About LAHS Instrumental Music Director - John Rush


In his current position as director of Instrumental Music at Los Alamitos High School, John Rush leads the Jazz I, II, and III bands, String Orchestra, Jazz Combos, and teaches AP Music Appreciation.  Under his leadership, the jazz program expanded to three bands.  This year’s experience at the competitive Reno Jazz Festival was especially successful, as each of his jazz performing groups placed in their respective divisions.

Mr. Rush grew up in Cypress and graduated from California State University, Long Beach, where he studied with the late Dr. Michael Carney in percussion and with John Prince in jazz.   He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.  When he came to Los Al in 2002, he headed the marching band, Jazz II, color guard, concert bands, string orchestra, and drum line programs. Since then, each of the groups has achieved 
award-winning and championship status, receiving superior ratings at music festivals and competitions each year.  He previously taught instrumental and vocal music at Vista Verde Middle School in Moreno Valley.  He was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1998 from the Val Verde Unified School District.
Mr. Rush is a clinician and adjudicator for marching bands, jazz bands and drum lines in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.  As a professional drummer and percussionist, he has performed with several local jazz bands, blues and rock bands, a steel-drum band with former CSULB alumni known as Island Hoppin.  He recently toured with the do-wop group, The Hi-Lites in Switzerland. 
In 2015 he directed the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Middle School Honor Jazz Band All-Stars.  Several of his high school students were named to SCSBOA Honor groups as well.  He was honored as the K-JAZZ Educator of the Year for 2015 from Radio Station 88.1 KKJZ – the largest jazz and blues radio station in the country - and the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University Long Beach Jazz Studies Program.  
He lives in the LAUSD with his wife and two children, who are also part of Los Al’s instrumental music and jazz programs.