We finally made it to the summer of 2019, and I still have a ton of things going on!
First off, I filled in for my buddy Ron DiSilvestro (Producer/Engineer/Drummer) with the Tim Williams band on June 1st. It was a pop-up beer truck event with Stickman Brewing – which was a perfect start to the summer. Make sure you visit their website(s) to check when they’re playing again – tell them I sent you!
I also wrapped up my 6th year as a CIMT for the School District of Philadelphia the beginning of the month. Besides the drumline from FLC winning the Kimmel Center’s Drumline of the Year 2019 competition, we have made tremendous improvements to the district’s “Modern Band” curriculum. We are beginning to see traction within the district, and it has given me the opportunity to facilitate workshops for the music educators of the district. Towards the end of the school year, I was asked by my supervisor to escort the PA Department of Education’s Art liaison to some of the schools who have implemented Modern Band into their classrooms. It was exciting to hear that the state is working on creating a Modern Band curriculum, and they’re asking us to assist as consultants! It is amazing to see what we have worked on for the last 5 years gain recognition to the point that the state wants to implement it for all districts! Because of this and my candidacy for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (more on that later), it has come to my realization that I need to focus more time to my role within the School District of Philadelphia and step down from my role at Villanova.
I truly loved what I did as the Percussion Coordinator at Villanova. People use to ask me about my career, and would be shocked to hear I worked full time for the SDP along with teaching at Villanova and UArts, while continuing as a performing drummer. I use to explain how my schedule wasn’t that bad, and that I did it because I loved to do all of it. When the Modern Band/PA Department of Ed. situation was brought to my attention, it was obvious that I needed to make sure I did what was best for everyone. By stepping down I can give myself the needed time to complete my NBPTS certification, while making sure the students involved with the Office of Music Activities receive the instruction they deserve. I was lucky enough to work with so many students – some of which never played before, to others who were top chairs of their state bands. We all devoted a ton of time to provide music for the Villanova community and the Greater Philadelphia region – even had the chance to see 2 national championships! From sporting events to homecoming, concerts to performances at alumni weddings, and even providing music for CHOP and the Special Olympics – we made a lot of music, and I have no doubt they will continue to do so. I cannot thank the students and alumni I encountered for their support, donations, and friendships. Because of them we were able to get brand new marching equipment two years ago, and even partnered with my friends at Zildjian, Remo, Vic Firth, and Ludwig to make sure our students had the best equipment available to them. I cannot thank Beth Sokolowski, John Dunphy, George Pinchock, Christine Naas, Laura Orr, and Ben Godwin for the opportunity to be apart of the Office of Music Activities. I have learned so much and adapted what I do as an educator because of my experience there.
Finally like I mentioned before, I am a candidate for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards! I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship from the William Penn Foundation to pursue this additional certification, and believe this is the perfect time to complete it. I’m excited to start on this journey that will challenge me to become a better educator, which I know will help me with continuing to assist with Modern Band for the district.
That’s it for now, until next time,