Kevin Smith has been the director of band and choir at Ithaca Public Schools in Ithaca, Michigan since 1999. He began his teaching in 1982 after graduating from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He began teaching in the St. Louis Public Schools. After working there he went back to his high school alma mater and taught at Alma Public for ten years. He then made his next move to Ithaca where he currently teaches band and choir.
Smith lists his highest honors as those which his groups have won in festivals from maraching band to jazz. His groups have received Superior ratings in Jazz and Marching from the MSBOA.
His groups have also placed well at the CMU Jazz Festival, the Alma College Jazz Festival as well as the state level.
Smith spends his extra time by playing lots of trumpet. He currently plays for many of the shows that are in the area, including everything from Casino Shows to major concert events. Since 2005 he has also been a trumpet player in the Jimmey Dorsey Orchestra.
Smith's mentors through the years have been former band director (Alma Middle School) Don Metcalf, and trumpet players Eddie Nuccilli (Detroit) and John Lindenau (Traverse City).
When asked about his philosophy Smith replies,"My philosophy of music education is to instill in all of my students a true love for the art of making music through their own interpretations of the music they read on the page."
Kerry Taylor has been the Director of Bands at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas for the past 25 years. He earned a B.M.Ed from the University of Texas and then went on for a MM in Applied Conducting from the same university.
In addition to being the Director of Bands at Westlake he also serves as the administrator for all bands from grade 6 - 12. Since 2012 he has also served as the Director of Fine Arts for the entire Eanes ISD of Austin.
His groups have won 27 Texas UIL Sweepstakes Awards. They have played at the Midwest (2002 and 2013), ABA(2006), WASBE(2009), Carnegie Hall(2004, 2008, 2012)and the 2003 Tournament of Roses
Taylor is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association and has served as President of the TMEA. He has also served on the University Interscholastic League:
Music Advisory Committee and
Marching Band Task Force
Taylor says,"I grew up in a family of educators and band directors. As the youngest of four I spent many hours listening to the discussion around the dinner table regarding student expectations, student behaviors, the sharing and teaching music, and the administration of a band program. Later I was exposed to quality music, phenomenal conductors and educators at the collegiate level and during the early part of my career. These mentors were invaluable to me."
HIs philosophy is "Participating in a high school band program provides opportunities and experiences for our young people to develop a myriad of important life skills such as the art of listening, the benefits of collaboration and the value of hard work. Just as central to our role as music educators is the sharing of quality musical experiences. The richness of these experiences directly impacts the quality of our lives individually and collectively. It is our role to share the 'human experience' with each of our students."