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After Hours:  A podcast for band directors, orchestra directors, and other music educators

After Hours:  Conversations for Music Educators is a music education podcast from Amro Music Stores, Inc. Our After Hours podcast host, Nick Averwater, facilitates engaging conversations each week with band directors, private music teachers, general music educators, orchestra directors, and other music industry professionals just like you. Each podcast guest shares practical advice on things like classroom management in your band program, placing beginners on instruments, band and orchestra recruitment strategies, band boosters, fundraising, and more.

The goal of After Hours is to provide a podcast for band directors, orchestra directors, and music educators with strategies for both "on-podium" and “off-podium” skills that can help create a school music program that you can be proud of. If you can't find what you're looking for in our current episodes, we'd love to hear from you! Send us an email with questions or topics you'd like to see addressed in the podcast. 

Did you know we were recently featured in the Top 25 Music Education Podcasts by Feedspot? Check out the article here.

 

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The Importance of Practicing Correctly

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode of the After Hours Director Spotlight, Nick Averwater talks with Randall Standridge. Randall is best-known as a highly respected composer and arranger, but he was also a band director for many years. We'll learn about his early career working in a rural public school district, his techniques for teaching students how to practice the right way, and more. Our conversation is broken up in to two episodes, and this is part one.

 

Podcast Guest

Randall Standridge

Randall Standridge (b.1976) received his Bachelor's of Music Education from Arkansas State University.  During this time, he studied composition with Dr. Tom O'Connor, before returning to Arkansas State University to earn his Master's in Music Composition, studying with Dr. Tom O'Connor and Dr. Tim Crist. In 2001, he began his tenure as Director of Bands at Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, Arkansas.  He left this post in 2013 to pursue a career as a full-time composer and marching arts designer.

Mr. Standridge is currently published by Grand Mesa Music, Alfred Music, FJH Music, Wingert-Jones Music, Band Works Publications, Twin Towers Music, and Northeastern Music Publications.  Mr. Standridge's music is performed internationally.  He has had numerous works selected to the J.W. Pepper's editor's choice. His compositions Snake Charmer, Gently Blows the Summer Wind, and Angelic Celebrations have been included in the "Teaching Music Through Performance in Band" series.  He has had numerous works performed at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.  His work Art(isms) was premiered by the Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble at the 2010 CBDNA conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and his work Stonewall: 1969 was premiered at the National LGBA conference in 2019.  Mr. Standridge is also a contributing composer for Alfred Music's Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development series.

In addition to his career as a composer, Mr. Standridge is the owner and editor for Randall Standridge Music, LLC and Grand Mesa Marching.  He is in demand as a drill designer, music arranger, and colorguard designer for the marching arts, as well as a freelance artist/photographer and writer.  He lives in Jonesboro, Arkansas with his family.

Bio and photo credits:  randallstandridge.com

 

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Resources

In this episodes, Randall mentions the following books:
How To Make First Chair by C.L. Roberts
One Band That Took a Chance by Brian H. Norcross

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, September 24, 2021
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Developing Student Leaders in a 400-Member Marching Band

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode, Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Elva Kaye Lance, The Director of Bands at Mississippi State University in Starkville. We'll learn more about developing student leaders in the 400-member marching band, how the pandemic has affected procedures within the band program and more. The conversation was recorded on May 24, 2021. It's broken up into two episodes, and this is part two.

 

Podcast Guest

Elva Kaye Lance

Elva Kaye Lance is Director of Bands at Mississippi State University. Her current responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble, providing leadership for the Famous Maroon Band, and administering all aspects of the band program. Ms. Lance also teaches methods classes within the Department of Music and assists with student teacher supervision. A veteran music educator of more than forty years, she previously taught instrumental music in the public schools of Mississippi.

Now in her 30th year at Mississippi State, Ms. Lance has guided the band program through the completion of a multimillion-dollar rehearsal facility and construction of a new synthetic turf practice field. Under her leadership, the band program has seen the expansion of the band staff and student enrollment that now includes four concert bands, a jazz band, two basketball pep bands, and a marching band with an enrollment of approximately 400 students.

As a conductor, she has led the Wind Ensemble in performances for international concert audiences during a 2008 tour of the British Isles, a 2011 tour in Austria and Germany, and an Italian tour in 2014 which included a performance at the International Music Meeting in Padova, Italy. In addition to an annual regional performance tour in the fall semester, in May of 2019, the Wind Ensemble performed in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, and in early 2020 for the American Bandmasters Association Convention.

Ms. Lance maintains an active schedule as a clinician and adjudicator for both concert and marching band events throughout the country. Additionally, she is a frequent contributor to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series.

In 2011, she received the “State Pride” award from the College of Education for excellence in teaching, research, and service and the Edythe M. McArthur Outstanding Woman Band Director Award for the state of Mississippi. She was named Outstanding Bandmaster for Mississippi in 2015, and in 2017 was named Outstanding Contributor to Bands in Mississippi by the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu. She was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2018.

Ms. Lance has served as the state chair for the College Band Directors National Association and is presently the state chair for the National Band Association. She has served on the Diversity Committee and as a member of the Athletic Band Committee for the College Band Directors National Association. She is President of the International Bandmasters Fraternity Phi Beta Mu. Additional professional memberships include the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, Sigma Alpha Iota, and the National Association for Music Education.

Bio and photo credits:  msuband.msstate.edu

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Thursday, September 16, 2021
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One Chance To Make a First Impression: Starting The New School Year The Right Way

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode, Nick Averwater talks with Elva Kaye Lance, The Director of Bands at Mississippi State University in Starkville. This is Ms. Lance's 30th year at Mississippi State and her 19th year as Director of Bands. Under her leadership, the bands have expanded to include four concert bands, a jazz band, two basketball pep bands, and a marching band. In this episode, Elva Kaye talks about her early years as a band director, the educators, and family members who influenced and encouraged her, and the importance of starting the new school year on the right foot. Our conversation is broken up into two episodes, and this is part one.

 

Podcast Guest

Elva Kaye Lance

Elva Kaye Lance is Director of Bands at Mississippi State University. Her current responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble, providing leadership for the Famous Maroon Band, and administering all aspects of the band program. Ms. Lance also teaches methods classes within the Department of Music and assists with student teacher supervision. A veteran music educator of more than forty years, she previously taught instrumental music in the public schools of Mississippi.

Now in her 30th year at Mississippi State, Ms. Lance has guided the band program through the completion of a multimillion-dollar rehearsal facility and construction of a new synthetic turf practice field. Under her leadership, the band program has seen the expansion of the band staff and student enrollment that now includes four concert bands, a jazz band, two basketball pep bands, and a marching band with an enrollment of approximately 400 students.

As a conductor, she has led the Wind Ensemble in performances for international concert audiences during a 2008 tour of the British Isles, a 2011 tour in Austria and Germany, and an Italian tour in 2014 which included a performance at the International Music Meeting in Padova, Italy. In addition to an annual regional performance tour in the fall semester, in May of 2019, the Wind Ensemble performed in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, and in early 2020 for the American Bandmasters Association Convention.

Ms. Lance maintains an active schedule as a clinician and adjudicator for both concert and marching band events throughout the country. Additionally, she is a frequent contributor to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series.

In 2011, she received the “State Pride” award from the College of Education for excellence in teaching, research, and service and the Edythe M. McArthur Outstanding Woman Band Director Award for the state of Mississippi. She was named Outstanding Bandmaster for Mississippi in 2015, and in 2017 was named Outstanding Contributor to Bands in Mississippi by the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu. She was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2018.

Ms. Lance has served as the state chair for the College Band Directors National Association and is presently the state chair for the National Band Association. She has served on the Diversity Committee and as a member of the Athletic Band Committee for the College Band Directors National Association. She is President of the International Bandmasters Fraternity Phi Beta Mu. Additional professional memberships include the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, Sigma Alpha Iota, and the National Association for Music Education.

Bio and photo credits:  msuband.msstate.edu

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, September 10, 2021
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The Importance of Mental Wellness for Maintaining a Successful Band Program

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode of the After Hours Director Spotlight, Nick Averwater talks with Grant Harbison at the Arkansas Bandmasters Association Convention in Little Rock. Grant is the Director of Bands for Jonesboro, Arkansas Public Schools. In this conversation, Grant talks about how his band program is moving forward as the pandemic affects a second marching band season, the importance of gratitude and positivity, and how therapy has helped him to become a more effective band director. This conversation was recorded on July 29, 2021.

 

Podcast Guest

Grant Harbison

Grant Harbison is the Director of Bands for Jonesboro Public Schools. His duties include directing the JHS Symphonic Winds, Jonesboro Jazz, and team teaching the JHS Marching Band and the morning classes at Annie Camp and MacArthur Junior High. He began his career as the Assistant Band Director at West Memphis High School under Cathy Williams from 2010-2014. Grant is an alumnus of Jonesboro High School, graduating in 2003. His post-secondary work includes a Bachelor of Music Education from Arkansas State University and a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from the University of North Texas.

Mr. Harbison has had the wonderful opportunity to play under the direction of Eugene Corporon, David Itkin, Graham Jenkins, Leonard Slatkin, and Steve Warner and with musicians such as Dave Brubeck, Jon Faddis, and The Temptations. He has also recorded with the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra and the University of North Texas Wind Symphony on the GIA label.

His professional memberships include Phi Beta Mu, Arkansas Bandmaster’s Association, and Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association. He is also on the Arkansas All-State Jazz Committee and the Secretary of Arkansas Jazz Educators. In 2010 Grant was awarded the Raymond and Ruth Brandon Memorial Scholarship by ASBOA and in 2014 Phi Beta Mu named him the Arkansas Young Band Director of the Year.

He and his wife Leah are the proud parents of three four-legged children, Elvis, Ringo, and Tonks.

Bio and photo credits:  The Jonesboro Band Website

 

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, September 3, 2021
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Young Director's Bootcamp: Part Two

Podcast Episode Summary

On August 7, 2021 Amro Music hosted its first-ever Young Directors Bootcamp. It was a chance for new educators to get practical advice from a panel of four highly successful band directors in the Mid-South region. The goal for the Young Director's Bootcamp was to help everyone feel more confident and equipped for the first week of school, and beyond. On our last episode of After Hours, we heard the first half of the bootcamp, and in this episode we'll hear the second half. In addition to a live audience, we also had band directors joining us via Zoom, and we'll pick up the conversation with a question from one of our remote viewers. 

 

Panelists

Joe Quinnelly - Hernando, MS

Joseph Quinnelly is currently in his fifth year as the Director of Middle School Bands at Hernando Middle School. He teaches band classes at both the middle school and high school while also assisting in the leadership of Hernando Indoor Percussion. Under his direction, the Hernando Concert Band received a Division I rating at the MHSAA Concert Evaluation in 2018, the Hernando Symphonic Band received a Division I rating in 2019 and 2020, and Hernando Indoor Percussion won first place at MIA State Championships in 2018 and 2021.  Since joining the Hernando Staff, Mr. Quinnelly has helped lead the band to two consecutive MHSAA 6A State Marching Championships in 2018 and 2019. Mr. Quinnelly is a native of Texarkana, TX, where he attended Texas High School. After graduation, he attended the University of Mississippi, where he graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 2017. During his time at Ole Miss, Mr. Quinnelly was a member of The Pride of the South Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, LOU Symphony Orchestra, World Percussion Ensemble, Steel Orchestra, and the Opera Orchestra. Mr. Quinnelly is the Vice President of the Hernando-Desoto Band Directors Association and is a member of the Mississippi Band Directors Association and the I-55 Band Directors Association.

Bio and photo credits:  hernandobands.com

 

Kaitlin Roll - Jonesboro, AR

Kaitlin Roll is a native of central Arkansas where she spent a majority of her life. Although originally from Indiana, Ms. Roll's family took up residency in Benton, AR when she was a young child. Her parents, grandparents, and younger brother still live in Benton today. She was a successful product of the Bryant Band Program and graduated from Bryant High School in 2010. Kaitlin attended Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR from 2010-2014 and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Education (successfully condensing a normally 5 year degree plan into 4). Following graduation, she began her first job in West Memphis, AR were she served as the Assistant Band Director at the Academies of West Memphis for five years. In 2018, Kaitlin was named Phi Beta Mu's Outstanding Young Band Director for the state of Arkansas, and in 2019, she received her Master of Music in Education from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She has now joined the band staff in Jonesboro Public Schools and is the band director at Annie Camp Junior High. She is excited to be in Jonesboro and be surrounded by such a supportive community of the arts.

 

Bio and photo credits:  The Jonesboro Band Website

 

Jocelyn Hembruch - Southaven, MS

Jocelyn comes from Newburgh, Indiana where she grew up most of her life. Her endeavors in music started in the Castle Band program, known for its tradition of excellence. It was in the Castle band where her love for teaching music and performing flourished. In 2008, Jocelyn graduated with honors from CHS and pursued a degree in music education from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. While at Murray, Jocelyn participated in many performing groups and was principal flautist of the MSU Wind Orchestra that performed in Chicago, MSU Wind Ensemble, Woodwind Quintet, Jazz Band, and member of the University Chorale that performed in Carnegie Hall. She also was a founding member and participant of an capella group, The Muses, on campus. A big factor in Jocelyn’s college experience was being a member of the Racer Band. Not only was she a member for all five years, but for three years she served as drum major and leader of the band. Jocelyn is also a proud member of Sigma Alpha Iota, a women’s music fraternity. She served in many capacities over the years including Corresponding Secretary and President of the Iota Beta chapter. Jocelyn concluded her college career graduating in May of 2013 Magna Cum Laude. Before coming to Desoto Central, Jocelyn held positions at well established band programs. In 2013, she was Assistant Band Director at Castle North Middle School in Newburgh, Indiana, while also assisting the high school with marching band. In 2015, she was the Assistant Band Director at Daviess County High School in Owensboro, Kentucky. Jocelyn also gave private lessons to students in her flute studio, provided masterclasses, and consulted for schools in Southern Indiana. Jocelyn was heavily involved in the Crossroads Christian Church music program that she attended with her husband and family. She was also a member of the Crossroads Christian Church Big Band. Jocelyn and her husband, Ben Hembruch, moved to Southaven summer of 2016 when she accepted the Assistant Band Director position. Ben is the Director of Bands at Horn Lake Middle School in Horn Lake Mississippi. The Hembruch’s now live in their first home in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

Bio credits:  dcspride.com | Photo credits:  desotocountyschoools.org

 

Ben Hembruch - Horn Lake, MS

Mr. Ben Hembruch is the Director of Bands at Horn Lake Middle School. Mr. Hembruch received his Bachelors of Music Education from Murray State University in 2013. There he was a member of the Wind Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, and the Racer Marching Band known as the Murray State Racer Band. Prior to teaching at Horn Lake Mr. Hembruch taught for 3 years in Kentucky and 2 Years in Memphis at First Assembly Christian School. The 2021-2022 school year will be Mr. Hembruch's 4th year at Horn Lake and his 9th year of teaching. Mr. Hembruch lives with his beautiful wife of 7 years, Jocelyn, and their two golden retrievers Sophie and Sunny. 

Photo and bio credits:  desotocountyschools.org

 

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Resources

Coming soon!

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, August 20, 2021
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Young Director's Bootcamp: Part One

Podcast Episode Summary

On August 7, 2021 Amro Music hosted its first-ever Young Directors Bootcamp. It was a chance for new educators to get practical advice from a panel of four highly successful band directors in the Mid-South region. The goal for the Young Director's Bootcamp was to help everyone feel more confident and equipped for the first week of school, and beyond. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.

what should you cover during the first week of band class?

  • Teach procedures and set expectations with your students.
  • Learn your students' names.
  • Distribute the calendar of events for the whole year.
  • Distribute a band handbook. (Be sure make it fun! The handbook is important but don't spend too much time on it. Try breaking it up into smaller chunks and layer in fun activities with it like rhythm games, etc. For more tips on creating a band handbook, check out last week's episode The Art of the First Week.)

 

What should you avoid doing during the first week of school?

  • Playing instruments on the first day of school might be a bit of a stretch. 
  • Putting too many things on your plate as the director.
  • Forgetting administrative tasks like applications for contests, purchase orders, clinics, etc. (Be sure to form a good relationship with your school's bookkeeper. They will be your best friend throughout the year when purchasing supplies for your classroom. You want to be on their good side! Also, don't be afraid to reach out to experienced directors in your area for advice on paperwork, clinics, associations, and other administrative tasks.)
  • Putting off maintenance tasks until the first week. (One tip offered was to take all the slides out at the end of the year, place them in a Ziploc bag in the case,  and then have a maintenance day during the first week of school to reassemble and lubricate all of the slides as a class.)

 

What do you do with returning band students after a year of virtual band?

  • Do everything you can to catch them up, but don't put pressure on them for being behind.
  • Offer a recruitment opportunity for 7th graders who weren't able to join band last year.
  • Create a mentorship program for advancing players to work with the non-traditional beginners. (You can use those students to teach basic skills like rhythm, music theory, and embouchure.
  • Don't be afraid to review the beginner book with your 7th graders.

 

How do you select repertoire for your concert band?

  • Listen to everything you possibly can, especially for second or third band level.
  • Only consider music that's written for students to be successful. Look for odd writing choices (i.e.. using c-flats instead of b-naturals.)
  • Ask your local director's associations for recommendations.
  • Select pieces that highlight your student's strengths.
  • Don't be afraid to punt a piece and move on to something else. If it's not working, it's ok to let it go. 

 

How do you know which instrument to place a beginning band student on?

  • Match their facial structure to an instrument that they'll be best suited for and likely have the most success with. (Listen to the episode on Rebecca Lowry's Facial Structure method or download the guide. This is a great alternative to mouthpiece testing.)
  • Use the first 2 weeks of school to teach music theory to the whole class while one director pulls students individually for instrument fittings.
  • Host an instrument petting zoo at your feeder schools. (You can also involve high school band students and 8th graders in this activity.)
  • As an alternative to a petting zoo, you can host an instrument safari (Which is a drive-through activity held outdoors.)
  • Divide students into 3 groups. Take a week to rotate each group between woodwind, brass, and percussion. Then, make the decision at the end of the week. 

 

Panelists

Joe Quinnelly - Hernando, MS

Joseph Quinnelly is currently in his fifth year as the Director of Middle School Bands at Hernando Middle School. He teaches band classes at both the middle school and high school while also assisting in the leadership of Hernando Indoor Percussion. Under his direction, the Hernando Concert Band received a Division I rating at the MHSAA Concert Evaluation in 2018, the Hernando Symphonic Band received a Division I rating in 2019 and 2020, and Hernando Indoor Percussion won first place at MIA State Championships in 2018 and 2021.  Since joining the Hernando Staff, Mr. Quinnelly has helped lead the band to two consecutive MHSAA 6A State Marching Championships in 2018 and 2019. Mr. Quinnelly is a native of Texarkana, TX, where he attended Texas High School. After graduation, he attended the University of Mississippi, where he graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 2017. During his time at Ole Miss, Mr. Quinnelly was a member of The Pride of the South Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, LOU Symphony Orchestra, World Percussion Ensemble, Steel Orchestra, and the Opera Orchestra. Mr. Quinnelly is the Vice President of the Hernando-Desoto Band Directors Association and is a member of the Mississippi Band Directors Association and the I-55 Band Directors Association.

Bio and photo credits:  hernandobands.com

 

Kaitlin Roll - Jonesboro, AR

Kaitlin Roll is a native of central Arkansas where she spent a majority of her life. Although originally from Indiana, Ms. Roll's family took up residency in Benton, AR when she was a young child. Her parents, grandparents, and younger brother still live in Benton today. She was a successful product of the Bryant Band Program and graduated from Bryant High School in 2010. Kaitlin attended Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR from 2010-2014 and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Education (successfully condensing a normally 5 year degree plan into 4). Following graduation, she began her first job in West Memphis, AR were she served as the Assistant Band Director at the Academies of West Memphis for five years. In 2018, Kaitlin was named Phi Beta Mu's Outstanding Young Band Director for the state of Arkansas, and in 2019, she received her Master of Music in Education from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She has now joined the band staff in Jonesboro Public Schools and is the band director at Annie Camp Junior High. She is excited to be in Jonesboro and be surrounded by such a supportive community of the arts.

 

Bio and photo credits:  The Jonesboro Band Website

 

Jocelyn Hembruch - Southaven, MS

Jocelyn comes from Newburgh, Indiana where she grew up most of her life. Her endeavors in music started in the Castle Band program, known for its tradition of excellence. It was in the Castle band where her love for teaching music and performing flourished. In 2008, Jocelyn graduated with honors from CHS and pursued a degree in music education from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. While at Murray, Jocelyn participated in many performing groups and was principal flautist of the MSU Wind Orchestra that performed in Chicago, MSU Wind Ensemble, Woodwind Quintet, Jazz Band, and member of the University Chorale that performed in Carnegie Hall. She also was a founding member and participant of an capella group, The Muses, on campus. A big factor in Jocelyn’s college experience was being a member of the Racer Band. Not only was she a member for all five years, but for three years she served as drum major and leader of the band. Jocelyn is also a proud member of Sigma Alpha Iota, a women’s music fraternity. She served in many capacities over the years including Corresponding Secretary and President of the Iota Beta chapter. Jocelyn concluded her college career graduating in May of 2013 Magna Cum Laude. Before coming to Desoto Central, Jocelyn held positions at well established band programs. In 2013, she was Assistant Band Director at Castle North Middle School in Newburgh, Indiana, while also assisting the high school with marching band. In 2015, she was the Assistant Band Director at Daviess County High School in Owensboro, Kentucky. Jocelyn also gave private lessons to students in her flute studio, provided masterclasses, and consulted for schools in Southern Indiana. Jocelyn was heavily involved in the Crossroads Christian Church music program that she attended with her husband and family. She was also a member of the Crossroads Christian Church Big Band. Jocelyn and her husband, Ben Hembruch, moved to Southaven summer of 2016 when she accepted the Assistant Band Director position. Ben is the Director of Bands at Horn Lake Middle School in Horn Lake Mississippi. The Hembruch’s now live in their first home in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

Bio credits:  dcspride.com | Photo credits:  desotocountyschoools.org

 

Ben Hembruch - Horn Lake, MS

Mr. Ben Hembruch is the Director of Bands at Horn Lake Middle School. Mr. Hembruch received his Bachelors of Music Education from Murray State University in 2013. There he was a member of the Wind Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, and the Racer Marching Band known as the Murray State Racer Band. Prior to teaching at Horn Lake Mr. Hembruch taught for 3 years in Kentucky and 2 Years in Memphis at First Assembly Christian School. The 2021-2022 school year will be Mr. Hembruch's 4th year at Horn Lake and his 9th year of teaching. Mr. Hembruch lives with his beautiful wife of 7 years, Jocelyn, and their two golden retrievers Sophie and Sunny. 

Photo and bio credits:  desotocountyschools.org

 

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Resources

Check out these recommended resources mentioned in this week's episode:

  • John McAllister Warm-Ups
  • Jupiter's "Join the Band! Wind Instrument Try-Out Kit" - The Wind Instrument Try-Out Kit was designed to help introduce and guide students towards finding the instrument that is the best fit for them.  It includes mouthpieces similar to the ones found in a band classroom, but are not intended to replace the actual instrument mouthpieces.  They can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher or hot soapy water. Call or text 901-302-3315 to order yours!
  • DragonFly - A platform designed to manage student paperwork, permission slips, eligibility, physicals, etc for participation in school activities. 
  • BAND - A free app that lets you share announcements, calendars, flyers, forms, signups, files, and more in one place. With BAND, parents and students know where to go to get information.
  • Schoology - An online learning management system developed by PowerSchool.
Posted by Amro Music at Saturday, August 14, 2021
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The Art of the First Week

Episode Summary

In this episode we kick off Season 3 of the After Hours podcast as Nick Averwater and his three guests talk about The Art of the First Week. Joining Nick will be Lindsey Mears from Smyrna Middle School in Smyrna, TN, Brittany Jerrell from Stewarts Creek Middle School, which is also in Smyrna, and Jennifer Church from Greenbrier High School in Greenbrier, Arkansas.

 

Panelists

Lindsey Mears, Smyrna Middle School

Lindsey has been teaching middle school band since 2009. Currently, she serves as the Band Director at Smyrna Middle School. Previously she was the Director of Bands at Donelson Christian Academy and also taught at LaVergne  Middle School. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Mrs. Mears earned a Bachelor’s of Music Education degree and served as the Drum Major for the Band of Blue and was a recipient of the Linda B. Mitchell Leadership Award.  Mrs. Mears was named Donelson Christian Academy’s Teacher of the Year in 2013, Most Influential Teacher in 2017, and is a recipient of an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. 

Mrs. Mears serves as the Middle School Representative for MTSBOA  is currently pursuing a Masters in Music Education from the American Band College of Central Washington University. She lives in Smyrna, TN with her husband and their adorable pup, Rosie.

Photo and biography provided by https://mearsl.wixsite.com/smspantherband/directors

Brittany Jerrell, Stewarts Creek Middle School

Originally from Hendersonville, TN, Brittany Jerrell is starting her 3rd year of teaching at Stewarts Creek Middle School. Prior to Stewarts Creek, Mrs. Jerrell held a middle school & high school band position in Macon County, TN. Mrs. Jerrell earned a Bachelors Degree of Music Education from Middle Tennessee State University, where she graduated magna cum laude. During her time at MTSU, she served on the executive board of the School of Music Student Advisory Council (SOMSAC), was a section leader in the Band of Blue & Symphonic Band, was a student conductor for the MTSU Trumpet Ensemble, and served as librarian for the MTSU Band of Blue. In addition, Mrs. Jerrell was a brass instructor for Coffee County HS and private trumpet instructor. Mrs. Jerrell was awarded the “Joseph T. Smith Award for Music Education” and was recognized for “Outstanding Accomplishments in Instrumental Music Education.” She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education.

Photo and biography provided by http://stewartscreekmiddleschoolband.weebly.com/directors.html

Jennifer Church, Greenbrier High School

Jennifer is currently the Director of Bands at Greenbrier High School. She received her Bachelor's in Music Education from the University of Central Arkansas and her Master's in performance from Arkansas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, August 6, 2021
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Cannonball Musical Instruments Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

Podcast Episode Summary

Nick Averwater checks in with Sheryl Laukat from Cannonball Musical Instruments at Summer NAMM in Nashville. Cannonball is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and we'll learn a bit about the company's history, and find out about some of the techniques they use that make their instruments unique.

 

Podcast guest

Sheryl Laukat

Sheryl Laukat is CEO and Cofounder of Cannonball® Musical Instruments. She and her husband formed the company back in 1998, where Sheryl currently oversees all operations. She graduated from Weber State University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. After graduation, she served as the band director at Millcreek Jr. High in Bountiful, UT from 1981-83. She donated her time as pianist and arranger for the International Children’s Choir for 11 years, performing with them in hundreds of concerts both locally and internationally. She also played and sang in local pop bands for over 30 years. In 2010, Sheryl was honored as “Distinguished Alumna” for Weber State University. She also served on the Weber State National Advisory Council from 2005-2010 and the NAMM Advisory Board from 2014-2017. Sheryl enjoys composing jazz, pop, classical, and choral music and she also owns Sheryl Laukat Publishing, LLC. with her son Brandon. Above all, Sheryl loves satisfied customers.

Photo and bio credits:  http://www.cannonballmusic.com/cannonball-team.php and https://www.namm.org/library/oral-history/sheryl-laukat.

 

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If you're enjoying the podcast, join Amro Music for our first-ever Young Director's Bootcamp on August 7, 2021. Whether you're entering your first year of teaching or you're simply wanting a refresher on some important fundamentals, we hope you'll join us at this year's Bootcamp. We want to help you start the 2021-2022 school year with your best foot forward!

Our Bootcamp will include both a virtual and in-person option. You can learn more at www.amromusic.com/bootcamp.

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, July 30, 2021
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ESSER Funds and Educational Resources from Yamaha

Podcast Episode Summary

Nick Averwater checks in with Lisa Steele-MacDonald, Director of Vertical Marketing for Yamaha. Lisa will have the latest information about Esser Funds, and what is still available to music programs, and she'll also share some other resources available to band directors from Yamaha. You can find out more about Yamaha's offerings to band directors at www.yamahaeducatorsuite.com.

Podcast guest

Lisa Steele-MacDonald

Lisa is the Director of Vertical Marketing for Yamaha Corporation of America – a new role and department she originated for the company, focused on serving the needs of key customer groups, especially music educators. She was previously the director of marketing for the company’s Band and Orchestral division where she was responsible for promotion and brand management, ensuring that the product lines, education units and sales channels communicated cohesively across all channels, with a particular emphasis on further development of content, digital and social media initiatives. 

Lisa was a 2020 Smart Women in Music (SWIM) leadership summit selection and serves the organization on its marketing communications committee. She is also a mentor in the National Association of Music Merchants Young Professionals (NAMM YP) mentorship program. She is a frequent speaker to the National Association of School Music Dealers (NASMD) and the Association of Independent Music Merchants (AIMM) on marketing best practices. She was recently named as the newest member of the Board of Directors for The Midwest Clinic

Lisa is an 18-year marketing veteran, specializing in marketing to passion-based constituencies with a strong emphasis in community building and digital marketing.

Lisa has been featured on other podcasts in the music education and music products industry including the first season of the “SWIM Masters” podcast, which you can listen to here.

Photo and bio credits:  Smart Women in Music.

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, July 23, 2021
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Hal Leonard's Virtual Music Education Summit

Podcast Episode Summary

Nick Averwater checks in with David Jahnke from Hal Leonard to learn more about Looking Forward To 2020-2021, Hal Leonard's Virtual Music Education Summit, which happened July 29-30, 2021. They talked on July 16th at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville.

The 2021-2022 school year is about looking FORWARD to rebuilding our music programs and engaging students in class and at home. Hal Leonard's free virtual music education summit provided two days of live presentations, with a carefully-selected program focused on preparing K12 music educators for a successful school year while celebrating music education. This event provided sequential presentations that focused on meeting the needs of all students this fall. 

Even though the Summit has already passed, you can access all the recordings and a professional development certificate by visiting the link here.

Podcast guest

David Jahnke

David Jankhe has served as the Senior Vice President of National Sales for Hal Leonard since 2017. Jahnke joined Hal Leonard in 1992 as a Telesales Representative and progressed through the ranks of District Sales Manager to National Sales Manager and, since 2002, Vice President - National Sales. His current role reflects the ongoing expansion of his responsibilities for the domestic sales area as well as the development of various B2B initiatives, and more. Prior to working at Hal Leonard, he managed Tony's Drum Shop in Appleton, WI, and was a private drum teacher. Jahnke is also currently serving on the Retail Print Music Dealer Association Board of Directors and is an active gigging musician in the Milwaukee area. 

Photo and bio credits: https://www.halleonard.com/viewpressreleasedetail.action?releaseid=9761&subsiteid=1.

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Monday, July 19, 2021
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Directing Band Across a Wide Spectrum of Socio-Economic Groups. What's Different? What's the Same?

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode of the After Hours Director Spotlight, Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Randy Box, the Director of Bands at West Memphis High School in West Memphis, Arkansas. Randy talks about the differences, and similarities, between being a band director in an affluent school district versus one with it's share of economic challenges. He also talks about what advice he would give himself if he could go back to 1978 when he started his career in rural Pocahontas, Arkansas. Our conversation with Randy is broken up in to two episodes, and this is part two.

 

Podcast guest

Randy Box

Randal Box was appointed Director of Bands at West Memphis High School and Supervisor of Bands for the West Memphis School District following his retirement as Director of Bands at Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee in May of 2018. Now in his forty-third year as a band director, he taught in Pocahontas, Arkansas, and Clarksville, Tennessee, before teaching at Brentwood High School for 27 years, and holds degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and Arkansas State University. 

For the rest of Randy's bio, visit his previous episode page, linked here.

 

 

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, July 16, 2021
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Marching in The Macy's Parade Two Months After 9/11 (and other adventures in a 42-year career)

Podcast Episode Summary

Randy Box has taught in four school districts in his 42-year career, most recently at West Memphis High School in Arkansas. In this first part of our conversation he talks about his early influences, taking his band to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade twice, and the importance of the acronym T-S-B-N-A-F-W-A-E-I-N.

 

Podcast guest

Randy Box

Randal Box was appointed Director of Bands at West Memphis High School and Supervisor of Bands for the West Memphis School District following his retirement as Director of Bands at Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee in May of 2018. Now in his forty-third year as a band director, he taught in Pocahontas, Arkansas, and Clarksville, Tennessee, before teaching at Brentwood High School for 27 years, and holds degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and Arkansas State University.

Under Mr. Box’s direction, the Brentwood Band traveled extensively. The band performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 1995 and 2001, as well as performances in Honolulu, Phoenix, Miami, New Orleans, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis, Atlanta and Indianapolis. Mr. Box was music director of the Tennessee Ambassadors of Music from 2003 until 2019, leading outstanding high school music students from across the state on nine European concert tours. Over the course of a 16 day tour the Ambassadors visited seven countries and presented five band and five choir concerts for European audiences. 

In 2007 the Brentwood Marching Band recorded for country music superstar Brad Paisley’s hit “Online” and appeared live with Paisley on the 2007 Country Music Association Awards, performing for an estimated international audience of over 30 million viewers.

Mr. Box is a past-president of the Middle Tennessee School Band & Orchestra Association and the Tennessee Bandmasters Association. He served TMEA as State Jazz Chair, Conference Program Chair, and Conference Performance Auditions Chair, and is an elected member of Phi Beta Mu. He was featured in the cover article of the July 2008 Instrumentalist magazine, and in 2011 was named a "John Philip Sousa Foundation Legion of Honor Laureate." In April of 2013 Mr. Box was inducted into the MTSU Band of Blue Hall of Fame, and in 2019 the  Tennessee Bandmasters Association elected Mr. Box to membership in the Tennessee Bandmasters Hall of Fame. 

Mr. Box and his wife Tawana, also a notable music educator having placed numerous studio flute students in all-region and all-state bands for over 30 years, have four children. All four as well as one son-in-law have taught music in the public schools of Tennessee.

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, July 9, 2021
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