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A Legacy of Music and Changed Lives

Janis and James Guter at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, in 2007 on a trip to celebrate Janis’s retirement.

James L. Guter ’64 ’68 M.A. was a teacher who changed his students’ lives forever. A devoted music educator and band director, “he got his kids to accomplish things they didn’t think possible,” recalls his wife, Janis. “He pushed them to excel. He used music as a vehicle to prepare his students for life, and believed that a band wasn’t successful unless everyone was working together toward the same goal.” Jim’s band motto was always “Pride and Excellence.”

Jim passed along his love for music to young people, as his Montclair State professors had done. “He had excellent music teachers with incredible professional backgrounds,” Janis shares. “He also made many lifelong friends there.” In a letter to President Susan A. Cole in 2002, he wrote, “I am very grateful and proud for having graduated from Montclair State and wish to give something back for all it has given to me.”






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