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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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OK - WE Band Directors/Saxophonists have taken a lot of heat here on SOTW. Although many band directors are lacking in the area of saxophone performance, some of us play regular gigs (on saxophone) as well as, hold down days jobs in music education.

Let's take a moment to remember all those "little people" that got you where you are today.

Thanks

Tony (Humble Middle School Band Director)
 
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my music teacher is the reason I want to pursue music education... He always treated us like friends first, then students.. he retired in june.. still stay in touch tho, went bowling with him two nights ago :).

new one seems good too. different perspective, emphasis on different things. should be a good last year of high school.
 

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My band directors are awesome! Our head director is Mr. Mark Greer, who actually has a doctorate and has taught at the college level. He's very very good at what he does, and a genuinely nice guy.

My other director is Mr. Richard Anderson, who also is a pretty great performer, and always has a lot of jokes! I know he has at least his masters.

Both directors studied with Trent Kynaston (Greer in High School, Anderson when he got his masters) and both were students of Larry Teal. I am also now a student of Trent Kynaston.

I also should mention an awesome woman who was my band director, but moved to Indiana with her new husband, Mrs. Olfier (then Miss Nofs). Younger than my two other directors, she gave the music program at my school a sense of passion, and she was truly a "mother hen" to all of us. I think the same can be said of Mr. Greer, who has been almost a father figure to the band.

That's the great thing about band...you get to be with someone for several years, and you can't help but develop a connection. It's a tremendous friendship, really. And now, here I am, looking at going into Music Education in college. They really inspired me, and I can't thank them enough for that.
 

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Our assistant director, Andrew Rice is a great director. He plays trombone, but he is a great guy and helps everyone with anything they need improv or rhythm or theory or whatever. Definetly a big role model for me.
 

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I'm always impressed by the music department staffing at many schools. In our small town in the 1950s there was one instrumental music teacher. He was a traditional "cradle to the grave" teacher--three grade school bands, one junior high band, one senior high band, one jazz band, an orchestra, and the summer municipal band. Oh, yeah, he also gave private lessons during the summer.

I don't know what he did in his spare time.;)
 

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rs1sensen said:
My band directors are awesome! Our head director is Mr. Mark Greer, who actually has a doctorate and has taught at the college level. He's very very good at what he does, and a genuinely nice guy.
Mark Greer, if he's the same cat who was at NDSU in the late 80's, is a CLASS A teacher. Man, I haven't seen him in like 18 years. So where is he teaching these days? Is he still playing that MK VII with a mute?
 

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All of them had me improving! In order - Thomas Hill, Arlington VA 1959-61, Douglas Soyars 61-62, Lawrence Kirkpatrick 62-64, John R. Slifer 64-65, Fred Mc Call 65-70 and Fred Fennell 65-69. I owe them so much.
BB
 
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I love my band director!!! He's a Jazz trombonist (you may know him Tony) and took our band of the best players and auditioned like crazy for a month and we ended up winning 3rd place in our class at Berklee HS Jazz Fest. He really knows what he's doing and has a good sense of humor- IMO, thats all you need.
 

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First band director was a martinet to hide his inferiority complex; a little Napoleon. In the Latin genus: Dicus Weedus.

An in-between director (different school) was a man who soon took over the state university band program. Excellent musician, both as a trumpeter and conductor. Screwed me and many of his students out of our parents' hard-earned cash by recommending unnecessary purchases by us at a music store from which it was later revealed he had a long-term kick-back relationship. Good musician, though.

Second was a nice man, Mr. Matsu****a, good musician who was just out of college and prepared me very well for my first year at university. Not very dynamic, but a good person for me at the time and I'm very greatful for how he helped me.

edit: Actually my first band director, in intermediate school, was a rock & roll sax-playing English teacher who formed the school band. He was cool. We had a lot of jazz and pop arrangements he scrounged from the local USAF band and he wrote out simple arrangements of Rock Around the Clock, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White and other top 40 charts. That was cool.
 

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My band director in West Hartford, Connecticut was a legendary martinet who badgered many kids out of the program and turned them off to real jazz music. Damn that band sounded tight though.

My orchestra conductor, Charles Palmer, was a gentle musical soul who had the misfortune to follow us through our school careers. We had him K-6, 8-9 and 11-12 -- he kept getting promoted as we kept growing up! I suspect that he grew up too. He died about fifteen years ago, a fairly young man.

RIP, sir. Thank you for opening doors for me and many others. If I'd have known then what I know now I would have given you the respect you deserved all along.
 

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gary said:
Screwed me and many of his students out of our parents' hard-earned cash by recommending unnecessary purchases by us at a music store from which it was later revealed he had a long-term kick-back relationship.

This practise is much more common than you would think.:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Remember this is the "Say nice things about your HS Band Director Thread!!!"

We can start another " I hate my HS Band Director Thread!!!" BUT

THIS IS THE NICE ONE

:flower: :flower: :flower:
 

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Gene Steinbach. RIP. Gene was a fine jazz and classical pianist. He is one of two musicians I knew as a teenager whose influence inspired me to become a working musician. His day gig was as HS band director at Mt Vernon HS, Alexandria, VA. He encouraged me to join the concert band, gave me a few informal piano lessons, supported our dance band, and allowed after-school jam sessions in the band room.
 

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One of my school band directors, Al Demkowicz, was a great help when I started playing again years after high school. Among other things, he gave me the home number of the great player/tech that works on my horns.
 

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Hello.

For me, a tip of the hat to Larry Thornton, who taught everything--marching band, jazz and concert band--at William S. Hart High School in Newhall, Calif. for better than 20 years (my guess) beginning in the 1970s. All of his bands were excellent, but I think he took particular joy in the jazz band.

He drilled us on swing until it was ingrained. He coaxed, cajoled and harangued us on improvisation (even once causing me to cry over a befuddled chorus on Sammy Nestico's "Front Burner"). He dragged us to festivals and other performances all over Southern California--including Disneyland where we "opened" for Bill Watrous and Maynard Ferguson!

His students include a number of players of the pop band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, as well as arranger and trumpeter George Stone, who's fairly well-known here on the West Coast. I think by now the high school's new auditorium (replacing a 1940s edifice damaged beyond repair during the 1993 Northridge earthquake) has been renamed to honor him.

Regards,
Rob Pratt
rpratt(at-sign)wordandsound.com
 

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Say nice things about your HS Band Director Thread

Ok...for a fat man he don't stink too bad. :D
 

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My band director sucked, and I hope he rots in hE11. Was was the biggest A-hole that I've ever know. And a racist too boot!

And yes, I DID just say nice things about him. You don't want to know what I would have said had I not wanted to be nice. It would probably get me banned from this forum for life, and might even garner a visit from the FBI.
 

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I had no director in High School. We had no band in high school. Some pretty fun music teachers though. My first was a grumpy good musician, feeling set up because he had to teach the recorder to primary school kids. But he actually arranged kids music in a fun way for our temporary 6th grade "band" (him on piano and we on recorder), and even gave me a solo. My first :)

In secondary school, our teacher was especially a soccer-fan. When his favorite team lost, we knew we had trouble. But even though hardly any of us guys could sing or play the recorder decently, he kept encouraging us. That's more than patience.

My last teacher in secondary school (another one, I was kicked out of the first) was a percussionist (and a darn good one). He introduced the djembe to me (at that time not that famous yet) and played with some of us in a "pupil band" at one of the school-celebrations. At that moment, he was no director at all, just a drummer and a guy like the rest of us (although 30 years older :) )

I'm especially grateful that none of them killed my joy. Sadly, that happens once too often here : the most boring way of dissecting music and the hated recorder are one of the main reaons a lot of kids stop with making music (only to regret it afterwards).

greetzz
 
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