John William “Buzz” Jones is Professor of Music at Gettysburg College. He served as Director of Bands (1989-2002), Music Department Chair (1999-2005), and was appointed Director of the Sunderman Conservatory of Music in 2006. Buzz also coordinates the theory program and teaches jazz history, counterpoint, and composition. He has directed the college jazz ensemble for eighteen years and led the group on three summer tours of Europe with appearances at the Montreux, North Sea, and Vienne Jazz Festivals. He founded The Buzz Jones Big Band in 1979. The band has released three compact discs- Live! At The Montreux Jazz Festival, Big Band Euro Tour, and Millennium Swing. The Majestic Jazz Orchestra recently recorded Axiom Asunder, his historically-based suite for jazz ensemble, dance company, and narrator.
Born in Bryn Mawr on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Buzz earned degrees in music education from Lebanon Valley College and Towson University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Temple University. He was a public school music teacher for seven years in Howard County, Maryland before returning to Pennsylvania in the 1980s to direct the band program at Dickinson College and work in the retail music industry.
Buzz is an eleven-time ASCAPlus Standard Award winner in composition. His commissioned works for concert band, jazz ensemble, orchestra and choir have been performed widely and received enthusiastically by audiences of all ages. He has been awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, the Adams County Arts Council, and the National Welsh-American Foundation and he received the Creative Arts Achievement Award from Lebanon Valley College.