The magazine honors one band director in each state. Mathews was nominated by a current or former student, colleague, administrator or other person familiar with his work.
“I am completely humbled by being selected as one of the 50 Band Directors Who Make a Difference,” said Mathews. “I am particularly proud that this honor was bestowed upon me for the things I am able to do for students and the community away from the classroom. All faculty members are experts in their field who publish and receive recognition for teaching and research, but to be honored for serving our students is the most special part of this for me.”
Mathews has been director of bands at NSU since 2013. A member of Northwestern State’s faculty since 1998, he has served as associate director of bands/associate professor of music, director of student activities and organizations and director of athletic bands/assistant professor of music.
Mathews holds the Alford Memorial Endowed Professorship in Music. He has recently served as a guest conductor for high school honor bands in Louisiana, Texas, and Tennessee and is a regular guest conductor for the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra in Manchester, England.
He is part of a recruiting team that brings in 85 to 100 new band students annually.
Mathews serves part-time as Chief of Air National Guard Bands. He is the functional manager of the Air National Guard band program nationwide and principal advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Division and National Guard Bureau Public Affairs on matters pertaining to Air National Guard Bands.
Mathews earned a Bachelor of Music Education at Northwestern State, a Master of Music Education at the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting pedagogy at the University of Southern Mississippi.