I began my teaching career in the fall of 2006. For nine years I was a middle school and high school band director. I spent one year in the Anthony Wayne Local School District, two years at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Catholic School in Toledo, and six years at New Bremen Local Schools. While I was at New Bremen, the marching band was very active in OMEA Marching Band Adjudicated events, and I became a percussion adjudicator for OMEA Solo and Ensemble Events. I also served as the President of OMEA District III, which is an eight county area in West-Central Ohio (Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Harding, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, and Van Wert).
Can you share with us the exciting plans you have in store for the 2023 Miami University Marching Band Show?
I don’t want to give everything away, but our first show for Fall 2023 is titled “Music of Knights.” When someone hears the title without reading it, they might immediately think of the Broadway musical “The Phantom of the Opera,” and Andrew Lloyd Webber, but in this instance we are referring to musicians who have been Knighted. In that way, the selections we include in the show will all have that British connection in common.
Active in a number of professional organizations, can you tell us about your involvement with the American School Band Directors Association?
I was inducted in the American School Band Directors Association in 2012 in Asheville, North Carolina. It is an organization that many of my mentors were a part of, and I was honored when members thought enough of me to nominate and sponsor me. Through membership in this organization I have been not only fortunate to interact with many outstanding instrumental music educators from around the country, but I have been able to learn about what is happening in schools and band programs across the nation. I was elected to serve as the Region III (Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio) Representative to the organization in 2014, and chaired the Region III Conference in 2015. I currently serve as the Research Committee Chair.
At the time I was inducted, each new member was given a short history book of the organization. The organization began in 1953, and the contents of the book ended in 1955. Almost sixty years of organizational history were missing. For the final project of my doctorate, I wrote an updated history of the organization from 1953 to 2016.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to an aspiring instrumental music educator?
Make sure you find ways to supplement and feed your musical soul. When you step into the classroom, and you’re no longer playing or performing like you recently were, or you’re no longer working on the level of music you did in rehearsals just a few months ago, you have to find ways to keep your musical soul satisfied. Find a community or professional group that you can rehearse and perform in. Buy a subscription series to a professional orchestra. Make sure you attend professional development opportunities like your state music conference, The Midwest Clinic, etc., in order to find ways to keep yourself musically enriched.
Learn more by visiting the Miami University Marching Band (MUAB) website.