I am excited to be starting my second year as band director at St. Patrick School. I look forward to working with the 5th-8th grade students again our newly renovated band room. I grew up in the Catholic Church and attended Blessed Sacrament in Waterloo. I am a graduate of West High School and studied music at the University of Northern Iowa. My wife, Julie, and I have three children, Heather, Sofie, and Tyler.
While at UNI, I played in Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Percussion Ensemble. Throughout college I played weekends with local rock bands and big bands.
I began my teaching career with the Waterloo Community Schools in the fall of 1978. I have taught at all levels from elementary music to high school band, but I am primarily known for working with middle school students. I am honored to have been selected as a Gold Star Teacher in 1992. I am proud that bands I have directed have won the NEIBA Jazz Festival many times and have performed at the IBA Convention in Des Moines. In 2013, I was nominated for the Jazz Educators of Iowa Hall of Fame.
You may recognize me as Checker of the local band “Checker and the Bluetones.” If you haven't seen us, come and check us out. We play many venues including outdoor, family events. Each summer I lead a jazz camp in Cedar Falls aimed at 4-12th graders. Last year’s camp had over 130 musicians, and I hope to see many of my St. Patrick students there each summer.
This year I will be at St. Patrick School on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Last year we had a lot of fun with the addition of a Jazz Band and a Worship Band in addition to our regular grade 5 and grades 6-8 bands.