In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post, we feature a band director who has had bands invited to five Music for All National Festivals, including the debut Festival in 1992.
How long have you been teaching?
This is my 37th year.
Where do you teach now?
In my 28th year at the University of Washington in Seattle;1983-1987, Montana State University; 1978-1983, Herscher H.S., IL.
Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?
I hold degrees from Wheaton (IL) College (Bachelor of Music Education), and Northern Illinois University (Master of Music in low brass performance), and studied privately with Arnold Jacobs, former tubist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
What would you say to a new band director who asks you “what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?”
If you drop a rock in the middle of the lake it takes a long time for the ripples to get to shore. Stay the course and be patient.
Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.
I was involved as the director of a competing high school marching band [while at Herscher H.S.], taught at the Summer Symposium, adjudicated both marching band Regionals and Grand Nationals and evaluated concert band festivals.
What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to MFA/BOA?
Winning the Summer National Championship in 1982 with the Herscher H.S. Marching Band. Herscher, at that time, was a town of 1,200 people, the school had about 700 students in it, 9-12. It was a lot like the basketball movie Hoosiers.
What would you like to see MFA focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
I’d like to see MFA help to prepare the next generation of music educators to be more intentional about connecting their students with deeply immersive experiences in art.