Yamaha Master Educator Program Equips Music Directors

Mike Lawson • News • November 9, 2016

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Reinforcing its longstanding commitment to music education, Yamaha Corporation of America has launched the Yamaha Master Educator Program, an exciting new initiative that will provide inspiring professional development opportunities and artistic music collaborations for music educators at the local, state and national levels. 

“Many band and orchestra directors nationwide have asked us for support to improve and elevate their effectiveness as teachers,” says John Wittmann, director, Artist Relations and Education, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis. “With their needs in mind, we formed an all-star group of educators with the skills, expertise, and the heart for inspiring and empowering music teachers at all levels – elementary school, high school, college and beyond.”

The Yamaha Master Educator program is designed to complement the Yamaha Performing Artist roster, and add dimension to the company’s teacher support capability. While the world-class roster of Yamaha Performing Artists conducts more than 600 clinics annually, the renowned Master Educator team will play a complementary, yet pivotal role, by sharing their expertise to help educators stay motivated – and challenged – to fulfill their teaching potential.

Offering multiple benefits for teachers, the program will also provide educators with access to experts who can work with their teaching teams on-site during staff development days. Now, teachers at every level of instruction can enjoy access to a diverse group of experts who can advise them on everything from recruitment in the middle schools, to the most advanced conducting techniques. Teachers can also explore an online “menu” of topics to view the specific areas of each Master Educator’s expertise. 

In addition, Yamaha Master Educators will take part in speaking and conducting appointments with state Music Education Associations; district meetings for music teachers and fine arts departments, district-wide in-service days; and clinics at middle schools, high schools, colleges and conservatories.

“The Yamaha Band and Orchestra division is not only committed to offering musical instruments of high quality and exceptional value, but also to providing abundant educational resources and tangible support for music educators,” says Richard Floyd, State Director of Music Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin. “The launch of the Yamaha Master Educators project is a profound commitment to that initiative. This visionary assembly of 18 of the country’s most recognized and distinguished conductor/teachers will quickly become a priceless resource for a broad spectrum of music educators nationwide. Once again, Yamaha has raised the bar in the arena of educational support.”

 The premiere roster of Yamaha Master Music Educators features a diverse range of distinguished academics, clinicians, consultants and authors, including:

Mr. Daniel Berard – Director of Bands at Fossil Ridge High School (Fort Collins, Colorado)

Dr. Travis J. Cross – Associate Professor of Music and Wind Ensemble Conductor, at the University of California, (Los Angeles, California)

Dr. Rodney Dorsey – Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Conducting at the University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon)

Mr. Douglas Droste – Director of Orchestras at Ball State University and Artistic Director, Muncie Symphony Orchestra (Muncie, Indiana)

Mr. Richard Floyd – State Director of Music Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin and Music Director, Austin Symphonic Band (Austin, Texas) 

Ms. Cheryl Floyd – Director of Bands at Hill Country Middle School (Austin, Texas)

Mr. Kevin Ford – Director of the Leadership Conservatory for the Arts at Tarpon Springs High School (Tarpon Springs, Florida) 

Mr. Larry Gookin – Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor of Music, Central Washington University (Ellensburg, Washington)

Mr. Michael Haithcock – Director, University Bands and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan) 

Mr. Jerry Junkin – Director of Bands and Professor of Instrumental Conducting at the University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas) 

Mr. Craig Kirchhoff – Former Professor of Music and Director Emeritus of University Bands at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Mr. Gary Lewis – Director of Orchestras and Bob and Judy Charles Professor of Conducting at the University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, Colorado) 

Mr. Anthony Maiello – Professor of Music and University Professor at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia)

Dr. Kevin Sedatole – Professor of Music, Director of Bands, Michigan State University College of Music (Lansing, Michigan)

Mr. David Starnes – Assistant Professor and Director of Athletic Bands at Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, North Carolina)

Dr. Emily Threinen – Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Mrs. Marguerite Wilder – Middle School Conductor, Clinician and Consultant, (Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia)

Mr. John Madden – Associate Professor of Music, Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Spartan Marching Band, Michigan State University College of Music (East Lansing, Michigan) 


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