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.
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In this episode Nick Averwater talks with Emily Kelley, Director of Bands at Southview High School in Sylvania, OH, and author of the new book Inclusion in Band and Orchestra, which is part of the Maximizing Student Performance series by the Kjos Music Company. Our conversation was recorded July 20, 2022.
Emily Kelley is the Director of Bands at Sylvania Southview High School in Sylvania, Ohio. Mrs. Kelley received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Bowling Green State University and earned her Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Michigan.
As a child and young adult, Mrs. Kelley had many opportunities to cooperatively engage students with exceptionalities. Her father, Chuck Hage, served as a teacher in a special education self-contained public school classroom for students of varying, developmental delays. Emily enjoyed visiting and working with her dad and his students quite often. Elisa Huss-Hage, Emily’s mother, taught at a community college for many years where she prepared teachers for the field, including courses that focused on meeting the needs of every learner. Additionally, Emily has had several family members with cognitive challenges, including an aunt who lived with her for a significant portion of her childhood. These experiences fostered in her the importance of ensuring equitable educational experiences for all students.
In the process of developing this resource, both Chuck and Elisa, alongside several Sylvania Schools special education professionals and families served as valuable resources and consultants.
During her tenure in public school education, Mrs. Kelley has worked with a plethora of students with many types of exceptionalities. The culmination of those experiences has inspired Emily’s interest in supporting other music educators.
Photo & Bio credit: KJOS Music Company
This week Joel Hurd, one of the producers on the podcast, talks with composer and educator Brady Massey, who spent more than 20 years as a band director in three different school districts in Arkansas (Hoxie, Trumann, and Pocahontas), and is currently Director of Bands at Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Joel talked with Brady just after he had given a talk at Amro University, which is a 2-day event in Memphis for college students and new band directors. Brady's talk was entitled, "Starting The Year On Your Left Foot." Our conversation was recorded April 8, 2022.
Brady Massey (b. 1966) is the Director of Bands at Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Mr. Massey’s background includes teaching all grade levels of instrumental music, from beginning band through university band. His ensembles have received acclaim on the local, regional, and national levels, and are consistently praised on their performances.
Mr. Massey’s professional affiliations include the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association, the National Band Association, the College Band Directors’ National Association, and has served on the board of directors for Dixie Band Camp and Drum Corps South. He is a recent past-president of the Arkansas Bandmasters Association, and has been the recipient of numerous awards in the education field as well as in the music education field.
Mr. Massey is the owner of Ovation by Design, which creates custom music and arrangements for bands and other media, and is the director of the Arkansas Ambassadors of Music, which produces a concert tour of Europe every two years. He resides in Pocahontas, Arkansas with his wife Carol and daughter Makenzie.
Bio credit: C.L. Barnhouse Company | Photo credit: Williams Baptist University
This week Nick Averwater talks with Hunter Durham, Director of Bands in the Rivercrest School District in Wilson, Arkansas, a small town near the Mississippi River around 30 miles north of Memphis. He is originally from nearby Paragould, Arkansas. Hunter has written a guide to sound reinforcement for marching bands. In this episode he'll be sharing his ideas on mic techniques, how to make wise purchasing decisions and more. This conversation was recorded on April 9, 2022.
Director of Bands, Rivercrest School District - Wilson, AR
In the Interview, Hunter references the following:
This week Joel Hurd, one of co-producers of the podcast, talks with Dr. Jennifer Hawkinson, Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Central Arkansas. Before joining UCA, Dr. Hawkinson spent 18 years in South Dakota as a music educator in several school districts, including one of the largest schools in the state, Sioux Falls Washington High School. She joined us at Amro Music as part of Amro University, a two-day gathering of college students and new music educators, where she gave a talk entitled Increasing Retention In Your Music Program. This conversation was recorded April 9, 2022
Jennifer K. Hawkinson is Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Central Arkansas. She holds the Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, as well as degrees from the University of Manitoba (MM, Conducting) and Mount Marty College (BA, Music Education). Dr. Hawkinson previously taught elementary general and instrumental music for 18 years in South Dakota schools from small to large and rural to suburban. She ended her public school career as the Director of Bands at Sioux Falls Washington, one of the largest high schools in the state. She was an adjunct instructor of flute at the University of Sioux Falls and taught students from elementary to adult in her private studio. Dr. Hawkinson enjoys her work as an active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator with students of all ages.
At UCA, Dr. Hawkinson teaches undergraduate courses in elementary general and instrumental music pedagogy, supervises student internships, instructs graduate courses, and advises graduate student research. She coordinates summer programs in music education for both graduate students and practicing music educators. As a scholar, Dr. Hawkinson’s research interests include student nonparticipation in school music programs through the theoretical lens of constraint negotiation, engaging diverse student populations in school music, virtual music learning spaces, and student-centered pedagogy. She has presented conference and teacher training sessions on the topics of teacher evaluation, assessment in music and other non-tested subjects, fostering creativity in student musicians, and creating comprehensive band programs. Dr. Hawkinson has presented and published as a member of the University of Minnesota doctoral research cohort at the Society of Music Teacher Education conference and in Interval: The Journal of Music Teacher Education.
Dr. Hawkinson’s professional memberships include the National Association for Music Education and Phi Beta Mu. She served two terms as President of the South Dakota Music Educators Association.
Photo & Biography credit: University of Central Arkansas
In this episode of the After Hours Director Spotlight, Nick Averwater talks with Jason Deem, Director of Bands at Union City High School in Union City, Tennessee, a town of just over 10,000 people in the northwest corner of the state. Jason joined the Union City schools in 2006, and has been Director of Bands for five years. In this conversation, we'll learn about his early influences, how he carries on the tradition of success in the band program, and the importance of good communication with students, administration and the community. This conversation was recorded April 29, 2022.
Jason Deem is the Director of Bands for Union City High School in the Union City School system. He has enjoyed teaching in Union City Schools since 2006. Mr. Deem will be responsible for guiding the 350 band students and extensive staff involved in the instrumental music program of the district. Jason is in the process of building a top notch staff who honor the heritage and continue the vigorous pursuit of excellence that is synonymous with all Union City Band programs. Mr. Deem has been integral to the pedagogical development that has led to a world class learning environment for students in all facets of the program. Throughout his career his ensembles have consistently received awards for excellence on the concert stage and marching field.
Jason earned his Bachelor of Music Education and Masters Degree in Education with emphasis in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Jason Deem is a clinician and adjudicator for bands throughout the Southeast United States.Mr. Deem is Past President of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He is a member of the West Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association, and Tennessee Bandmasters Association.
A native of Rutherford, Tennessee, Mr. Deem marched with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps for the 1998 and 1999 seasons. Before his tenure at Union City Jason began his teaching career at Lexington High School in Lexington, Tennessee and was later the Director of Bands at Gibson County High School in Dyer, Tennessee where his bands received numerous awards including the Tennessee Governor’s Cup.
Mr. Deem resides in Union City and is a member of Community Bible Church. He is married to Amber, and has four daughters Makinlee, Madeline, Kadence, and Marley.
Photo & Biography credit: Union City Bands
This week Nick Averwater talks with Randy Dale, Assistant Professor of Music, Associate Director of Bands, and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Mississippi, to get some ideas about recruiting new students for your band program. Our conversation was recorded April 8, 2022 in downtown Memphis, where Randy was giving a presentation for Amro University.
Randy Dale is Assistant Professor of Music, Associate Director of Bands, and Director of Athletic Bands for the University of Mississippi. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Mississippi in 2001. He served with the Ole Miss Band as a graduate assistant for one year before becoming director of bands at the Southern Baptist Educational Center in Southaven, Mississippi. He continued studying through the University of Mississippi to earn his master’s degree in music education in 2005. Dale holds memberships in The Music Educators’ National Conference (MENC), The Percussive Arts Society (PAS), and the Texas Music Educators’ Association (TMEA).
In eight years at SBEC, Dale was able to produce outstanding results that were unprecedented for the program. Under his direction, the band tripled in size. The band won numerous awards and superior ratings at contests in Mississippi and Tennesee. His students have qualified for Mississippi Lions Band and have participated in world-class drum and bugle corps. Dale serves as an adjudicator for marching band competitions and indoor percussion competitions throughout Mississippi and Tennessee.
Photo & Biography credit: The University of Mississippi - Department of Music
In this episode, Nick Averwater continues his with Dr. Matt Rowan, Director of Bands for the Pearl School District in Pearl, Mississippi, the 13th largest city in the state, located just east of Jackson, MS. In this conversation, Dr. Rowan shares more ideas about how to help students who want to pursue a career in music education. The conversation was recorded March 2, 2022, and is broken up in to two episodes, and this is part 2.
Matt Rowan is currently in his 21st year of teaching and is in his eleventh year at Pearl. He serves as Director of Bands at Pearl High School. Prior to coming to Pearl, Dr. Rowan served in the Oxford School District as Director of Bands and Asst. Director of Bands for nine years. A graduate of Pearl High School, Dr. Rowan received his Bachelor and Masters degree in Music from the University of Mississippi. While earning his degrees, Dr. Rowan participated in the University Band and served that group in several different positions, including Drum Major and Graduate Assistant. Dr. Rowan also received several high honors at the University of Mississippi. These include a receiving a Taylor Medal, which is the highest academic honor given by the University, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and being inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He was named Most Outstanding Undergraduate Instrumentalist, Most Outstanding Music Education Student, and Most Outstanding Graduate Instrumentalist during his time at the University.
Dr. Rowan holds a Specialist and Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from William Carey University and is a certified administrator in the State of Mississippi. He is also currently serving as the Section 3 representative on the National Federation of High Schools Music Committee. Dr. Rowan was named Star Teacher at Pearl High School in 2019.
Dr. Rowan is a member of the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, is serving on the Executive Board of the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Fraternity, is a Past President of the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, I-55 Band Directors Association and Northeast Mississippi Band Directors Association. Dr. Rowan is the 2006 recipient of the A.E. McLain Outstanding Young Band Directors Award given by the Mississippi Bandmasters Association. In 2007, Dr. Rowan became a National Board Certified Teacher. Dr. Rowan was also fortunate to serve on the staff of the Mississippi Lions All State Band in 2009, 2013, and 2014. In 2014, Dr. Rowan served as the Head Marching Director for the Mississippi Lions All State Band and guided that group to their 30th International Parade Championship at the International Lions Convention in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Rowan’s bands have consistently earned superior ratings on both the state and national level.
Dr. Rowan is married to the lovely Mrs. Amye Rowan. They have three daughters, Emily, Katherine, and Miriam. Dr. Rowan currently resides in Pearl, MS, attends McLaurin Heights Baptist Church, and in his spare time enjoys fishing, playing golf and spending time with his wife, daughters, and dog.
Photo & Biography credit: Pearl Pirate Band
In this episode, Nick Averwater talks with Dr. Matt Rowan, Director of Bands for the Pearl School District in Pearl, Mississippi, a city of around 27,000 just east of Jackson. In this conversation, Dr. Rowan talks about how he knew early that he wanted to pursue a career in music education, in large part because of the many educators along the way who encouraged him. We'll also learn about ways he now serves as a mentor for leaders in his band program who want to go on to teach music. The conversation was recorded March 2, 2022, and is broken up in to two episodes, and this is part 1.
This week Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Todd Shipley, Director of Arts Education for the Tennessee Department of Education. In this episode, they'll discuss the importance developing a positive relationship with your local school board, proactive vs. reactive advocacy, and more. Our conversation was recorded February 14, 2022, and is broken up in to two episodes, and this is part two.
Todd Shipley majored in Music Education at Middle Tennessee State University. After graduating from college, he spent 3 years as Director of Bands at LeVergne Middle School in La Vergne, TN. While at LaVergne, Todd lead all aspects of the band program including teaching 6th grade beginning band, 7th grade band, 8th grade band, pep band, and other small ensembles (jazz band, percussion ensemble, etc.). He also served on the Data Team (2012-13), Leadership Team (2012-13), and Hawk Celebration Committee (2011-13). During tenure there, the band program increased membership from 128 students (2010) to over 210 student musicians (2012). He also established a fundraising and sponsorship program to supplement funding from school board and created a jazz band program.
In 2013, Todd transitioned to a new role at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School for Health Sciences and Engineering. Todd taught 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, and Music Understanding. He also served as the faculty sponsor for National Honor Society (2015-16) and Tri-M Music Honor Society (2013-2018). From 2015-2018, he was the Fine Arts Department Chair (representing 5 teachers and 650 students.) During this time, Todd oversaw planning, design, and construction of new state-of-the-art 6,000+ sq. ft, $1 Million+ facilities expansion for instrumental music. In 2014, the Wind Ensemble was selected as the State Level Winner in the Mark of Excellence Program. In 2015, the school was selected as a GRAMMY Signature Schools Semi-Finalist and he premiered a new composition at National Association of Music Education Annual Conference. His Wind Ensemble was also selected to perform at 2015 TMEA State Conference in Memphis, TN.
In 2018, Todd began work as the Director of Arts Education & State of the Arts Program Director for the TN Department of Education. During his time with the state, Todd has developed and implemented $1MM music education grant program to develop or improve music programs and established the Arts Education Network to create a network of professional practice between school districts across the state. He has also collaborated with external partners to launch a first-of-its-kind statewide arts education landscape study and led the creation of toolkits to support educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Todd coordinated professional learning for new fine arts standards, portfolio, and other topics relative to arts education and supported the launch of the TN Arts Education Data Project. He also successfully advocated for over $300,000 in funding to support fine arts instructional resource development.
Photo & Biography credit: Todd Shipley
This week Nick Averwater talks with Todd Shipley, Director of Arts Education for the Tennessee Department of Education. Todd had eight years of experience as a school band director before moving into his current role with the state in 2018. In this episode, we'll learn more about what it means to be the leading advocate for arts education in a state of nearly seven million people, and we'll learn about some practical ideas for advocacy at the local level. Our conversation was recorded February 14, 2022, and is broken up in to two episodes, and this is part one.
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.
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
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.
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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