Eastern High School Exterior

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Eastern High School’s band director has been fired for repeatedly submitting recordings of other bands with the school’s applications to play at a state music association’s conference.

Michael Arthur was terminated by Jefferson County Public Schools on Dec. 10 after the Kentucky Music Educators Association banned bands under his direction from performing at the group’s Professional Development Conference for six years, according to a letter from Superintendent Marty Pollio provided by the district.

KMEA determined that Arthur submitted recordings of other school bands with Eastern’s applications to perform at the group’s 2021, 2017 and 2013 conferences, according to his termination letter. Eastern had been invited to perform at the 2021 gathering.

“In response to your failure on three occasions to ensure that your application materials were as you represented them to be, the KMEA Executive Committee has ruled that KMEA shall not accept applications for any ensemble under your direction to perform at the KMEA Professional Development Conference for a period of six years,” KMEA President George Boulden wrote in a Sept. 28 letter to Arthur.

Arthur, who led Eastern's band in a performance at Carnegie Hall in 2015, did not appeal his termination, and retired principal and former Eastern band director Tim Hagan will serve as interim, according to JCPS spokesman Mark Hebert.

Arthur told interim Eastern Principal Robert Bell during a Nov. 12 due process meeting that he provided recordings to a parent, whom he declined to name, to work on for the school’s applications, but he did not thoroughly review the final versions before submitting them to KMEA, district records show.

“Mr. Arthur’s actions have had a negative impact on our current Eastern band students as well as all those participating under his leadership for the next six years,” Bell wrote in his Dec. 4 recommendation to fire Arthur for “repeated lack of judgment and ethics.”

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