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, clinician, and Bands of America Hall of Famer who has created a standard of excellence for student performers.
Wayne was Director of Bands at Centerville High School in Ohio for 35 years. During his tenure, the Centerville Band program involved over 250 students including three concert bands, three jazz ensembles, marching band, and Winter Guard and Percussion. Wayne also directed the marching band, known as “The Centerville Jazz Band.” They were finalists in Bands of America Regionals and Grand National Championships 57 times, with fourteen regional championships and were 1992 Grand National Champions.
He is an active clinician, adjudicator, arranger, trumpet performer, and President of the music & consulting business Shadow Lake Music. In 2007, he was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame. He is currently teaching part-time at Wright State University and is author of The Dynamic Marching Band, a textbook on marching band techniques. Wayne is the Director of the new WGI Winds Division.
How long have you been teaching?
46 years! 36 as a high school band director (one year at Madison HS, Middletown, OH and 35 years at Centerville High School) and 10 years since “retirement” consulting, working with bands, and part-time college teaching. As Adjunct Faculty at Wright State University I teach Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble Methods.
Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?
Indiana University – Bachelor of Music Education
Northwestern University – Master of Music
What is one thing you’d say to a new band director who asks you “what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?”
Band directing is something you will never master, so be a lifetime learner. Learn from every student, situation, colleague, convention, workshop, and master teacher.
Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.
We began our involvement with Bands of America (Marching Bands of America at the time) in 1979 by participating in the Marching Bands of America Toledo Regional Championship. These competitions, and this organization, were very influential in our development as a band program. Our goal of “Be Your Best” was always motivated by seeing and competing with the best bands possible. The organization was always nurturing and encouraging and I will always appreciate that. In 1984 we adopted the name “The Centerville Jazz Band” and started our annual participation at Grand National Championships when the event moved to Indianapolis.
What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to Music for All/Bands of America?
Participating in Music for All programs was always exciting because of the venues, crowds, participating bands, and positive atmosphere that the organization has created. Some of the memorable events for us were having our best possible performances, for where we were at the time. The best moments were coming off the field after a great show with kids hugging and crying because they knew they had done their best. There are great moments of course tied into making finals or winning a regional or Grand National Championships. I think the best part of that is getting a great crowd response and being able to do an “encore performance” after the awards ceremony.
What would you like to see Music for All focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
Music advocacy has never been more important than today. Secondly, helping the small band programs (which are the vast majority of programs in the country) is essential.