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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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Page 2 of 8

Language Barriers Are No Match For The Joy Of Teaching And Learning Music

Podcast Episode Summary

This week Nick Averwater talks with Dr. Angela Ammerman, author of the new book, The Music Teacher's Guide to Engaging English Language Learners, which is published by G-I-A Publications. Since 2006, Dr. Ammerman has been a music educator for students of all ages...from Kindergarten to the University level. She has earned music education degrees from The University of Cincinatti, Boston University, and George Mason University, and is currently a busy music education consultant, guest conductor, clinician, and adjunct professor based in Virginia. Our conversation was recorded January 31, 2022.

 

Podcast Guest

Dr. Angela Ammerman

Angela Ammerman, referred to as the first "music teacher prodigy" by the Washington Post, is a passionate and innovative music teacher educator, author, and consultant. Most recently, Dr. Ammerman published "The Music Teacher's Guide to Engaging English Language Learners" and is hard at work on her next book on Classroom Management. Ammerman teaches Lab Orchestra, Aural Skills classes, and supervises string student teachers at George Mason University. Ammerman was hired in 2017 as the Director of Music Education and Orchestras at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) where she built a robust program of dedicated music educators. Ammerman was recently recognized as the "Outstanding Advisor of the Year" award for her dedication to her students' academic, musical, and career success. In 2019, Dr. Ammerman worked closely with music faculty at UTM to create a custom-tailored undergraduate music education program as well as a Master of Music Education program. Ammerman earned Music Education degrees from the University of Cincinnati: College-Conservatory of Music, Boston University, and  George Mason University.

Recognized as FCPS’ Top Teacher in 2017, Dr. Ammerman attributes much of her success to her musical upbringing. Recognized by the Virginia House of Delegates in 2016 for her dedication to instilling a life-long passion for music in all of her students, Angela Ammerman diligently works to now pass along these teaching and mentorship qualities to her own Music Education students.  In 2016, Dr. Ammerman was named the Virginia Orchestra Director of the Year in 2016, was a finalist for the Fairfax County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year and Washington Post Teacher of the Year, and was also a finalist for the University of Tennessee at Martin Advisor of the Year in 2018.

Dr. Ammerman recently completed a chapter for the upcoming book: Rehearsing the Middle School Orchestra edited and compiled by Sandy Goldie. Ammerman is a passionate and dedicated music education professor and music educator and is in high demand as a guest conductor, speaker, and clinician for sessions and workshops at local, state, national, and international conferences and in-services.  Dr. Ammerman is published in the String Research Journal, the American String Teachers Journal, and the Teaching Music Journal. Dr. Ammerman is known for an emphasis on play-based learning, humor, a unique style, and for the creation of the first ever Future Music Educators Camp as well as her Music Education Podcast: #MusicEdLove.

Photo & Biography credit: Angela Ammerman

 

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Posted by Emilee McGee at Saturday, April 2, 2022
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Student Leadership And Clear Expectations Are Keys To A Band Program's Success

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode of the After Hours Director Spotlight, Nick Averwater talks with Justin Harvison, Director of Bands at Germantown High School in Madison, Mississippi. Justin began his career in 2008 at Madison Central High School, where he was lead director of the 9th grade band at Rosa Scott 9th grade school. He then went on to become the founding director of the Germantown High School band program in 2011. In this conversation, Justin talks about his early influences that led to the choice to be a music educator, the keys to the success that the band program at Germantown has enjoyed, and more.  

 

Podcast Guest

Justin Harvison

Justin Harvison is the founding Director of Bands for the Germantown Band Program in Madison, Mississippi. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Trombone performance as well as a Master of Music Education from The University of Southern Mississippi. He studied trombone under Dr. Bruce Tychinski and conducting under Dr. Thomas Fraschillo. During his time at Southern Miss, Harvison was a member of the world-renowned Wind Ensemble, the USM Symphony Orchestra, and the USM Trombone Choir. In 2005 Harvison was a member of the 10-time DCI World Champions, The Cadets from Allentown, PA. He was (and still is) greatly influenced by two of his finest teachers: Mr. Terry Ingram and Mr. Gary Cook.

In 2008, Harvison began his teaching career as an assistant band director for the highly acclaimed Madison Central Band Program in Madison, MS. During this time, he was the lead director and coordinated all aspects of the 9th grade band at Rosa Scott 9th Grade School. While at Rosa Scott, the band grew to over 140 members and in 2011 became the first 9th grade band in Mississippi history to be awarded the Mississippi Bandmasters Sweepstakes Award.

Later in December of 2011 he was selected as the founding director for the Germantown Band Program. Under his direction, the Germantown High School Marching Band was named the Class 5A State Marching Champions in 2013 and in 2017. The GHS Marching Band also medaled in 6 out of 7 appearances at the State Marching Championships. The Germantown High School Symphonic band has received many accolades and awards in Mississippi and throughout the country. Under his direction, the GHS Symphonic Band became the first band from Mississippi to be invited as a Featured Band for the 27th Annual Music for All National Concert Festival sponsored by Yamaha in Indianapolis, IN. The Germantown Band program has received the Mississippi Bandmasters Sweepstakes Award for the past 5 consecutive years. In December of 2018, the Germantown Symphonic Band performed at the 81st annual Mississippi Bandmasters State Clinic as the featured high school ensemble.

Justin was selected as Germantown High School STAR Teacher in 2016 and 2018; and in 2018 he was named the Germantown High School Teacher of the Year and the Madison County School District Teacher of the Year. He was also appointed as the marching director of the Mississippi Lion’s All-State Band in 2016 as they competed and won their 33rd International Championship in Fukuoka, Japan.

His professional affiliations include the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, the American School Band Directors Association, and the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. Harvison is an active guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout Mississippi and Louisiana. Mr. Harvison lives in Madison with his wife Melissa and their daughter Abigail.

Photo & Biography credit: Madison Schools

 

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Posted by Emilee McGee at Friday, March 25, 2022
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Keeping Students Interested In Music Throughout All of Their School Years, and Beyond

Podcast Episode Summary

This week Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Alexis Yatuzis-Derryberry, General Music Teacher at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna, Tennessee.
Before moving to Stewarts Creek in 2021, Alexis spent nearly 20 years teaching general music and choir at the elementary and middle school levels. She is also President of the TMEA, The Tennessee Music Education Association, and an adjunct Music Education Instructor at Middle Tennessee State University

In this episode, Alexis shares ideas that will help to keep students interested in music throughout Elementary School, Middle School, and High School, and how Tennessee's strong musical traditions create unique opportunities for students during their school years, and beyond. She'll also talk about the challenges for women in leadership positions in music education.


Our conversation was recorded February 9, 2022, and is broken up in to two episodes, and this is part two.

 

Podcast Guest

Alexis Yatuzis-Derryberry

Teaching general music has been a passion for Alexis across her entire teaching career. She loves sharing music with students who may not be involved in band, choir, or orchestra. 

Alexis began her musical journey with piano lessons at age 8. She then joined the band at Smyrna Middle and Smyrna High School, playing percussion. While in school, she was a front ensemble member of the world-renowned theatrical percussion ensemble, Music City Mystique, during their 1995 and 1996 seasons. She graduated from high school in 1996. The following summer, Alexis toured Europe with the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus performing American music all across Europe for two months. 

In the fall of 1996, Alexis entered Middle TN State University School of Music as a music education major with a concentration in percussion.  During her college career, she marched with the Band of Blue for 4 years; earned the Linda T. Mitchell leadership award;  was a front ensemble member of the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps; and was also selected as the first-place performer for the Percussive Arts Society college keyboard soloist.

After finishing college, Alexis began her teaching career in  2002 at Siegel Middle School. There, she created the general music and choir program from the ground up.  While at Siegel Middle, she was awarded more than $40,000 in grant monies which was used to purchase guitars, world drums, and 18 iMac computers with midi keyboard controllers. She also created 2 choral ensembles while at Siegel Middle: The Siegel Singers, which was open to all Siegel students, and the Select Singers, which was an auditioned ensemble. Siegel's choirs consistently received Superiors in performance and sight-reading at festivals. While at Siegel, Alexis also completed  Level I and Level II Orff-Schulwerk training and completed her Master’s of Fine Arts from Middle TN State University. During her 13 years at Siegel Middle, she was named TN Association for Middle Schools (TAMS) team teacher of the year, Siegel Middle Teacher of the Year, as well as Rutherford County Middle-Level Teacher of the Year.

In 2014, Alexis accepted the position of music specialist at Lascassas Elementary, where she taught K-5 general music, instrument team, and choir. While at Lascassas, she completed Feierabend First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege training, and was named Lascassas Elementary Teacher of the Year, RCS Elementary Teacher of the Year, TN Governor’s School for the Arts Music Teacher of the Year, CMA Music Teacher of Excellence, and was recently inducted into the Band of Blue Hall of Fame. 

Today, Alexis lives in Murfreesboro with her husband David, who works for the music rights organization AllTrack, and their two Boston Terriers, Maggie and Winnie. They love traveling the US with friends and family. One of their favorite activities is seeing live music performances from classical to rock. Alexis' favorite band is Pearl Jam, and her husband indulges her love of following the band across the US for all of their tours. 

Photo & Biography credit: Stewarts Creek High School

 

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Posted by Emilee McGee at Friday, March 11, 2022
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Why General Music Education Is So Important For Students Of All Ages

Podcast Episode Summary

This week Nick Averwater talks with Alexis Yatuzis-Derryberry, General Music Teacher at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna, Tennessee. Before moving to Stewarts Creek in 2021, Alexis spent nearly 20 years teaching general music and choir at the elementary and middle school levels. She is also President of the Tennessee Music Education Association, and an adjunct Music Education Instructor at Middle Tennessee State University. We'll learn more about the path that led her to general music, why she thinks it's such an important part of a student's education, and more. Our conversation was recorded February 9, 2022, and is broken up in to two episodes. This is part one.

In this conversation, Alexis mentions a couple of publications that you can find in our resources section below.

 

Podcast Guest

Alexis Yatuzis-Derryberry

Teaching general music has been a passion for Alexis across her entire teaching career. She loves sharing music with students who may not be involved in band, choir, or orchestra. 

Alexis began her musical journey with piano lessons at age 8. She then joined the band at Smyrna Middle and Smyrna High School, playing percussion. While in school, she was a front ensemble member of the world-renowned theatrical percussion ensemble, Music City Mystique, during their 1995 and 1996 seasons. She graduated from high school in 1996. The following summer, Alexis toured Europe with the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus performing American music all across Europe for two months. 

In the fall of 1996, Alexis entered Middle TN State University School of Music as a music education major with a concentration in percussion.  During her college career, she marched with the Band of Blue for 4 years; earned the Linda T. Mitchell leadership award;  was a front ensemble member of the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps; and was also selected as the first-place performer for the Percussive Arts Society college keyboard soloist.

After finishing college, Alexis began her teaching career in  2002 at Siegel Middle School. There, she created the general music and choir program from the ground up.  While at Siegel Middle, she was awarded more than $40,000 in grant monies which was used to purchase guitars, world drums, and 18 iMac computers with midi keyboard controllers. She also created 2 choral ensembles while at Siegel Middle: The Siegel Singers, which was open to all Siegel students, and the Select Singers, which was an auditioned ensemble. Siegel's choirs consistently received Superiors in performance and sight-reading at festivals. While at Siegel, Alexis also completed  Level I and Level II Orff-Schulwerk training and completed her Master’s of Fine Arts from Middle TN State University. During her 13 years at Siegel Middle, she was named TN Association for Middle Schools (TAMS) team teacher of the year, Siegel Middle Teacher of the Year, as well as Rutherford County Middle-Level Teacher of the Year.

In 2014, Alexis accepted the position of music specialist at Lascassas Elementary, where she taught K-5 general music, instrument team, and choir. While at Lascassas, she completed Feierabend First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege training, and was named Lascassas Elementary Teacher of the Year, RCS Elementary Teacher of the Year, TN Governor’s School for the Arts Music Teacher of the Year, CMA Music Teacher of Excellence, and was recently inducted into the Band of Blue Hall of Fame. 

Today, Alexis lives in Murfreesboro with her husband David, who works for the music rights organization AllTrack, and their two Boston Terriers, Maggie and Winnie. They love traveling the US with friends and family. One of their favorite activities is seeing live music performances from classical to rock. Alexis' favorite band is Pearl Jam, and her husband indulges her love of following the band across the US for all of their tours. 

Photo & Biography credit: Stewarts Creek High School

 

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Resources

Posted by Emilee McGee at Friday, March 4, 2022
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How Supply Chain Issues Affect Musical Instrument Manufacturers

Podcast Episode Summary

This week Nick Averwater talks with Shane Deuel, Regional Sales Director for Eastman Music Company, and host of the podcast Ed Rep Radio.  Shane gives us an insider's view of how supply chain issues are affecting instrument manufacturers. We'll also learn about the different brands in the Eastman family, and find out about some of the company's more popular instruments. Our conversation was recorded February 7, 2022.

 

Podcast Guest

Shane Deuel

Shane Deuel is an experienced sales professional with a demonstrated history of growing sales in the school music industry. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University in 2002. After college, he worked for The Instrumentalist Magazine, Band Director Media Group, and Legacy Music Alliance in both sales and consulting.

In the summer of 2004, Shane started working for Summerhays Music Center. He worked as both an outside Sales representative and as Director of the Education Services Department. In 2009, during his time at Summerhays Music, Shane received the "Service to Music Education" Award from the Utah Music Educators Association. After 9 years with Summerhays, he transitioned to his role of Regional Sales Director at Eastman Music Company. He has been with Eastman since 2013.

In 2022, he started the Ed Rep Radio podcast, which you can subscribe to here.

Photo & Biography credit: Linkedin

 

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Posted by Emilee McGee at Friday, February 25, 2022
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Directing The Band Program At One Of Mississippi's Largest High Schools

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode of the After Hours Director Spotlight, Nick Averwater talks with Chuck Reynolds, Director of Bands at Madison Central High School in Madison, MS, a city of around 25,000 located just north of Jackson. Chuck talks about working in a program with seven band directors in what was once the largest high school in the state, and we'll learn more about the process that takes place when it's time to add a new member to the team of music educators. He'll also talk about how section leaders are chosen in the band program, and more. This conversation was recorded January 27, 2022.

 

Podcast Guest

It's My Job: Meet band director Chuck ReynoldsChuck Reynolds

Chuck Reynolds was raised in Yazoo City, MS. He became interested in music in church as a child. He always loved singing hymns and grew up in a church where all singing was a cappella. Learning to read parts and harmonize at an early age was fun for him.

In sixth grade, Mr. Reynolds started beginner band on the euphonium. He switched to tuba in seventh grade. He spent most of his school years in the band hall. It was a refuge from the normal drudgery and worries — a time to escape and enjoy making music. Mr. Reynolds attributes much of the reason that he became a director to the great experiences he had with his own band director.

Chuck graduated with an undergraduate degree in music education from Delta State University and a masters degree in music education from Mississippi College. After finishing college, Mr. Reynolds began his teaching career at Tupelo High School in 1998 and was there for one year. He then directed band at Jackson for five years, and Northwest Rankin for three. He is currently the Director of Bands at Madison Central High School in Madison, MS. He began there in 2007. 

In an article from the Clarion Ledger, Mr. Reynolds said the following,

"The most rewarding part of my job is interacting with students. Unlike most classes, I get to teach or have some contact with a student for seven years from sixth to 12th grade. You really develop bonds and trust with those students. I know it sounds cliché, and many people say, “I do it for the kids,” but I have to say I really do.

I’ll be the first to admit I am not easy, and I demand they give 100 percent every minute of rehearsal. I’ve even been called a bully, but I think most of my students would tell you they know I care about them not just as a musician but as a person.

Nothing is more rewarding than watching a student work hard and achieve. You really feel like a proud parent when your students make the Mississippi Lions All-State Band, are valedictorian, salutatorian or a National Merit semi-finalist and when they get full scholarships to universities and, yes, even some major in music. You can’t help but smile and be proud of those kids.

You may not have directly had an effect on some of those accomplishments but the studies say participation in music did. Most people would say making music is the best part. Don’t get me wrong, I do love that part of it.

There’s no feeling like standing in front of 230 kids playing instruments doing a stand still of a marching show and just blowing your face off, or during concert season when, after all of the hard work, you are rewarded with a moving musical experience. Every inch of hair and skin on your arms and neck stands at full attention, and it is a wonderful and unexplainable euphoric feeling.

But that marching show only lasts eight and a half minutes and a concert for 20. Kids last a lot longer than that."

Photo & Biography credit: The Clarion -Ledger & Found It In Fondren

 

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Posted by Emilee McGee at Friday, February 18, 2022
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Back To The Classroom After Two Years As A Fine Arts Administrator

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode, Nick Averwater continues his conversation with David Aydelott, Band Director at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a city of around 150,000 people which is also the home of Middle Tennessee State University. From 1992 to 2019, David was Director of Bands at four different schools in Tennessee. Then in 2019 he began serving in an administrative role as Director of Fine Arts for Williamson County Schools, a district just south of Nashville. He returned to the classroom as Director of Bands at Siegel High School in July 2021.  Our conversation is broken up in to two episodes and this is part 2.

 

Podcast Guest

4030.jpgDavid aYDELOTT

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, David Aydelott is the Director of Bands at Siegel High School in the Rutherford County Tennessee School District.  Before this appointment, Mr. Aydelott served as Fine Arts Director in Williamson County Schools for two years and taught band for 27 years in Tennessee at four schools:  Lexington High School, John Overton High School, Ravenwood High School, and Franklin High School.  

During his time at Franklin, the Franklin Wind Ensemble performed at the Music for All National Festival and twice performed the honor concert at the Tennessee Music Education Association Conference. In addition, the Franklin Percussion Ensemble performed at the 2013 and 2017 Music for All National Percussion Festival, the 2014 TMEA Conference, and brass and woodwind chamber ensembles performed at 2015, 2017, and 2019 Music for All National Chamber Music Festival.  

The Franklin Band was named Grand Champion of 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018 Middle Tennessee State University “Contest of Champions.”  An active participant in Bands of America events, Franklin was a finalist, class champion, regional champion, and a three-time National Class AAA Runner Up at the BOA Grand National Championships.  In 2014 Franklin was awarded the Sudler Shield, an international award for high school marching band sponsored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.  

A recipient of the National Band Association’s Certificate of Merit and the Citation of Excellence, Mr. Aydelott served on the 2009 committee to revise the Tennessee instrumental music curriculum and is an active clinician and arranger.  He also serves as an adjudicator for Drum Corps International and Bands of America.  As a part of their 40th Anniversary, Music for All named David Aydelott to the Forty for Forty, a list of educators who have made a difference in Music for All’s history. In December of 2014, the John Philip Sousa Foundation named Mr. Aydelott a Laureate of the Bandworld “Legion of Honor.”  In 2015, Mr. Aydelott was inducted into the Middle Tennessee State University Band of Blue Hall of Fame.  He and his wife Renee have two children, Katherine and Meredith.

Mr. Aydelott holds membership in Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Tennessee Bandmasters Association, Tennessee Art Education Association, and Professional Educators of Tennessee. Additionally, Mr. Aydelott is President of the Tennessee Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, Past-President of the MTSBOA, past Band Chair for the Tennessee Music Education Association, and served two terms as a representative on the Executive Board of the MTSBOA.

Photo & Biography credit: siegelband.org

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Thursday, February 10, 2022
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The Importance of Collaboration Between Different Artistic Disciplines Within A School

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode of the After Hours Director Spotlight, Nick Averwater talks with David Aydelott, Director of Bands at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the sixth largest city in the state with a population of just over 150,000, located 35 miles southeast of Nashville. David talks about the lessons he learned as a school administrator that have made him a more effective band director, the importance of collaboration between different artistic disciplines within a school, and more. Our conversation is broken up in to two episodes and this is part 1.

 

Podcast Guest

4030.jpgDavid aYDELOTT

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, David Aydelott is the Director of Bands at Siegel High School in the Rutherford County Tennessee School District.  Before this appointment, Mr. Aydelott served as Fine Arts Director in Williamson County Schools for two years and taught band for 27 years in Tennessee at four schools:  Lexington High School, John Overton High School, Ravenwood High School, and Franklin High School.  

During his time at Franklin, the Franklin Wind Ensemble performed at the Music for All National Festival and twice performed the honor concert at the Tennessee Music Education Association Conference. In addition, the Franklin Percussion Ensemble performed at the 2013 and 2017 Music for All National Percussion Festival, the 2014 TMEA Conference, and brass and woodwind chamber ensembles performed at 2015, 2017, and 2019 Music for All National Chamber Music Festival.  

The Franklin Band was named Grand Champion of 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018 Middle Tennessee State University “Contest of Champions.”  An active participant in Bands of America events, Franklin was a finalist, class champion, regional champion, and a three-time National Class AAA Runner Up at the BOA Grand National Championships.  In 2014 Franklin was awarded the Sudler Shield, an international award for high school marching band sponsored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.  

A recipient of the National Band Association’s Certificate of Merit and the Citation of Excellence, Mr. Aydelott served on the 2009 committee to revise the Tennessee instrumental music curriculum and is an active clinician and arranger.  He also serves as an adjudicator for Drum Corps International and Bands of America.  As a part of their 40th Anniversary, Music for All named David Aydelott to the Forty for Forty, a list of educators who have made a difference in Music for All’s history. In December of 2014, the John Philip Sousa Foundation named Mr. Aydelott a Laureate of the Bandworld “Legion of Honor.”  In 2015, Mr. Aydelott was inducted into the Middle Tennessee State University Band of Blue Hall of Fame.  He and his wife Renee have two children, Katherine and Meredith.

Mr. Aydelott holds membership in Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Tennessee Bandmasters Association, Tennessee Art Education Association, and Professional Educators of Tennessee. Additionally, Mr. Aydelott is President of the Tennessee Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, Past-President of the MTSBOA, past Band Chair for the Tennessee Music Education Association, and served two terms as a representative on the Executive Board of the MTSBOA.

Photo & Biography credit: siegelband.org

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Saturday, January 29, 2022
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The Gibson County Mass Band's Journey to the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode, Nick Averwater talks with Jeremy Tate from Gibson County High School in Dyer, Tennessee. We'll learn about the long journey to performing in the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade for the Gibson County Mass Band, which is made up of musicians from five high schools in this rural part of northwest Tennessee. You can see the band performing at the Tournament of Roses Parade here.

 

Podcast Guest

Jeremy Tate

Originally from Humboldt, Tennessee, Mr. Tate currently serves as the music advisor/consultant for all middle and high school band programs in the Gibson County Special School District.  Prior to this appointment, he served as the Director of Bands at Gibson County High School in Dyer, Tennessee from 2006 until 2021. During his tenure the band consistently received superior ratings as both a marching and concert band. In 2011 (Division II), 2014 (Division I), 2017 (Division I), and 2018 (Division I) the Gibson County High School Band was named the TN Marching Band State Champions. Under his direction, the band has performed a standstill concert at the Statue of Liberty (2010), marched in the Electric Parade in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom (2014), and marched in the nation’s longest running parade, The 257th Annual NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade (2018).  The band recently marched this past January in the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.  In addition, the “Marching Pioneers” were the recipients of the “Marching Band of the Year Award” from the Tennessee Music Awards in 2018.

His formal education includes the Humboldt City School System, The University of Memphis, and Bethel College.  In 2012, Mr. Tate was named the Gibson County School District’s “Teacher of the Year” for the high school grade level and again in 2014 for the building level “Teacher of the Year” for Gibson County High School. Mr. Tate has consulted and taught numerous high schools, colleges, and drum corps in Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Alabama; including but not limited to serving as the Associate Director of Bands at Bethel College (now Bethel University, McKenzie, TN), serving as the visual caption head for the Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps, and serving on the visual staff with the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps and the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps.

Mr. Tate is an active adjudicator and clinician throughout the United States.  His professional memberships include NAfME, WTSBOA, Central States Judges Association, adjudicator for Drum Corps International, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, and a former advisor for Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma Music Fraternity and Sorority. He currently resides in Jackson with his wife Erika, daughters Katherine & Cassidy, and their dog Allie.

Photo & Biography credit: Kentucky Bands

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, January 21, 2022
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Great Advice for Beginning Oboists, and For Educators with Oboists in Their Program

Podcast Episode Summary

This week Nick Averwater talks with Dr. Kristin Leitterman, Assistant Professor of Oboe at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. They'll be talking about ways to allow a young oboist to get the most out of their instrument, advice for music educators who may have oboists in their program, and of course, the importance of always playing with quality reeds. Dr. Leitterman mentions an oboe fingering chart, which you can find below in our resources section. Our conversation was recorded January 3, 2022.

 

Podcast Guest

Dr. Kristin Leitterman

​Dr. Kristin Leitterman defies modern convention as a solo artist of oboe and voice, bringing exciting and unusual programs to audiences.  She makes it her responsibility to commission works for oboe/voice, with works by Michael-Thomas Foumai, Whitney George, and Lyle Davidson.  She has participated in numerous summer festivals and competitions including Bowdoin International Music FestivalNew Music on the PointEastern Music FestivalHot Springs Music Festival, and the Banff Center for the Arts.  She was also a semi-finalist in the Concert Artist Guild’s annual competition in New York City.

In addition to performing, Dr. Leitterman is dedicated to bringing music to the younger generations.  She is currently the Assistant Professor of Oboe at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR.  In addition to teaching oboe, her duties also include Double Reed Techniques, Fundamentals of Music, and coaching small chamber ensembles. 

Dr. Leitterman is the Director of the Lucarelli Oboe Master Class, a week-long immersive oboe master class founded by Bert Lucarelli in 1996.  She has also presented master classes at Manhattan School of Music, the Hartt School, and Southeast Missouri State University.  Additionally she has presented lecture recitals at The Juilliard School, the CUNY Graduate Center, and the Brazilian Double Reed Society's annual conference in João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. 

She holds degrees from the City University of New York’s Graduate CenterThe Hartt SchoolNew England Conservatory, and the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.  Her teachers include Humbert Lucarelli, Mark McEwen, Barbara Bishop, and Amy Burton.

Promotional Photos by Aleksandr Karjaka. Biography credit: kristinleitterman.com

 

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Resources

Oboe Fingering Chart

Posted by Amro Music at Saturday, January 15, 2022
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Creative Ways To Build Community Support For A Band Program

Podcast Episode Summary

This week Nick Averwater continues his conversation with John Easley, who has been an Educational Representative for Amro Music for the last five years, but was a band director in several school districts in northwest Tennessee, including over three decades in Union City, a town of around 11,000 people.  They'll be talking about creative ways of building support for a band program in a small, rural community, the challenges that face young band directors, and more. Our conversation was recorded September 24, 2021 and is broken up in to two episodes. This is part two.

 

Podcast Guest

John Easley

A 1983 graduate of The University of Tennessee at Martin, John D. Easley retired in 2016 after 34 years as a public school band director in the state of Tennessee. His longest tenure was with the Union City School System as Director of Bands for 31 yrs., where the band program boasted membership of approximately thirty eight percent of the student population.

Under Mr. Easley’s direction, the band program flourished, affording his students much success, both individually and collectively. A nationally recognized program, the Union City High School Marching Band is a five time Tennessee Division II State Champion, as well as the winner of ten Bands of America Regional and Super Regional Class Championships, and an eight time finalist at the prestigious Contest of Champions at Middle Tn. State University. They have been accepted and marched in The Tournament of Roses Parade, The Sunkist Fiesta Bowl Parade, Disney Days Celebration, and most recently, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. In 2005 and 2009, the UCHS Symphonic Band performed a full concert on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

In addition to his work with his own bands, John is consistently sought out as a consultant, clinician, workshop presenter, and adjudicator throughout the Southeast. One of the highlights of his career includes his time as a staff member with the United States Army All-American Band in San Antonio, Texas.

Mr. Easley’s professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu professional band director fraternity (past president); WTSBOA (past president); Tennessee Music Educators Association (past board member); American School Band Director Association, and Tennessee Bandmasters Association.

John is married to Delana Easley, former UTM Faculty Collaborative Pianist. They have been blessed with a wonderful family, all of whom are involved in music and the performing arts: Benjamin and Sarah Easley, Benjamin is Director of Bands at Nolensville High School, daughters Ella and Harper; Rebecca and Chris Lowry, Rebecca is Director of Bands at Mill Creek Middle School and Chris is Associate Director of Bands at Rockvale High Schooll, son James; and Andrew Easley. Mr. Easley is currently the Middle Tennessee Educational Consultant for Amro Music and he and Delana reside in Smyrna, Tn.

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, January 7, 2022
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Want to Grow your Band Program? Having Fun (and Patience) Will Help

Podcast Episode Summary

This week Nick Averwater talks with John Easley, who is now an Educational Representative for Amro Music, but for over three decades was a band director in several school districts in northwest Tennessee. Most of his time as a music educator was spent in Union City, a town of around 11,000 people. They'll be talking about John's early days as a band director, the value of having patience when growing a band program, and more. Our conversation was recorded September 24, 2021 and is broken up in to two episodes. This is part one.

 

Podcast Guest

John Easley

A 1983 graduate of The University of Tennessee at Martin, John D. Easley retired in 2016 after 34 years as a public school band director in the state of Tennessee. His longest tenure was with the Union City School System as Director of Bands for 31 yrs., where the band program boasted membership of approximately thirty eight percent of the student population.

Under Mr. Easley’s direction, the band program flourished, affording his students much success, both individually and collectively. A nationally recognized program, the Union City High School Marching Band is a five time Tennessee Division II State Champion, as well as the winner of ten Bands of America Regional and Super Regional Class Championships, and an eight time finalist at the prestigious Contest of Champions at Middle Tn. State University. They have been accepted and marched in The Tournament of Roses Parade, The Sunkist Fiesta Bowl Parade, Disney Days Celebration, and most recently, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. In 2005 and 2009, the UCHS Symphonic Band performed a full concert on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

In addition to his work with his own bands, John is consistently sought out as a consultant, clinician, workshop presenter, and adjudicator throughout the Southeast. One of the highlights of his career includes his time as a staff member with the United States Army All-American Band in San Antonio, Texas.

Mr. Easley’s professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu professional band director fraternity (past president); WTSBOA (past president); Tennessee Music Educators Association (past board member); American School Band Director Association, and Tennessee Bandmasters Association.

John is married to Delana Easley, former UTM Faculty Collaborative Pianist. They have been blessed with a wonderful family, all of whom are involved in music and the performing arts: Benjamin and Sarah Easley, Benjamin is Director of Bands at Nolensville High School, daughters Ella and Harper; Rebecca and Chris Lowry, Rebecca is Director of Bands at Mill Creek Middle School and Chris is Associate Director of Bands at Rockvale High Schooll, son James; and Andrew Easley. Mr. Easley is currently the Middle Tennessee Educational Consultant for Amro Music and he and Delana reside in Smyrna, Tn.

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, December 31, 2021
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