Musical Legacy at Delta College receives Outstanding Arts Award

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Arthur J. Holton II (Sr.) and Arthur J.Holton III (Jr.) are receiving the Outstanding Arts Educator Award from the Stockton Arts Commission, used to distinguish educators in the arts community.
The elder Holton will be honored posthumously.
Holton Jr. is a man of many hats within the music community at Delta College as conductor, director of bands, coordinator of Applied Studies, applied clarinet instructor and music professor.
It is his eleventh year teaching at Delta, but he packs 39 years under his belt in music education.

He has held positions on numerous non-profit music boards, such as president of the San Joaquin County Music Educators Association, California Band of Directors and many other state and local office positions.

These foundations and boards help continue musical education. He also helped in the founding of Stockton Concert Band, which has been a part of Stockton’s musical community since 1987.

Holton Sr. established the music program at Delta, which includes the symphonic band and choir.

Holton Sr. also helped found the Stockton Opera Association, Stockton Ballet Association and founded the Stockton Chorale.

Together the father and son have 73 years of teaching.

Holton Sr. first started playing clarinet in the fourth grade, which sparked his interest in music as a career.

“I just like music,” said Holton Jr.

Holton Jr.’s wife Kathy Holton is also a music educator.

They attended college together at San Jose State University, and were both music majors.

They worked together at Lincoln Unified for 21 years, and continue to collaborate on many of their musical endeavors.

“I think it’s important to have a spouse that appreciates what you do and also partakes in what you do,” says Holton Jr.

The dedication Holton Jr. has to his students is remarkable.

“I call it payback,” he says in regards to his contributions to Delta’s music students.

“The process then the concert, to see the kids and adults both enjoying what they are doing and have accomplished,” said Holton Jr.

The band holds four concerts a year, their next upcoming concert will be held in December
He has not yet chosen the pieces to be played, but states, “it is an evolutionary process.”

He likes to keep his students challenged, and also likes to make sure they enjoy playing the pieces he chooses.

Holton Jr. carries on his father’s legacy at Delta and in the San Joaquin Valley and has formed his own legacy instilling musical education to the students here on campus.

He enjoys what he does both as an instructor and player of music.

A ceremony honoring the Holtons will be held at the Haggin Museum on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35.