events such as Marshfield Music Festival and the St James Music Festival. Mr Raffurty was the coordinator of activities for the 2016 St James Music Festival hosting schools from around the Central District of Missouri.
Mr. Raffurty is an Alumni of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. He earned an undergraduate degree in both Music Technology and Music Education. Additionally, he completed his graduate degree from UCM in Music Education with a Conducting Emphasis in 2016. While an undergrad at UCM, Mr. Raffurty had the privilege of being the Principal Clarinetist for both the UCM Wind Ensemble and the University Orchestra. His fondest memory as a member of the UCM Wind Ensemble was their performance on the stage of Carnegie Hall in New York City. Mr Raffurty was also a baritone saxophonist in the UCM Jazz Band and participated in numerous studio sessions as a member of the Music Technology department. He also was a member of the UCM Marching Mules for three seasons. Two of those seasons he performed on the marching snare line, a privilege he also had as a member of the Odessa Band program in high school under the direction of Mr Ken Hansen.
Mr. Raffurty is a current member of NAfME, the Nation Association for Music Education, Missouri Bandmasters Association, a clarinetist in the The Four States Symphonic Winds, and MMEA, the Missouri Music Educators Association. He is a frequent attendant at the annual MMEA convention and MBA convention in Tan-Tara seeking to broaden his knowledge and skills as a music educator.