John Combs is the Supervisor of Fine Arts for Missoula County Public Schools. With 31 years in the classroom, Combs is an accomplished music educator with an outstanding record of service to Missoula and the State of Montana.
Combs taught three years in Shelby, Montana and then spent the remainder of his teaching career as the Director of Bands at Hellgate High School in Missoula. He graduated with honors from the University of Montana in 1977 and earned his Masters of Music Education degree from the University of Southern California in 1981 where he graduated summa cum laude and was recognized as that department’s Outstanding Graduate Student. His bands performed multiple times at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California as well as the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix, Arizona. His bands received Superior Ratings at festivals from coast to coast. His concert bands and jazz bands have performed at the National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC) All-Northwest Conference conventions.
Combs was named to the Legion of Honor by the John Philip Sousa Foundation – the only band director from Montana ever to receive that prestigious award. In 2010 He was recognized by the National Federation of High Schools as the Outstanding Music Educator for the Northwest Conference. Combs was also inducted into the Missoula Blues & Jazz Society's Hall of Fame as one of the community's treasured Jazz Educators.Combs has traveled throughout the state of Montana as well as Washington, Wyoming, Alaska and Bangkok, Thailand as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor.
Combs is currently the President of the Northwest Division of the National Assocation for Music Education and on the Board of Directors for Arts Missoula.