Frank Turner “There are world-class people on this faculty. And it’s an honor, a privilege and a thrill to be part of it.”

With a hearty laugh Frank Turner states, “I’ve grown up at SMC. It was 1966 when I started here. I was 28 years old and scared to death. But it was a super break for me to join such a high-powered program,” he remembers. “I was the band director and we did nationally televised half-time shows for the Rams and the Chargers and even the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.”

Frank played in blues and swing bands during the 1960s and did a lot of TV and radio commercial work. “Teaching was the farthest thing from most musicians’ minds then,” says Frank. “But everthing changed when I found my way to teaching. I’d found something I love and I think it’s my purpose in life.”

Frank is currently working with Sue Anne Pinner staging professional level musical productions at SMC. “Doing a musical like Evita is an incredibly exciting challenge to all of us,” he says. But another aspect of SMC that Frank is ‘jazzed’ about is the presence of so many international students in his various musical programs. “The F-1 Visa students have so much vitality, energy and motivation,” he says. “If they do poorly on a test, they do whatever it takes to do better. They’re inspiring for me to work with and, frankly, they really set the standard around here. They’re just amazing and they remind us that we’ve always got a responsibility to be our best.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.