Philip R. Binkley
Philip Binkley directed the band at Loma Linda Academy for thirty years. By the time he retired in August 2006, he had established a highly regarded stellar instrumental program in the Seventh-day Adventist school system.
Music critics, guest conductors, and audiences praised his Symphonic Wind Orchestra for its musicianship, sophisticated repertoire, and ensemble balance. The group made seven international tours and performed in sixteen countries, in addition to taking numerous tours in the United States and performing often in the Loma Linda area. The LLA program under his direction also included numerous smaller ensembles and four preparatory groups, which began in fifth grade and extended through junior high school.
Binkley completed a B.Mus. in music education at the University of Cincinnati and received a performer's certificate from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. He began teaching in the Belle Glade school system in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1962.
In the spring of 1966, Binkley was invited to conduct the choir at the Jacksonville SDA church and shortly after this his wife, Glenda, assisted him by becoming a member of the choir. They became interested in the beliefs of the church and in March 1968 were baptized. The choir grew from nine to 36 members under his leadership and recorded three records.
In 1972 he was honored as Teacher of the Year in Duval County, Florida, chosen over forty finalists from over 5000 teachers in that system. He completed an M.Mus. at Andrews University the following year and in 1976 began teaching at LLA.
The Loma Linda Chamber of Commerce named Binkley Teacher of the Year in 1992 and 2005. In 2006 he was chosen by the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Alumni Awards Foundation as one of ten teachers in the U.S. and Canada to be recognized as a Teacher of Excellence. When he retired in 2006, the city of Loma Linda honored him by proclaiming August 1st Philip R. Binkley Day.
Sources: "In honor . . . Philip Binkley," Loma Linda Academy 100 Years of Educating for Eternity, March 2006, 1; Proclamation, "Philip R. Binkley Day, August 1" City of Loma Linda, 18 July 2006; conversations with Binkley over many years; Southern Tidings, June 1969, 9; Review and Herald, 20 January 1972; personal knowledge.