How Eastland’s band director became a Grammy award finalist

Local News

EASTLAND, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — This past October we introduced you to a band director from Eastland who was in the running to win a Grammy.

Now that Stephen Cox is a finalist, we’re talking a look back at how he got there, and it all started with a nomination from one of his students.

“He was scrolling through Instagram one day and an ad popped up for the Grammy Music Educator Award and he goes, ‘I think I should nominate Mr. Cox for that,'” said Cox.

“I thought it would be a fun opportunity to try and give him some credit and recognition for all that he does for us,” said Heath Slavens, the student who nominated Cox.

After the nomination, Cox was instructed to fill out a questionnaire.

“They ask a bunch of different questions like, ‘What’s your proudest moment as a teacher?’ or ‘What type of methods do you use inside your classroom?’ and you create either essays or videos about that,” said Cox.

For Cox, he says videos were the best way to describe his teaching style, so he started working with his students and staff to create three for the application.

“There were times that I would talk to the students that we had done and they would just sound really excited and smile, thinking back to things we had or performances we had done, and it made me feel like it had meant something to them,” said Cox.

While Cox is the only one nominated for the award, he says he couldn’t have done it without the help from his students and fellow teachers.

“I owe every bit of the teacher that I am to my fellow teachers and the students,” said Cox. “It’s a small town and you would expect that things weren’t excellent, but everyone’s just working hard and that’s what makes it good.”

Cox is one of 10 left in the competition. The winner will be recognized during Grammy Week.

The 62 annual awards program is scheduled for Jan. 26.

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