People who know Scott Singmaster say he's the kind of guy who passes on the credit for a job well done, would give you the shirt off his back and is just a real stand-up mensch.
"He does such a great job, but it's always about everybody else. It's admirable," says his teaching partner Chuck Silloway.
This weekend, Singmaster won't be able to shy away from the spotlight.
He'll take center stage during Palmer High School's Hall of Fame induction festivities.
A 1979 graduate of Colorado Springs School District 11's Palmer High and a band director for 29 years at several local schools, Singmaster is one of three new inductees. The additions bring the total number of Hall of Famers to 101. A new class of noteworthy Palmer graduates has been inducted every year during homecoming weekend since 1985, according to the alumni association.
"It's unbelievable," Singmaster said, while taking a break from teaching band classes at Timberview Middle School in Academy School District 20.
"It's very special because I'm being recognized for something I love to do. It's all I ever wanted to do," he said.
Singmaster, a Colorado Springs native, realized in the seventh grade what takes others a lifetime to figure out. He knew what he wanted to be when he grew up.
Several band teachers' passion for music and how they worked with teenagers inspired him to also take up the baton.
"They were good at motivating students and developing relationships with the students, which is now the most important thing I do. Develop the relationships and the music will happen," he said.
Singmaster started playing the alto saxophone at Horace Mann Middle School, then the tuba in Palmer's marching band. As a tuba major at the University of Northern Colorado, he also played the sousaphone.
As history has a way of repeating, his oldest daughter is now majoring in music and education at his alma mater - and also plays the sousaphone UNC's marching band. His wife, Lynda, also is in the field; she teaches math at Jenkins Middle School. Although his family has a long relationship with Palmer High - both of his parents and his two siblings also are Palmer alumni - Singmaster has never taught there. He worked in Falcon School District 49 for six years before moving to schools in D-20. He ended up at Timberview because his two daughters attended school there.
He and Silloway taught together for 10 years at Mountain Ridge Middle School, and Silloway switched to Timberview this year just for the chance to team teach with Singmaster again.
"I don't think there's a better teacher anywhere - and I'm not just talking about band," Silloway said. ""He has a way of developing strong relationships with kids, parents, other adults. It's almost like a pied piper type of thing - people follow him. He's a strong leader."
Singmaster's talent draws crowds to school band performances, said Kathy Morey, who nominated him for the Hall of Fame.
"Being a musician myself, this is one of the most phenomenal educators I've ever seen. He just lights kids up. He'll help them do their homework, just to keep them in band," said Morey, the grandmother of two of Singmaster's students.
Singmaster describes his teaching style as "enthusiastic" and "passionate." Although at 52, he said the physical demands of the job are more evident to him than in the past.
Kids don't notice it.
"He made class fun and taught us a lot, not just about music but life lessons. Things like what we should do to be successful," said Matt MacKay, who had Singmaster in middle school and is now a junior at Liberty High School.
One concept Singmaster stressed that Matt remembers in particular: "He told us, 'Why do anything less than your best' and that's always stuck with me."
With more than 400 students in Timberview's elective band program - more than a third of middle school's population - Singmaster juggles a lot of details.
"It's keeping up with their grades, communicating with their parents, handling equipment, working on field trips and band festivals and performances," he said.
He attributes the program's popularity to the fact that it's an "energetic and positive class" where friendships form. Also, Timberview is a feeder for Liberty and Air Academy high schools, which both have award-winning band programs that students find appealing.
"One of the best things about teaching middle school is that you see a lot of quick growth, physical, psychological, mental," Singmaster said. "I love being with this age group because every day is different, and that makes it exciting."