2013 DISTINGUISHED FACULTY
Dr. Benjamin Caton is the 2013 Distinguished Faculty for Outstanding Service. Dr. Caton earned his baccalaureate in Music Education from ETSU and his Master's and Ph.D. in Music from The Ohio State University.
After teaching music in elementary school, Professor Caton joined the faculty at ETSU in 1972 and has, for more than forty (40) years, served with distinction. He now teaches, with excellence acknowledged by colleagues and his students, in the areas of aural skills, piano, and piano pedagogy. He twice received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Appalachian Music Teachers Association, and was named a Music Teachers National Association Foundation Fellow in 2001. He has an impressive record of publications, presentations, and performances—and he has served briefly (always in time of need) as a department chair or interim chair on four different occasions and also served as his department's graduate coordinator for seven years. His record of University service—committee membership and leadership—is exemplary.
In reading Dr. Caton's nomination and support letters for nomination for this distinguished recognition along with accompanying documentation, what truly stands out is his passionate service to the profession of music. He has served as president of the Appalachian Music Teachers Association, has completed three two-year terms as president of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association Executive Board, and has served as president of the MTNA Southern Division Executive Board. He has also been active at the national level, serving on the MTNA Board of Directors and on its Foundation Board of Trustees.
The pinnacle of his recognition for service to the profession, however, is evident in his appointment to what is effectively a six-year period as president-elect (2009-11), president (2011-13), and immediate past president (2013-15) of the 22,000-member Music Teachers National Association. In commenting on his leadership role, the Executive Director and CEO of the Music Teachers National Association recently commented in a letter. He said: "Dr. Benjamin Caton is a remarkable human being and outstanding music teacher and leader. He is the embodiment of how everyone should serve others: with humility, vitality, and devotion." In a similar vein, his college dean wrote a sentence that epitomizes this moment. Dean Anderson wrote: "He serves as a mentor in all manner of ways, giving his time and energy for the benefit of others, both faculty members and students, yet he would never consider that to be service; that is just part of who he is. Service is inherent in his life. He succeeds when his colleagues and students succeed."