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Directors Circle

Sep 18, 2019

This episode features my interview with the acclaimed author and music educator, Scott Rush. Mr. Rush is widely known for his Habits of Success book series as well as being a renowned band director in South Carolina. Scott shares stories about his career, work as an author, and his current role working in administration. 


Topics include:

(05:12) Scott talks about his life and professional background

(07:45) Scott talks about how his background as a professional performer has affected his career in education

(9:06) Scott talks about how he worked with colleagues to grow his former band program at Wando High School

(13:30) Relationship building

(16:20) Building a culture of excellence

(19:45) Scott discusses the creation of his Habits of Success series

(23:05) Scott talks about his Teaching Inventory Sheet tool 

(29:23) Scott talks about his current role as an administrator for Dorchester District 2 

(31:23) Things learned from working in administration 

(33:27) Why do we teach music? 

(36:20) Advice on getting students to have a lifelong love of music

(31:23) Scott talks about a new book he is creating with Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser 

(40:00) How to contact Scott and learn more about his Habits of Success series

(41:02) Favorite rehearsal tactics

(44:35) Scott discusses leaders that have made an impact on his life 

(49:08) Three words to describe an outstanding leader of a comprehensive music program

(50:45) Maintaining high standards 

(53:24) Advice for music educators

(55:20) Being remembered as a leader for your music program



Rush’s Habits of Success series: 

Performances by Wando High School Bands: 

1998 -

2005 -

2006 -

Videos of Scott Rush conducting:

Interview featuring Rush advocating for arts education funding:

PDF Notes from past presentations Rush has given at the Midwest Clinic:



Scott Rush is the Director of Fine and Performing Arts in Dorchester School District Two in South Carolina and is the former Director of Bands at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, SC. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and the University of South Carolina. He currently serves as conductor of the Charleston Wind Symphony, a semi-professional ensemble in Charleston, South Carolina.


Under his direction, the Wando Symphonic Band performed at the 2007 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and were recipients of the 2007 Sudler Flag of Honor administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. His marching bands were two-time BOA Grand National finalist and won the South Carolina State 5A marching band championships nine consecutive years.


Mr. Rush is active as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States and Canada. He is lead writer for the Habits series and has authored or co-authored ten highly touted books: Habits of A Successful Band Director, Habits of A Successful Musician, Habits of a Successful Middle School Musician, The Evolution of A Successful Band Director, Habits of A Successful Middle School Band Director, Habits of A Successful String Musician, Habits of a Successful Middle Level String Musician, Quality of Life Habits of A Successful Band Director, Habits of a Successful Choir Director, and Habits of a Significant Band Director for GIA Publications. Mr. Rush has served as President of the South Carolina Band Directors Association and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Band Association. In 2010, Mr. Rush was elected into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and in 2011 was awarded the Bandworld “Legion of Honor.” In 2015, he was elected into the South Carolina Band Directors Association Hall of Fame and in 2016 was awarded the Edwin Franko Goldman Award by the ASBDA for contributions to music education.


He and his wife, Michelle, have two children, Thomas and Caroline.