VanderCook College Welcomes New Director of Bands Alex Kaminsky

Mike Lawson • News • April 25, 2019

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VanderCook College of Music has announced Alex Kaminsky as the new Director of Bands for their music education program.

Kaminsky will also instruct various courses as a faculty member. He joins the College from Stoneman Douglas High School, where he led the Wind Symphony to recent Carnegie Hall and Midwest Clinic appearances, as well as winning the State 5A Marching Band Championship the last two consecutive years.

Kaminsky will be entering VanderCook at a time of developmental renaissance, with the school in the midst of an ambitious Capital Campaign

“Alex Kaminsky brings the perfect attitude to VanderCook,” Dr. Rosenthal, president of the College, said. “He is committed to helping our students become great teachers while becoming great performers. He believes that relationships and experience come first. I’m thrilled that he will share his commitment to music, teaching and humanity with the VanderCook community, and all who believe in music in Illinois and beyond.”

Under his baton, his bands have been invited to distinguished events of both state and national levels, including but not limited to four Midwest Clinic appearances, the American Bandmasters Association National Convention, CBDNA/NBA Conferences, FMEA State Conference, and the National Concert Band Festival.

Kaminsky himself has been recognized for his directing, having received the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence ten times and the top rating of Superior at the State Concert Band Assessment for an unprecedented 22 consecutive years. His teaching abilities have been similarly recognized by achievement awards such as the 2019 FMEA Secondary Music Educator of the Year Award, the National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teacher, and membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association where he serves on the ABA Sousa/Ostwald Committee and the ABA School Bands Task Force. 

“I am honored to have been selected as Director of Bands to continue the tradition and legacy for which VanderCook is known,” Kaminsky said. “I am firmly committed to sharing the knowledge and techniques I have learned over my 30-year career with future music educators while continuing to raise the standard of excellence of the VanderCook Band.”

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