New director backs out of Mason High School marching band job

The latest setback for the nationally acclaimed Mason High School marching band came just days ago in the form of a rejection letter from a recently hired band director.

Mason school officials hired Grove City High School Assistant Band Director Greg Benson in March, but he recently informed Mason officials in a short letter that he no longer wants the position.

Benson did not provide a reason.

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Tracey Carson, spokeswoman for Mason Schools, said the district received many applicants for the position and have already turned to another candidate

Carson said the Warren County school system will now move on hiring one of the other applicants – Johnnie B. Green of Texas – as the high school’s next marching band director.

Last year, the marching band won a coveted spot in the 2016 Rose Parade and performed in front of a global television audience of millions led by former band director Robert Bass, who is now in jail.

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And for the first time the 10,000-student district has created two positions starting next school year. In addition to a marching band director there will also be a symphony concert director.

The school board is scheduled to vote on hiring Green during its Tuesday meeting. No timetable has yet been set on hiring the other music director.

“We really had a great pool of candidates we were looking at and Johnnie is a terrific marching band director,” said Carson.

Mason High School’s former band leader Robert Bass was sentenced in December to six months in the Greene County Jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to sexual battery charges against a 17-year-old female band student at Fairborn High School in 1996.

Bass resigned from the high school in 2016 after Fairborn Police began their investigation into allegations against the musical director, who had been with the Warren County school for 18 years.

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