Band Directors

Ida Eleck worked alongside her husband who was a big band musician and band director who had the idea of opening a music store.  Ida was thrilled with the idea as it gave her more time to be with her husband.  They called it Royalton Music Center, which is located in North Royalton, Ohio. She soon...
Russell Thomas was a band director for over 34 years.  During his teaching years he often felt frustrated that simple repairs would take weeks and often delay concerts or rehearsals.  A local music store provided him an opportunity to learn simple repairs, which led to a passion that resulted in...
Bob Scheiwiller taught music for three years before landing a job at a music store; the very first store he would later purchase. Bob bought and opened several music stores over the years beginning in the early 1970s, with a strong focus on band instruments. Also beginning in the early 1970s, Bob...
Michael Skinner grew up in jazz and cut his teeth as a musician at Berklee School of Music.  He was a band director right after college and designed several music programs including some for the Detroit public middle schools.  Michael left teaching to get his masters in composition in Florida...
Mark Ragin jumped from working at the retail level of a music store into wholesale when he realized there was a real need for a band instrument and accessory distributor geared toward the specific needs of music stores that calls on band directors.  Mark established U. S. Band and Orchestra...
Chuck Wackerman always enjoyed making music. As a child he took trumpet lessons and later fell in love with jazz. Chuck joined the United States Air National Guard after high school, and later graduated from USC to become a music teacher and band director. He began teaching in 1957 at McGaugh...
Andrew Vickers teaches middle school instrumental music in DeWitt, Iowa. Classes under his instruction range from concert band, jazz band, and even guitar classes, as well as private lessons for all ages. He speaks here about teaching in a small school and about being new to a school.
Ray Ostwald Originally from Wisconsin, Mr. Ostwald has taught orchestra in Illinois for twenty years and has been at York Community High School in Elmhurst for the past sixteen. He comes from a musical family, and provides insights here about the hiring and interview process for music educators.
Toshio Akiyama is an internationally renowned figure widely known for his contribution as the "father of the Japanese wind bands." Having received his education at the famous Eastman School of Music, USA, Mr. Akiyama returned to become the Vice- President of the All-Japan Band Association from 1961...
Frank Lestina has taught for eleven years at Vernon Hills High School in Vernon Hills, Illinois. He speaks here about attracting and retaining students and about the importance of visibility to incoming middle school students.

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